Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Diwali -- Festival of lights!!
Every year this great festival is celebrated with pomp and fervor all over India. Thousands of tonnes of fireworks are burnt during the Diwali season. But is this what Diwali is actually about?
So much money literally goes up in smoke during Diwali. I am sure this money could be spent for some nobler cause. Maybe it could be given to charity or to an orphanage. Imagine a child's face light up when he receives gifts. I am sure that light would be brighter than the light from the most powerful fireworks!
Besides these fireworks cause large scale air and noise pollution. Most fireworks contain harmful heavy metals like lead and cadmium. I don't think I have to elaborate on the noise part. Each household thinks their Diwali has to be noisier than their neighbour's. Noise, beside being an irritant, is also a health hazard. Also give a thought to the poor children who are forced to work in dangerous conditions to make these fireworks. We encourage such atrocities by our indiscriminate use of fireworks. The accidents caused during Diwali festivities have put out the lights of many families forever. These are just a few reasons why I feel we ought to rethink the way we celebrate Diwali.
I am not against celebrations and traditions. Of course it is the time to celebrate. Maybe we could have community firework sessions so that all people will enjoy the same display. Or we could revert to the old tradition of lighting lamps. Fireworks was never an Indian tradition. Fireworks were invented by the Chinese who I am sure have no idea about Diwali.
In Goa too, we have this weird tradition of bursting crackers on various occasions. We burn crackers during feasts, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries etc etc. It is supposedly to inform the community of the occasion. I am firmly against this practice and have convinced my parents to put an end to it at least when we are celebrating the occasion.
So my dear readers it is time for a change. A change for the better. So here is wishing all my readers a very Happy Diwali!!!