Prevent malpractices during Diwali

Note : Hindu Janajagruti Samiti is against use of firecrackers throughout the year. We feel that crackers should not be burst not only in Diwali, but also at the time of Christmas, other festivals or on the occasions like marriage, winning cricket matches etc. Now-a-days there is lot of talk going on about #crackerban by Supreme Court, but this ban imposed by SC is just for Diwali. We pray to Hon. SC to ban firecrackers throughout the year and we also want them to ban slaughter of animals on festivals like Bakr-Id which also cause lot of water and soil pollution. We feel that Hon. Courts should also direct police to act against illegal use of loudspeakers on mosques resulting in noise pollution. 

An Exemplary act – Devout Hindu shopkeepers from Sangli, Maharashtra are not lighting firecrackers for the last 10 years

Festival of Diwali is joyous because everyone looks forward to its celebrations. During Diwali, we meet our family, relatives, cousins, friends, etc. and exchange best wishes, tasty food items, clothes, etc. This festival is very important because we get an opportunity to worship Yamarāj (Deity of Death) and pray to Him to prevent untimely death. We also get the opportunity to worship Deity Dhanwantari, Who keeps us healthy. Everyone eagerly awaits worshipping Goddess Lakshmī(Deity of Wealth) and Deity Kuber (Treasurer of wealth).

Unfortunately, due to lack of understanding about the spiritually adverse effects, many people indulge in acts which are incorrect and harmful. Let us see some of the examples of such acts –

1. Mal effects of firecrackers during Diwali

Denigration of deities by firecrackers

During Diwali we perform worship of Sree Lakshmi on the day of Lakshmi-Poojan. At the same time crackers like the Lakshmi-bar, Krushna-bar, Vishnu-bar are burst. When these crackers are burst, pictures of deities are also torn to pieces. This is a rank denigration of our most revered deities.

Impose ban on destructive crackers !

Diwali is, in fact, a festival of lights ! The darkness of new moon day during Diwali is not dispelled by bursting of crackers that create noise pollution; moreover, it feels as if fire-flies were flying followed with more darkness. Bursting of crackers which break our ear-drums, cause more distress to heart-patients, scare children and cause severe not only noise but also air pollution, are not restricted to only Diwali celebrations but have become inseparable part of every celebration like a marriage procession, winning of cricket match and religious or political rallies.  Why are we bent upon digging our own graves?

1 A. Ill effects of crackers burst during Diwali

1 A 1. Accidents occurring due to crackers

1. In a survey conducted in Delhi in the year 1997, it was observed that crackers had caused death of 383 persons in the city and 442 had met with some injuries.

2. Fire caused due to crackers had taken life of 44 people at Sonpath, Haryana in the year 1999.

3. A market was reduced to ashes at Jalgaon in Maharashtra when crackers caught fire in the year 1999 causing loss of millions of rupees.

4. A type of cracker called ‘rocket’ can cause accident if by chance, it enters house.

1 A 2. From the physical viewpoint

1. Fire breaks due to crackers causing accidents; but there are more severe ill effects of deafening crackers.

2. Deafening crackers can cause cracks in old buildings, loosening plaster of the wall. Electric bulbs can explode or fall.

1 A 3. From the health viewpoint

More than 60% patients due to bursting of crackers are children below 12 yrs of age.

1 A 3 A. Adverse effects on health due to noise pollution

1. Noise of crackers affects new-born babies and patients

2. It is possible to develop deafness. Ears become numb. The cells in hearing machinery, if become dead, cannot be regenerated.

3. Ailments like headache, blood pressure, heart diseases are aggravated due to noise pollution caused by crackers.

4. Ailments related to lungs and respiratory track are aggravated due to crackers’ noise.

5. Pregnant women are also  adversely affected by noise pollution.

1 A 3 B. Adverse effects on health due to air pollution !

1. Lot of poisonous gas emanates from crackers on bursting which affects asthma patients

2. Poisonous gas spread in the atmosphere can , in fact, cause harm to everyone.

1 A 4.  From the environmental viewpoint

Bursting crackers not only results in wastage of money but it also unnecessarily creates things like lot of trash, dust and smoke which are harmful for everyone.

