GST Kaala Saanp, Notebandi Anars prove firecracker traders won't forgive or forget politicians
Politics and government policies, even in the form of firecrackers, always manage to burn a hole in the public’s pocket.
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While Delhi-NCR may be celebrating a relatively quiet Diwali, thanks to the Supreme Court ordering a ban on firecracker sales in the region, neighbouring Uttar Pradesh faces no such restrictions. It certainly hasn't been a profitable festival of lights for firecracker traders in the capital, and outside Delhi-NCR it is much worse. Demonetisation and GST have hit their business hard: a 28 per cent GST on firecrackers has meant a massive drop in sales. Amid these woes, firecrackers and GST and demonetisation have found common ground. Literally.
A Hindustan Times report talks about the unique firecrackers that are in rage in Uttar Pradesh. “Notebandi Anars”, “GST Kaala Saanp”, and much more have given quite the political flavour to Diwali this year.
GST and demonetisation-themed firecrackers at a shop in Allahabad. (Sheeraz Rizvi / HT photo)
That’s not all. A number of firecrackers have also been named after politicians like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, HT reported.
Crackers with names like “Yogi Chetavani Chatai”, “Akhilesh bomb” (with the tagline “Dikh Raha Hain Dum”), and “Chamakta Sitara Anar” with a photograph of Rahul Gandhi, are available everywhere in the state (with the exception of Noida and Ghaziabad, of course).
Just like the demonetisation drive and the GST rollout, however, these specially branded firecrackers are far from cheap. “Bombs, rockets, ‘chakris’ and ‘anars’ with political themes are really alluring. I managed to convince my parents to go for one box of ‘Notebandi anars’ costing Rs 5,000. I am sure it will stand out this Diwali in my locality as each one is supposed to last for at least three minutes,” said Rahul Saxena, a student of Allahabad Degree College.
The report mentioned the exorbitant prices of these political firecrackers. The “Yogi chetavani chatai”, for example, costs an astounding Rs 22,000. Sure, it comprises 15,000 pieces of crackers, and is 80metre long, but it is a lot to pay for fireworks that just have UP chief minister’s face on it. Similarly, the “GST Kaala Saanp” costs Rs 15,000.
Politics and government policies, even in the form of firecrackers, manage to burn a hole in the public’s pocket. And if you’re not too careful, that hole just might become a literal one.