I hate crackers, but hate bans and ban supporters more

Loha Singh
Loha SinghOct 11, 2017 | 16:14

I hate crackers, but hate bans and ban supporters more

The Supreme Court has famously banned the farm-stubble burning frenzy that grips Haryana and Punjab this time of the year, the primary reason for the smog that chokes Delhi. Last heard, nobody in Punjab and Haryana gives a flying froth about the order. The courts can’t enforce the ban. The cops fear farmers. The local government surrenders before them. Since the ruling’s writ runs in Delhi, this year, no firecrackers. Tyranny of proximity, eh? 

I find firecrackers abominable because of all the toxicity it leaves behind. The morning after Diwali in north Indian cities look like a post-apocalyptic battlefield, with the remains of the night strewn all over and the smog that hangs in the air for days. Yet, I dislike the Supreme Court banning sale of firecrackers just when Diwali is around the corner. Remember, only the sale is banned so the resourceful rectums will establish a black market and those who need a little bang in life will get it from outside NCR. The local traders with legit licences will burn.

But I don’t care much about the traders, they can sell their stock later. However, I detest this self-righteous and politically correct crowd of suddenly sensitive privileged posteriors expending their airport accent on TV debates about how the Supreme Court has saved their lungs right in time. 

They are fronting asthmatic elders to advance their feel-good cause. These people want to be called martyrs because they shed a drop of blood to the nick while shaving in the morning. They shamelessly use their children’s gloomy little lungs to debate-defeat Chetan Bhagat because he writes average books yet supports firecracker-ing Hindus. I saw this well-meaning lady arguing how her children suffer during Diwali because their Lutyen-wallah lungs can’t take Shalimar Bagh-quality air even for a day. 

diwali_101017053715_101117041053.jpgImage: Reuters photo

Her children are the real issue here. They, with encouragement from their parents and their ill-gotten cash, have perverted the festival by burning obscene amount of crackers during Diwali. Leading to a competition in which the neighbours’ kids have pressed their parents to buy them more and we have ended up in this mess.

These privileged kids have led middle class kids to raid their middle class parents’ middle class pockets to buy even more crackers because they are filled with this inferiority complex in school the next day. This is their doing. Their parents have to apologise on national TV instead of waxing politically correct phrases to absolve them of the guilt.

High on gasoline and occasional snorting of expensive white powder, their kids drive the big-ass SUVs branded beast on Delhi roads. These kids can afford to light crackers that pollute. The poor kids just watch the night sky lit with rainbow flowers. That is the beauty of firecrackers. The fun is universal while the rich kid only gets to light the fuse. Have you checked the firecracker price list lately? 

Yet, the rich produce children as if they are poor. Yes, the poor people have an excuse. Who will take care of them when they are old and frail? Somebody has to earn the bread to break with onion. There is no social security for the tax-paying poor. What is the rich man’s excuse? They can afford nurses and hospitals and five-star care of their choosing when their privileged back is broken by old age. They produce future consumers because they simply don’t want their GK homes to go to their less-fortunate relatives or, god forbid, some poor caretaker, whose children can take toxic fumes like it’s some heady substance.

Go and smell the open drains in Delhi’s less fortunate areas. Potent stuff, enough to peel a layer of fat from the privileged lungs that haven’t inhaled anything but fine Pine light cigarettes since Daddy hid the Davidoff blunts. 

Then there’s this breed of history buffs who keep telling us firecrackers were not used the day lord Ram returned to Ayodhya  and hence should not be used today. Well, how do you know? Because firecrackers were not invented then?

Well, aeroplanes were invented by the Wright brothers. But if Lord Ram can fly in a Pushpak Vimana, how are you sure his folks couldn’t put together noisy light things? Why is so much bullshit flying around over a petty thing that brings us joy and some pollution?

In another debate, the same people say lord Ram is a mythological character. This second argument sounds more convincing than the first. But anyway, it’s not about lord Ram’s love for Sridevi rocket. It’s about what Diwali has evolved into. 

Firecrackers are part of celebrations everywhere in the world, except here because we are burdening the planet and its resources because we produce like nobody’s business. Human species won’t be extinct if you didn’t replace yourself. Your kids have killed the fun for other kids. Keep calm and use protection.

You know what’s bad for you? Ban. Of any kind. Be it food or festivities. If you have failed to persuade your citizens to not burst hazardous crackers, you have failed in nation-building. If your citizens do not voluntarily care about their surrounding, you have failed as a community. Instead of educating them into behaving like responsible citizens, you can treat them like idiots and prohibit stuff. But remember, you haven’t solved the problem. You have just suppressed the symptoms.

It will burst open in your face, tomorrow or day after, this Diwali or next.

Last updated: October 12, 2017 | 13:39
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