1 A 5. From financial viewpoint

1. It is wrong to spread smoke of crackers costing millions of rupees, in the atmosphere : Crackers worth Rs. 12 crores are burst only in the State of Maharashtra and this is a figure taken from the date of 1999. The present turnover of crackers has gone up to more than Rs. 100 crores and must have crossed thousands of crores in whole of the country. Is it right to spread smoke of millions of rupees in the atmosphere for celebrating Diwali festival?

2. Bursting of crackers in Diwali is like inviting bankruptcy : True Diwali celebration is of those who sell  crackers because cracker costing Rs. 5/- is sold for Rs.20/-. Even then, there are many who buy crackers worth 5-10 thousands of rupees. So the true festival is for them; but for others, it is going through hell with side effects of Diwali that also makes them bankrupt.

1 A 6. From psychological viewpoint !

Perversion created among small children due to crackers : Today’s children enjoy frightening a beggar by bursting ‘atom bomb’ near him to scare him rather than giving him some food. This is a mental perversion created by crackers.
In view of all the adverse effects as stated above, it is better that crackers are not burst !

1 A 7. At the spiritual level

Devotional songs, Artis or sattvik sounds attract Divine energies and Deities, whereas crackers and tamasik modern music attract demoniacal energies. The tama component in the demoniacal energies affects human beings and they also become tama predominant. Inspire your children and others to celebrate Diwali according to the underlying science. In this manner you can contribute to maintaining the sanctity of such occasions !

1 B. Measures to be taken to prevent adverse effects of crackers !

Can we not prevent such damage caused due to bursting of crackers? If one has control over his attraction towards crackers, it is easily possible. Do the following for the same –

1. Make children take oath in schools that they would not burst crackers. Students from few schools in Mumbai had taken such oath before start of Diwali vacation that they would not burst crackers during Diwali.

2. Parents! Tell your children that child labour is used in manufacturing of crackers and explain to them why crackers should not be burst !: In the city of crackers in India, i.e. in Shivkashi in the State of Tamil Nadu, child labour is mainly employed in manufacture of crackers. The continuous hard work in factories and pollution due to poisonous gas affects these children’s life very badly hampering their growth. Considering the above, parents should motivate their children for boycotting crackers in Diwali.

3.  Take following care while bursting crackers ! : In a verdict passed by the Supreme Court in the year 2005 in a case related to ban on noise, bursting of crackers between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m. was to be considered as an offence. Also bursting of crackers has been banned at places like hospitals run by Government, semi-Government, private, charitable institutions and places where people will be put to distress.

4.  Use this money for welfare of the Nation ! : Noise of gun-fire and real bombs is necessary on the border of the country. Instead of creating noise pollution here, if such money is diverted to Defence Department, that will definitely be put to good use.

5. Government should take following steps to prevent adverse effects of crackers

1. Stringent legal action should be taken against those who burst crackers near buildings or in residential colonies.

2. There should be complete ban on crackers for prevention of noise and air pollution.

3. Manufacturing of crackers should be immediately declared as an offence.

4. This is the job of the Government and the elected representatives.

1 C. Those who burst firecrackers are Anti-Social !

1. Physical: Burns, deafness. Many people die in explosions in factories manufacturing fire-crackers. Sometimes, rocket-crackers set fire to huts, heap of dry grass etc.

2. Economic: Terrorists in Pakistan collect funds from people in the name of ‘Jihad’ (Religious War), saying they will purchase bullets to kill ‘Kafirs’ (non-believers). The cost of each bullet is Rs.10/-. With the situation so grim and also because the nation is on the brink of insolvency, it is a sin to burn crores of Rupees on bursting fire-crackers every year.

3. Spiritual: Devotional songs (Aarti) or sattvic sounds attract Divine energies and deities. But noise from crackers, full of ‘tama’ component, attract negative energies. This is what we are witnessing today in the country. The Tama-charged environment affects the human mind adversely and man becomes Tama-oriented. Hence we must impress the ill-effects of crackers upon the young minds and stop them from bursting crackers.

1 D. Perversions which have made ways in Hindu festivals

1. Growing nuisance value in Hindu festivals

Once upon a time, public celebration of Ganesha festival used to be a matter of pride for all Maharashtrian community; but now, it has become a matter of shame as there has been a pitiable devaluation in celebration of the festival. As it is, those playing ‘garba’ on the nine nights of Navaratri, play it till late night paying total disregard to the Court’s verdicts and laws passed in this connection creating nuisance for others. Besides, the deafening sound of crackers burst in every nook and corner has made Diwali into a scary period of the year.

