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Beware the Ominous Cracker

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By S Paul

After all the smoke and noise pollution of the tourists and grueling summer time weather, we enjoyed a respite with the Divine being merciful to send us cloud based showers to clean our atmosphere. We had those few months of washed and clean ambience with greens looking greener, the air feeling fresh and breathable and the heaven looking really enticing with its azure blue. Being especially here in Dehradun one was nostalgic of those good old clean valley days.

The Lord God sent the monsoon clouds away with its farewell shower at the first night of Navaratri. The very next day of this cleansing nine days of fasting and pooja were shattered by the polluting Chinese invention of crackers. Thus portending the season of marriages and festivals during which this menace would descend upon most of our nation with ‘vengeance’ reverting us to struggle for breath, with sneezes and sleepless nights. The most vulnerable being the babies, the aged and animals-birds.

Are those who are knowledgeable and think socially, not yet convinced that using such a means of celebration, especially our religious festivals, is not traditional but an obsession and addictive? By no definition this can be called ‘progressive’ or ‘signs of advancement’. Rather it is indicative of our still pursuing the evil and destructive habits introduced in our culture by alien cultures that reigned over us in the recent past. We now know that right from the stage of manufacturing to its use, the crackers cause more destruction, fatalities and health hazard than those moments of auditory and visual pleasure of the cruel in our society. I feel that the use of crackers to celebrate has become as addictive as drugs. Such addictions are subverting the most precious commodity of our present nation that is our youth. Should we, the conscientious ones, the environmentalists and also those who govern us, not get over our apathy and concertedly rout out this menace from our nation and culture? Surely those who are earning from this poison can be made to take up other more lucrative and progressive vocations.

Use of ‘crackers’ has already been classified as a severe pollutant vides The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, as amended to date and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.