In a commendable step, Diwali revelers in Noida snubbed the BJP this Diwali by not bursting firecrackers during the festival. The city experienced a less noisy Diwali as people chose to respect the Supreme Court’s ban on the sale of firecrackers fearing adverse impact on the pollution level.
While in Delhi, the cracker ban by the Supreme Court went in smoke as quiet and promising evening gave way to thick haze and noise, reported PTI.
The online indicators of the pollution monitoring stations in the city glowed red, indicating a ‘very poor’ air quality as the volume of ultra fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10, which enter the respiratory system and manage to reach the bloodstream, sharply rose from around 7 pm
However, in a departure from the past practices, local residents in Noida said that the noise level was ‘not even 1/10th’ compared to the past festivals.
Sudhanshu Dwivedi from Sector 93, an IT professional residing in one of the posh housing societies in the area, told Janta Ka Reporter that he was persuaded by his children this Diwali to not burst firecrackers.
“We had a lot of WhatsApp messages being exchanged in several of our groups vowing to not burst firecrackers for the sake of us and our children’s health. Similar messages were conveyed to our children in their schools. Although the Supreme Court had only imposed the ban on the sale of firecrackers, we decided to go a step further and mark noise-less Diwali,” Dwivedi said.
Nishka Goswami of Sector 104 in Noida said that unlike last year there was ‘not even a trace of firecracker’ in her society.
She said, “Thank God the Supreme Court intervened. I know that leaders from certain political party wanted to cash in on the apex court’s ban, but at the end of the day, the issue is about our and our children’s health. Bursting firecrackers is not part of Hindu culture. This has been a add-on.”
Aditya Rane, who recently moved to Sector 137 in Noida, said that he was alarmed to see the fog level on Delhi sky as his plane descended at Indira Gandhi International Airport.
“I was coming from Pune. As the plane began to descend in Delhi, I was alarmed to see the fog level over Delhi sky despite there being a clear weather. This was before Diwali. That was trigger moment for me. I have two children aged 7 and 3. I decided to say no to firecrackers this Diwali,” he said.
The Supreme Court had earlier this month said that its order of last November banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region will continue till 31 October. The verdict had angered BJP leaders and supporters, who announced their intention to purchase firecrackers from outside Dehi NCR and distribute among children in the national capital.
They included BJP’s Tajinder Bagga, who was recently appointed as the saffron party’s spokesperson in Delhi. Photos of Bagga distributing firecrackers had gone viral on social media platforms. His action was seen as an audacious attempt to take on the apex court.
— I.B.T.L (@IndiaBTL) October 17, 2017
Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, too had joined the debate on the ban imposed by Supreme Court saying that he will burst firecrackers on Diwali because tradition was as important as the environment.
Speaking to media in Bhopal, Chouhan had said, “Crackers alone don’t contribute to pollution. We will light earthen lamps and also burst a few crackers. Environment is important but so are traditions. We will celebrate Diwali traditionally”.
Tripura governor Tathagata Roy had taken a dig at the Supreme Court by drawing a parallel between firecrackers and Azaan. He had said, “Every Diwali, fights start over noise pollution from crackers. Crackers that are burst only a few days in a year. But no fight about azaan over loudspeakers at 4.30 AM!”
Hindus shunning firecrackers to respect the Supreme Court has come as a refreshing change in the rampant politics of hate propagated by the right-wing political parties. Not so long, Muslims too had displayed a remarkable gesture by wholeheartedly welcoming the top court’s verdict on banning the practice of triple talaq.
Thursday’s development only reinforces the notion that an overwhelmingly large population in India believed in the rule of law and would not let politicians extract electoral mileage through attempts to polarise people along the lines of their faiths.
(The earlier version of this story had wrongly said that Delhi too experienced a less noisy Diwali. We’ve now updated the report.)