Sunday Tribune

Light, not explosions for Diwali


I WRITE in response to the misguided Hindu practice of celebratin­g Diwali with fireworks. On Saturday, the earsplitti­ng explosions went on until well past midnight.

The bedlam continued on Sunday night. These militaryty­pe explosions must have been the work of adults. What fun can there be for an adult to launch a firework into the sky that then explodes with enough power to hurt and maim pets?

I accept that it is the norm to celebrate this keystone cultural event with joyous colour and sound. I accept, too, that fireworks that dazzle with fizz and sparkle are a part of this celebratio­n. However, the notion that mind-blowing explosions are a necessary part of Diwali is wrong.

Mahatma Gandhi is widely quoted as saying one can measure the greatness of a nation and its moral progress by the way its animals are treated. If we accept this, the only conclusion we can arrive at is that we are barbarians.

I ask that our priests, pundits and religious leaders raise this issue with their congregati­ons and steer us on a more tolerant path. The words of Roni McCall have relevance in this regard: “To say nothing, to do nothing, stops nothing.”

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