Friday, 16 December 2011

Curbing crackers

by Vidya Jonnalagadda

We adults are it again – bulling the children, that is. During my recent visit to Mumbai, my young sisters-in-law, Smita and Gauri, both educationists, told me how effective the noise-pollution-free Diwali campaign was. They happily noted that there were much fewer firework booms and bangs in Mumbai this Diwali. Though, of course, global recession may have helped too.

I feel it is a shame that we bully our children to give up the 5-6 days they spend a year anticipating the dhadaams and wheees of crackers and rockets. I mean, how many Lakshmi bombs and ladees does each of us actually set off during our lifetime anyway? Why take away those few hours of joy from our children and teenagers? And say nothing when tons of fireworks are set off at gala events like T20 matches, Formula One Races, Inauguration Ceremonies for National and International Sporting Competitions, and swanky New Year Eve parties?

We adults are showing our double standards again: “Thou shall not create smoke and noise … unless you are the BCCI or their ilk!” It is fine for wealthy conglomerates to mark their mega events with mega bangs, but our little kids are made to feel the guilt for polluting the atmosphere if they set off a few dozen tiny crackers for a few days each year! So, are you interested to see how many people petition to exclude fireworks from London 2012 Olympics?


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  2. At least from a noise pollution perspective, it is not how much we would burst over a lifetime that's the issue as it is with concentration of noise. A loss of hearing ability is a loss forever and it doesn't matter if the child burst only one atom bomb in his entire life. Even if we were take it for granted that it only happens one evening, it is increasingly not working that way. Crackers are burst a few days before Diwali and a few days afterwards. And, in India we don't have any dearth of auspicious days to get our crackers out. And the Diwali purchase also provides for storing the crackers away and bursting them at a wedding as far away as January.

    Not saying that BCCI crackers aren't a nuisance. There are a lot of things illogical about IPL and the cricket frenzy, and fireworks is certainly one of them.

  3. You would expect people opposing crackers as a source of noise to campaign vigorously against loudspeakers at religious and social events too, right? But how many citizens' groups have you seen going from school to school or on TV channels urging people to mind their decibels at cinema halls and concerts?