Friday, 16 October 2009

Diwali pollution? Hogwash!

Swami Gulagulaananda said:

"Those who truly want to do service will talk less and do more... And then there are the hypocrites"

Ever wondered where you can use the words hogwash, bunkum, balderdash and fiddle-faddle interchangeably? It is in the response to the statement - "I don't burst crackers during Diwali because of the pollution it results in"

This is a very interesting sentence. It may seem to be very nice to see people actually being concerned about the environment. But what interests me even more than this is the fact that their concern lasts not more than the three days of Diwali. Most people who make these statements are those who drive cars, hardly use public transports, don't carry their own bags and ask for polythene bags, don't reuse polythene bags, throw garbage around and litter all over the place... Basically, do nothing to conform with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle idealogy (what Captain Planet tried to popularise)

I am not saying all of them do all of these... But my point is that the amount of damage that we are doing to the environment for the rest of the year far supercedes (by several hundred times) what we do in these three days. Truly environment conscious people are those who are green throughout the year, who do more than preaching (or listening to what others say blindly) Interestingly, fire crackers are a rage during matches where India wins. Many people don't switch off lights and fans, keep vehicles idle, leave water running... The list goes on and on. Though it may appear to be small for you, just imagine what will happen when this gets multiplied by the number of people in the world!

Then there are others who argue saying that Diwali Crackers are made by children, and therefore amounts to child labour. I am very much in agreement with that sentence. But the point is that these children are those who are working there because they don't have a choice... Because they are poor and cannot do anything else. If you take away the one thing that is getting them some money to feed them, or sustain their family (or rarely, get them to school) So, though it seems unfair, it is a means of income for them (unfortunately)

I am not saying, don't burst crackers, nor am I asking you to burst them. These are just some things that we should think about before we make blatant statements, especially the one about pollution, while we wreak havoc for the rest of the year. I hope everyone enjoys this festival, and hope that the festival brightens up all your lives :-)

Click on the image below to see Artistick's take on it.