- Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan is known to have some rather quaint, in cases distinctly antiquated views. This ‘doctor’ is well known for his beliefs that sex education should be banned in schools. In his naïve view, abstinence (fidelity) is the solution for preventing sexually transmitted diseases and not safe sex and condoms. Mr Vardhan’s views are of a piece with the moral police who believe sex education would corrupt youth and offend Indian values. (Source – Times of India)
- Clearly Mr Vardhan finds the need to further his own personal agendas via his office. He now wants to implement a silent Diwali this year. He has urged Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to enforce the Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the bursting of firecrackers in residential areas.
- The reasons proffered by Mr. Vardhan for wanting to implement a ‘silent Diwali’ is that there is discomfort caused to people of all ages, and that there could be psychological disorders as a result of this. He has also urged educators to inform children about the negative impacts of noise pollution and the pointing out the new generation’s responsibility to build a compassionate society. (Source – Indian Express)
- Mr. Vardhan is disregarding the fact that air pollution are present in our cities throughout the year; from noxious vehicle fumes, uncollected garbage, and several other means, all stemming from authorities being ill-equipped or unwilling to do their jobs. However it is evident that curbing these forms of pollution would be a far more laborious, time consuming and demanding task. Mr. Vardhan seems to be taking the easy way out by wanting to curb festivities that take place for a couple of days a year.
- There is a firecracker industry that depends upon the festival of Diwali. Is Mr. Vardhan not concerned for the livelihood of individuals employed in this sector?
- And why call only for a silent Diwali? In our country, loud speakers are the way to announce religious observances of all sorts ranging from kirtan from temples and satsangs, gurbani from gurdwaras to the daily azaan or the call to prayers from mosques over the loud speakers. If noisy firecrackers are a nuisance, aren’t these also troublesome for people?
- What about the traditional festivities that all Indians enjoy at this time of the year. What about the fact that we traditionally believe that crackers are a way to ward off evil at this time of year? What about the fact that firecrackers are a traditional way to kill harmful mosquitoes during this time of year?
- And what is wrong with a little harmless fun? People of all faiths look forward to bursting crackers, people of an entire area often getting together and have the benefit of an enjoyable and inclusive cracker session where kids are safe and everyone has fun. Will you spoil everyone’s fun this year, Mr. Vardhan?
Image source – Harsh Vardhan official Facebook page