2. Diwali festival becoming annoyance, is a perversion created by the rich with their black money !

The ‘rich’ among the society feel they are the world due to loads of black money they have and the middle class population has completely bowed before them. It has, therefore, become a practice to celebrate festivals in such manner as it will cause distress to maximum number of people. There is competition between those who have illegal wealth to celebrate Diwali in a manner that will stand out among others. Naturally, the celebration of Diwai is becoming more and more painful.

1 E. Commendable policy adopted by other nations with respect to crackers !

1. America : In a developed country like USA, there is a ban on crackers that make noise. Only sparkling noiseless crackers are allowed to be burst but for that also, permission is required to be taken. If crackers are to be burst on a special occasion, special permission is required. Permission is granted only after ensuring that crackers would be burst at a place away from residential area and would not pose any kind of danger to anyone. It is also seen whether fire-brigade’s service is available at such place. Do we take such safety measures?
2. Only major citizens are allowed to purchase crackers in countries like New Zealand, Italy, France, Belgium etc. It is necessary that in India too, such law is passed.

Efforts of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti is actively engaged in the mission of assistance to society, protection of the nation and awakening of Righteousness (Dharma). The Samiti is an all-embracing organization and includes in its fold all the pro-religion organizations and citizens. The Samiti spearheads the movement against the humiliations of Hindus’ religious feelings being done through ridicule of our deities.

Appeal

We earnestly appeal to all the Hindu brothers that they should not encourage such insult being heaped on us through the ridicule of our deities and national heroes by printing their pictures on the crackers. It is our earnest appeal to all the Hindus that they should not purchase such crackers and should also prevent the shopkeepers from selling such crackers! You action will go a long way in encouraging all the Hindus to observe and protect Righteousness (Dharma).

2. Use of incorrect type of music and songs

1. Diwali is a spiritual festival, in which one has the opportunity to remember God. However, playing Bollywood music, songs and dancing to such music increases the Raja-Tama components in the atmosphere. The negative energies are attracted towards raja-tama, through which they cause problems in our lives. The music, songs, dance should be sāttvik so that it helps everyone to get anubhūtis (spiritual experiences) of Deities Whose worship is to be done.

2. Any spiritual festival, which is devoid of bhāv(spiritual emotion) and bhakti (devotion), prevents us from obtaining the spiritual benefits. God comes to only such events where there is bhaav and bhakti.

3. Emphasis is given to wearing expensive clothes, jewelry, etc.

1. These days, spiritual festivals are becoming an event to display our expensive clothes, jewelry, etc. In Spirituality, external appearance has no significance; it is our bhaav and bhakti which has real meaning.
2. When we are conscious about our clothing, jewelry, etc. then our focus on the God is less. As a result, we may not be able to obtain the spiritual benefits of the festival.

4. Unnecessary chatting and joking during the festival

1. Generally, when people go to someone’s home or at public celebrations of such festivals, they spend their time in unnecessarily chatting and joking with each other. They talk about work, movies, shopping, etc. Instead, if one talks about God, spiritual practice, etc. then one will be able to derive spiritual benefits from celebrating festivals.
2. Some people go to such festivals to socialize, have fun, eat good food, etc. It is not that one should not talk to others or not enjoy the festival; but if we are conscious about obtaining the spiritual benefits, then our spiritual practice will occur through such events.

Conclusion

According to Hindu Dharma, spiritual festivals increase the sattvikta in us as well as in the society. Unfortunately, these days, Diwali is celebrated either for namesake or without any efforts made to gain spiritual benefit from the same. As a result, Diwali has turned into a festival of pollution of smoke and noise of fire crackers, exchange of expensive gifts, new clothes, variety of foods, etc. During Diwali, many people get injured due to the fire crackers. Bursting of fire crackers with Deity’s pictures on them leads to denigration and sin. This festival has lost its true spirit depriving Hindus from getting the full benefit of the Divine Consciousness (Chaitanya) that is integral to all our festivals and celebrations.

On the occasion of Diwali, let us make a firm resolve to celebrate this festival in a spiritually correct way and derive maximum spiritual benefits.