A rising cloud of dust and smoke, never ending smell of explosives and persistent sounds of those horrifying bombs — sounds like a war scene to you? Well that’s how we celebrate Diwali, nowadays.
What a wonderful way to welcome someone from an exile of 14 years, indeed.
Well, these are the scenes which describe Diwali to most of us. It is believed that, to welcome Lord Ram, the whole of Ayodhya was lit up in earthen lamps made by the sweat and hardwork of thousands of potters, hundreds of craftsmen and lakhs of florists.
The advent of commercialization and globalization has not only destroyed the true festive spirit of Indian festivals but also reduced them to business opportunities to few wealthy multinationals, Chinese and foreign companies.
We need to ask ourselves if this is the kind of celebration we want — do we even care enough to look back at the mess we create on the roads, thousands of asthmatic people we choked, elderly people we harassed and small kids and animals we tortured just for the sake of a few minutes of our personal entertainment?
We affect life and we still don’t care, our cities have become gas chambers which are breaking their own records and we still don’t seem to care.
When did we become so ignorant that our festivals have become life-depriving rather than sustaining?
Why can’t we resort to traditional means of celebrations by dancing, singing and spreading joy and happiness instead of spreading cancer and poison?
Why can’t our festivals mean spreading love and unity instead of fear and anxiety to millions of people?
It is time we act, we can no longer see our cities dying and people choking. Let’s give ourselves the basic right to breathe in fresh air, which everyone deserves. Also, realise that no one can take that away from others.
Let’s start a public revolution by not buying and bursting crackers and celebrating a eco-friendly Diwali.
I know we come across this message every Diwali but the time has never been more crucial than now, and maybe we can’t afford to wait for it to get more crucial. Maybe, this is it. Maybe this is our last chance. Maybe it’s already too late. It is time we act — let’s change this, rewire our brains, rewrite our books, and make this world a better place — because this is the only planet we have (sorry, Elon Musk)
– Priyank Agarwal