The health Minister seems to be very concerned about the rising air and noise pollution emitting from the traditional Diwali celebrations. I wonder where were his grave concerns all the year round, especially when the World Health Organization declared New Delhi the most polluted city in the world, based on air quality data published by our official Indian agencies.
According to the Economic Times, Indian Pollution Control Board is plagued with old tools, which can’t even measure the pollution levels properly. When the reading of Indian pollution samplers were compared with International ones, major inconsistency were noticed. But, instead of overhauling our pollution control mechanism and seriously implementing pollution safeguards, our Politicians seem to be, more interested in showcasing their “fake concern” for air and noise pollution during Diwali, at the expense of tradition, culture and individual choice. But what we need is measurable and sustainable change please!
Diwali is the festival of lights and it is not just celebrated in India but worldwide. The festival signifies the victory of good over the evil. The use of lights, ‘dias’ and fire-crackers in Diwali are not just done for fun but have a deeper significance and importance. The simmering lighting of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is considered as an asseveration of respect to the Gods for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. Moreover the sounds of fire-crackers are considered as a manifestation of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their blessed state.
Though Diwali also causes air and noise pollution, it’s religious significance and it’s importance as a cultural event where people from all walks of life come and celebrate together makes it a unique festival and as such it wouldn’t be wise to ban the traditional ways of celebrating Diwali.
Instead of enforcing rules on how people should celebrate Diwali, our Health Minister should actually be more concern in controlling pollution which emanates from day-to-day activities like air pollution from cars, factories and noises from the loud speakers used in political speeches and gatherings. After all pollution emitting from these activities form the overwhelming majority, when it comes to contributing to air and noise pollution that is plaguing out country.
How we choose to celebrate our customs and tradition is a basic right – political encroachment on blanket bans is the start of snatching away peoples right to liberty and freedom. What’s up his sleeves next – no bands at weddings, no religious processions, no loud speakers for call to prayer, no short skirts (you might catch a cold) , no smoking, no drinking, no cars, no meat, no french fires (they are really bad for you), no planes (bad for the ozone layer) , no kids (ok only one – need to control population)…
And a gentle reminder fire crackers are burst for one or two days during Diwali – that’s one or two days in the whole year.
Mr. Harsh Vardhan who wanted a ban on Sex Education because, he felt, it doesn’t conform to the traditions and ideals of Indian culture is now so eager to suppress traditional Indian religious and cultural practice of bursting cracker during Diwali.
Sadly he is wrong on both the occasions, he fails to understand that ancient Indian culture was an open-minded, free and inclusive culture. The sexual depictions and sculptures in Ajanta-Ellora caves and Khajuraho Temples prove that In Ancient India sex was not a taboo. It was perhaps in India that formal sex education first started with the writings of books like Kama sutra, which treated sex as a science.
Vardhan is suppressing the evolution of modern education for his false understanding of ‘ Indian culture’ and at the same time he is eager to suppress the practice of bursting crackers which is associated with genuine Indian tradition and culture for symbolic concerns of pollution. What an irony!
Our Honorable Health Minister, if you are so concerned about noise pollution we hope the next time you address a political rally it will be a ‘silent’ rally with ‘silent ‘ speeches; and we will also like to request, that on the event of a BJP win in the Maharashtra assembly polls, please have a ‘silent’ celebration with no crackers.
Hopefully your concerns for pollution will not diminish at that time.
By: Editorial Team