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Is This What A Festival Is Supposed To Be?


“Give me that big one.”

“How much for this one?”

“How far does that rocket go?”

“Let’s buy this big bomb.”

What I am describing here is a typical scene of a shop in India selling Firecrackers for the Festival of Diwali.Its quite a sight out there.Hoards of people tussling,trying to outdo each other in buying the most firecrackers.

Now,I don’t think that the non-Indians will be knowing about this but I am sure the Indians know what I am talking about.

Just to get you all in the loop,here’s the story behind Diwali.Diwali began as a very simple festival,celebrated to welcome the return of the Hindu God Ram from his 14 year exile.People lit candles and lamps around their houses and across the streets.Wonderful it must have been.

Now lets fast-forward to today and the festival has totally metamorphosed.So much for the Candles and the lamps.All people are interested in today is to flaunt how many crackers can they burn.Buying the biggest possible ones.The 2000 chain.The 3000 chain.As if it was some status symbol.

Well…Hello people.Last time I checked,there was this thing called Pollution and Global Warming.

The amount of Carbon Monoxide, Sulphur Dioxide, Particulate Matter in the air shoot up so high during Diwali that it takes about a month to get back to normal.And in the end they end up inside us only.

And with time the situation seems to be getting worse and worse.In a city like New-Delhi,one cannot possibly go to the roof without having an Asthma attack! And yet people don’t stop.Holding their breath just long enough to set fire to the firecracker and then rushing back inside to inhale again.

Quite often I ask these people…

“Why do you do this when you don’t seem to be enjoying it very much and neither is it good for the environment?”

And the typical answer I get is

“Well…I do it for the kids.”

“They love it.”

Well of course they love it and that’s because you are making them love it.Try setting fire to your own house and the kids will love it.That doesn’t make it right.Why not make the children understand the harms of it?The effect it has on the environment.Why follow the trend?Why can’t we be the change?

Its kind of weird,the type of festivals we are celebrating.I mean, why can’t there be a festival where people plant trees or donate money or do social service or something.Why is it about burning your money on the toxic firecrackers.Because looking from a larger perspective,no matter how good an entertainment it might look for the kids, what one is doing here is lighting fire to one’s own kid’s future.


About Epizeuxis

Blogger , Guitarist , Altruist , Athlete, Sophist ... these all describe me... But what all these symbolize is my desire to be able do all the things which life has to offer and constantly grow as an individual...


14 thoughts on “Is This What A Festival Is Supposed To Be?

  1. I agree with the theme of your post. The USA and Europe have blessed us with 200 years of industrial pollutants and now that India and China explode in industrial production through the burning of coal and petroleum to produce electricity and the increased demand for gasoline the problem will accelerate exponentially. We are reducing and eliminating environmental restrictions here because they say it curtails employment and that there are trade offs. When we cannot no longer exist in polluted air and water there won’t be anything to trade off anymore. We’ll be dead.

    Posted by Carl D'Agostino | October 27, 2011, 10:30 am
    • Yup Carl that is the truth.
      I remember watching the documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” where Al Gore said that we humans are like the frog which would jump right out when put in water having temperature above his threshold…but when the same frog is put in normal water and then if the water is heated slowly…the frog would remain inside even when the temperature increases well above his threshold.Our reactions are pretty much the same to global warming.
      So its better to understand the effects now than at a time when all we can do is mourn.

      Posted by Epizeuxis | October 27, 2011, 8:28 pm
  2. Yes. And the next popular excuse you’ll get is ” the firecracker industry is the source of employment for lakhs of poor people.”
    So what? We are not saying that we should eradicate the whole industry and render those people unemployed. Instead, wouldn’t it be better to put the same amount of money in some alternate measures to ensure better life for the child laborers in these factories?
    The crackers serve as a official toy for the Diwali. Its high time that we passed on this token from crackers to some better means of happiness.

    Posted by Apoyando | October 27, 2011, 12:01 pm
    • So true Apoyando…the cracker industry is not some play school where the children are enjoying or something.So they are in no way going to suffer if it is shut down.Plus the alternate measures are plenty where they can be shifted.
      And that token line of yours just sums it up.I have no problems with Diwali.Its the way we celebrate it is the problem.As you rightly said “Its high time that we passed on this token from crackers to some better means of happiness.”

      Posted by Epizeuxis | October 27, 2011, 8:32 pm
  3. Well said. Our city often has a yellow/brown layer of smog and pollution advisories. Still, there’s tons of SUVs and trucks on the road. We’re killing ourselves (and our children’s future) for a little pleasure in the moment.

    I did laugh at “Try setting fire to your own house and the kids will love it.That doesn’t make it right.” It’s extreme, but true. Our kids take cues from us, and it’s up to us to determine what we want tomorrow to be like.

    Posted by jannatwrites | October 28, 2011, 3:38 am
    • Yeah we have this great opportunity to be a generation that will either continue this mindless pollution and ruin the earth for future generations or to be the generation that stands up for a change and preserve the environment.

      Posted by Epizeuxis | October 29, 2011, 9:52 am
  4. Excellent post Epizeuxis. The burning of crackers, etc. is just like pulling your money out of your wallet and setting fire to it. Pointless! BOASTFUL! Besides thoughts of pollution and global warming, what about animals shivering in corners, scared to death.

    Posted by adeeyoyo | October 28, 2011, 9:10 am
    • Hey Adeeyoyo…to tell you the truth,the thing about animals being scared to death is one of my biggest concerns with it.I didn’t mention this in the post but its admirable that you could infer that and add that point too. 🙂

      Posted by Epizeuxis | October 29, 2011, 9:54 am
  5. Apparently, we are in self-destruct mode. This carries over into all aspects of our lives.

    Posted by pattisj | October 29, 2011, 3:36 pm
  6. How sad the Diwali Festival has gone commercial; it would be more fun and loyal for the children to know India’s history.

    Posted by Maxi | October 31, 2011, 1:39 pm
  7. .”I mean, why can’t there be a festival where people plant trees or donate money or do social service or something.”
    Well said!

    Posted by The Hook | November 30, 2011, 8:49 pm
  8. well…this is one of the biggest problem in the country…people take it as their status symbol and make the hell out of everything…

    Hope people understand this thing soon enough, before its too late… :O

    Posted by Cynosure | December 1, 2011, 5:19 pm

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About Epizeuxis

An Infrequent blogger, amateur guitarist , Altruist and a Sophist with a desire to be able do all the things which life has to offer and constantly grow as an individual.

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