Pledge for a safe Diwali
Here we are, again celebrating the occasion of another Diwali, the festival of lights. But in India, we celebrate it, not only as the festival of lights but also as the festival of colours, sounds, fragrances, textures and cuisines. We can almost call it a festival of the celebration of five senses.
Diwali has a different flavour to it depending on which part of India you hail from. In the east, we have the Kali puja hailing the Goddesses’ triumph over evil, while in the west it is Lord Vishnu’s blessings to earth. In the northern India Lord Ram is worshipped while South India celebrates Lord Krishna. But no matter which God you revere, the victory of the Just is a recurring theme.
Interestingly in India, not only Hindus but Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists also celebrate Diwali. Actually, if we include the Non-Resident Indians living in the far corners of the earth, Diwali is probably the biggest worldwide celebration of the essence of being an Indian.
Diwali is immediately followed by Bhai Dooj or Bhai Phota, which gave us kids the feeling of an unending round of ceaseless celebration without any books, timetables or exams.
But like the quintessential patch of darkness under the lighted diya, our festivities often provoke indulgences that can have serious consequences. Growing up, not only diyas but fire crackers and loud microphones blaring nonstop music was a part of the celebrations. No one paid any attention to the copious amount of sulphur and other pollutants inhaled by the kids, adults and animals alike.
We ignored the sometimes serious accidents that happened when we mixed kids and open fire together. Nor were we very considerate of the damage done by the noise made by mics or fire cracker or chocolate bombs. Focused on pleasure, one simply never spared a thought for the old, the sick or anyone else who might find the levels of sound too much to handle.
Nowadays, the government has fixed the sound decibels of the ‘noise’ our pleasure might create. We are conscious of the harmful effects of adding, even more, pollutants to an already volatile atmosphere. When a kid is lighting a cracker, we must always remember that it takes only second for everything to go wrong and no pleasure is worth permanently damaging oneself.
Let’s be responsible so that, we don’t end up behind a steering wheel with intoxication clouding our vision, so that, the child playing in your park have an unpolluted future to look forward to and the old man who is your neighbour can get a good nights sleep. Let’s us enjoy but let’s do it responsibly. Festivals should be the thread to unite all gleefully and peacefully.
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