[NOTE: I do not wish to generalise the whole of the nation with this entry, however what I am writing about is the prevalent idea in my immediate environment(s). I am sure there are many parts of the country where crackers are still burst with all the enjoyment and fun that they bring]
Here's a question, what tagline would you give if a travel agent asked you to sell Diwali in a brochure??? Well, I'm sure most of you would have
come up with "The festival of lights".... but is it???
Over the past 5-6 years the amount of crackers being burst has definately experienced a downturn. Reasons..??
1. Child Labour
3. Its just like 'burning money' (Guess that has been the age old excuse given by all 'Scrooges' out there who were against crackers (and the noise that they generate)
Now reasons 1 and 2 are very very serious issues indeed, there's no doubt about that...but why don't people think about child labour every time they visit the wholesale shop and buy clothes at 'wholesale rates', when they visit the mechanic shops to get their punctured tyres fixed, or even when they want to buy their beautiful carpets or awesome footballs?? I wonder.....
Or the environment when the shopkeeper hands them that plastic bag in which they take home their favourite chips packet, or when they (wantedly) forget to switch off the air-conditioner even when not in a room with they ever popular 'Shit, this is too hot' or 'OMG!! How much hotter can it get'.. yeah where is the concern about the environment, global warming or the melting of the polar ice caps???
I think the Indian psyche easily rejected crackers.. well, simply because its easy... Its easy to deny something that you don't have for most of the year and which is potentially nothing more than a waste of money. Its 'OK' with us to simply reduce diwali into just another festival with the usual sweets, people visiting each other and the poojas, but c'mon how many other festivals are celebrated in almost the same way?? I guess each family placed the burning of keeping up the spirit of diwali to the 'other person' till there was nobody left to carry on the torch.... We seem to
be destroying what might porobably be the most unique and widely celebrated indian festival with our small mindedness and pettyness...
With so much going on in the economy, why doesn't a private enterprise step in and start a cracker manufacturing company that does NOT employ underage workers? Or maybe even the government creating co-operatives that form a few months before the festivals, manufacture the crackers and then disband?? Where there is a will, there's always a way. And about the pollution part, well I hope people switch off the lights and fans before they leave the room, turn of the tap completely and always carry a spare plastic bag around when going shoppping. Maybe that way, over the course of the year they would earn enough 'green credits' that can be spent on the wonderful occasion called 'DIWALI' !!!