By Rahman Abbas
On Monday, October 9, the Supreme Court restored the ban on the sale of firecrackers till November 1. While delivering the verdict, the court stated that it wants to test the effect of the ban on firecrackers on air quality after Diwali in Delhi-NCR region. However, the traders of Delhi had approached the court to seek modification on the verdict and asked to allow them to sell the existing cracker stocks or else they would suffer huge losses.
The Supreme Court had not banned firecrackers across the nation and its verdict was limited to the NCR. The SC delivered this ruling while responding to a petition filed by three children regarding post-Diwali pollution. The court had maintained while delivering the verdict that those who possess firecrackers can still burst them on October 19 when the country celebrates the festival of lights, as reported by the NDTV.
Meanwhile, Chetan Bhagat, an author of dubious and low quality romances with experience of good sales, not only tried to communalize the ruling of the Supreme Court but also tried to teach the court how to behave in the public domain. He said that banning crackers on Diwali was like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate, don’t ban. Respect tradition. He adds that the SC shows guts to do this to Hindu festivals. Would this verdict be followed up with similar verdicts by banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed?
The people of India know very well that Chetan Bhagat has been trying since long to draw the attention of the saffron leadership and the right wing government, which had gained power by using every possible method and agenda to divide the people of this country in the name of religion. The parivar of Hindutva and the parivar of hate mongers have hounded celebrated authors and reformists and their manufactured hate has resulted in the killing of those authors, reformists, and journalists, who criticized the divisive policies of RSS and BJP. The right wing organizations have been accused by the police and agencies.
In this atmosphere of manufactured hate, it is a pity to witness an author, who claims to read and write literature, supporting the divisive agenda knowingly or unknowingly by communalizing the ruling of the SC without understanding the rationale behind the ruling. The fact is that the apex court has not banned the firecrackers but the sale of the same with the intention to test the hazardous effects of crackers on the pollution in Delhi-NCR. It seems that the author is not aware of the tradition of Diwali which he compares with the traditions of Christians and Muslims, or that he doesn’t understand either of them. Diwali, a festival of lights, has continued since centuries and someone needs to inform Bhagat exactly how many years ago firecrackers came into existence. Firecrackers are an additional part of the festival of lights, and not indispensable part or a pillar of the festival. Nor is Diwali celebrated for firecrackers.
Moreover, the verdict of the Supreme Court hasn’t banned firecrackers anywhere else in the country. Hence, it is an idiocy to misrepresent the facts in order to provoke others to challenge the verdict of the court or ask the court to show guts by banning the festivals or traditions of other faiths.
This ignorance is neither the first such instance from Bhagat nor his first attempt to be a champion of the parivar of hate mongers by communalizing the society. In fact, it is a part of the chain of his idiocies through which he has continued gaining spotlight in the news. It’s also a pity that the more foolish his statements become or the more damage he inflicts upon the Indian society, the more space he devours in our media.
Rahman Abbas is an Academy Award winning novelist. He has authored seven books, including four novels. His latest novel is Rohzin.
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