The Supreme Court has banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1, and will take into account the impact it will have on air quality.
With the sale of crackers being banned in Delhi NCR, Twitter exploded, with an equal number of people who supported the decision and an equal number of people who said that it should have been regulated, but not banned.
Diwali usually elicits comments from celebrities, many of them pleas to people to not burst crackers, or not to add to the pollution during the festival.
But with the Supreme Court's order, the debates took a different tone altogether.
Controversy’s poster child author Chetan Bhagat tweeted that “Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate. Don’t ban. Respect traditions.”
SC bans fireworks on Diwali? A full ban? What’s Diwali for children without crackers?— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate. Don’t ban. Respect traditions.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
It is one day of the year. Our biggest festival. Uber has saved pollution more than any ban would. Come up with innovations. Not bans. https://t.co/1XfDHatBjW— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
I want to see people who fight to remove crackers for Diwali show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of blood and gore.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Making it a matter of religion rather than the environmental concern did not go down well with many. Others cheered on Bhagat calling the SC order an insult to Hindu festivals.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor replied to Chetan Bhagat telling him he was comparing practices integral to a festival with unholy add-ons.
Your examples of practices integral to those observances; banning them would be like banning lamps onDiwali. Firecrackers are unholy add-ons— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 9, 2017
Not just, Tharoor, many others too jumped into the debate, vociferously arguing for and against the ban.
Fireworks smoke = Cancerous elements + pollutants causing severe respiratory distress especially for babies, children and the elderly.— ROCKYANDMAYUR (@rockyandmayur) October 9, 2017
This decision cud have been taken in last 9 months.imagine the loss of vendors who hav invested money in buying firecrackers!!— Saakshi (@Crimson_Bud) October 9, 2017
Hi Chetan would you rather have your children suffer respiratory disorders instead? Don't force your idiotic fantasies reg Diwali to kids.— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) October 9, 2017
This is not right. SC should not get into the cultural/custom of a religion. There can be different solutions to the issue of pollution— SATISH CHANDRA (@SATISHCHANDRA66) October 9, 2017
New Delhi’s situation is already not looking too good. According to a PTI report, SAFAR, a central government agency which monitors air pollution said that the situation was poor and forecasted that it was going to deteriorate. Last year, however, Delhi was at its worst with the city blanketed in a smog, which led to low visibility and difficulty breathing for more than a week after Diwali, prompting many organisations to take emergency measures.
Meanwhile, Cricketer Yuvraj Singh put out a video on his official Twitter handle on Sunday, where he requested everyone not to burst crackers, but rather to eat sweets, give hugs, play cards, and but not to burst crackers.
Many pointed out that the idea behind banning crackers wasn't to crackdown on the festival of a particular religion, but minimising the repercussions felt by everybody, regardless of their religion. Impassioned pleas aren’t new, and Yuvraj’s isn’t the first we’ve seen. Yuvraj’s tweet elicited many snarky replies, with many asking him to stop using his car, or that he should stop flying.