India has a peculiar nature and established pattern of overcoming mass movements against social evils – just link it with religion. Whenever a social problem is noticed and a section of the society initiates protest or corrective actions, the proprietors of such act go aggressive fighting with tooth and nail siting century old unknown association of the same with their religion or caste or the Scripture. It has become a culture and life style of many to take the name of God or goddess to protect ones selfish and vested interests.
Many a time the social activists or the Government and sometimes even the lower Courts stumble down at such hurdles by favoring it or at least keeping their mouth shut, so that their family or social life could be secured. In the recent past, India has witnessed multiple issues as far as the safety of its citizens, integrity of the country or the fundamental rights are concerned.
Some parts of the country, especially the God’s Own Country-Kerala, has decades old practice of bursting millions worth fire crackers during religious festivals to attract the public taste. However, it has no association with any religious belief, but purely a political requirement or prestige matter.
Our land has gone to the extent that religious festivals without fireworks lasting for an hour or more, in some cases many hours, are considered inferior. The prominent religions in Kerala like Hindu and Christian are best example to this. In the recent past there are numerous instances of fireworks that turned to be national calamities with hundreds of lives lost, millions worth property lost and moreover contributing to the global carbon foot print.
Many a times fireworks executed at religious places or religious festivals are with blatant violation of norms and rules that end up with air pollution, noise pollution, and life safety. The recent Kollam tragedy, where 118 people lost lives is the best example.
Firework has only one aspect considered positive that it gives a spectacular view to the eyes. On the other hand it can do a lot more harm and damage not only to the current but the future generation too.
All fireworks breach the approved noise level and goes up to 300 decibel (db). I have got opportunity to witness a full show of firework at the world famous “Cinderella Castle” of Disneyland in Florida. Disney started its annual fireworks in 1956. This amazing annual show lasts little more than an hour with noise level maximum up to 60 db. The spectacular view is exclusive and one of its kind. In India the noise graph starts from 120 db.
Fireworks are threats not only to life safety of people associated with it but people living adjacent to the display ground. The Kollam tragedy categorically proves how spectators in hundreds are exposed to high risk to life. Why do we still need this cruel jock?
Today India is lamenting on the ever hot summer which kills live stocks and agriculture with no water to sustain. Have we ever thought of the reasons for this? It’s not only the construction and land use pattern or the so called deforestation, but the amount of carbon unnecessarily pushed to the sky just for a very short-term enjoyment. If we do not take a conscious call, needless to say that the next generation will be the worst affected by this slow-killing manmade disaster.
The artificial creation of thunder and lightning through the fireworks (what you call the spectacular visual treat) destabilizes the ecosystem in that region. The entire vegetation and valuable fetters of the ecosystem is perished by one single firework. The live stocks around the area is severely affected; people living around the region suffers from breathing problems to heart disease; moreover the sick and the vulnerable get disturbed with huge physical and psychological problems. Do India still can ignore such criminal acts and go ahead with the so called “discouraging” of fireworks?
Fireworks are not exclusive to temple festivals and church feasts although they are the major culprits as they use it disproportionate; the entire Diwali season has been re-defined with fireworks rather than lights. Millions of cracker selling shops are popped up across the country during Diwali season through illegal means and they never ever take any safety measure.
During Diwali, crackers are sold even to kids who do not even know how to burst it. It’s unfortunate that the entire India fails to understand that Diwali is not of crackers and sounds, but lights and visuals.
If rules cannot be observed voluntarily, the only left out option is to enforce it with punitive measures. If social practices are not beneficial to the people and never offer welfare of the society, then why should one stand for it and bear with it?
I would urge the ruling Governments of our country to enforce a nationwide restriction to all sorts of fireworks associated with religious festivals and religious places. There should be strictly monitored pre-emptive steps and safety initiatives as pre-requisites attached with any license or approval for use of fire works. Those who violates it should be brought under the law with severe punishment. If government has any reservation in taking such drastic steps, I wish if the highest Court of our country intervene.
Government should show courage to give up the huge revenue received out of this business and should stand tall against the firework lobby and rehabilitate the people who are currently involved in this business. Execution of a blanket ban of fireworks may not be the best option as the very concept “ban” is not a solution to anything in an advanced society; instead Governments should come up with permanent solutions such as “low decibel fireworks with spectacular lights on display” instead of deafening sound with irreparable damage to the ecosystem including loss of lives.
KJD © 2016