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Hindu gods, not pollution, has activists in MP calling for a ban on firecrackers

Members of the right-wing Sanskriti Bachao Manch are opposing the sale and bursting of firecrackers which have images of Hindu gods printed on them, claiming it is demeaning and hurts sentiments.

bhopal Updated: Oct 16, 2017 07:08 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Diwali,MP,Ban on firecrackers
Customer buy firecrackers ahead of Diwali in New Delhi in October 2016. (Raj K Raj/HT File Photo)

They are hurt when the gods and goddesses goes up in flames or blown to smithereens, and so they have pledged not to light any firecracker this Diwali.

Their concern is not the environment or air pollution that millions of firecrackers lit during the festival of lights create, but images of Hindu gods and goddesses printed on the fireworks.

“Laxmi bomb, Kanha fuljadi, Ganesh anar or chakri … People burst these firecrackers on roads and sweep the debris next day. These firecrackers demean and insult our gods and goddesses,” said Chandra Shekhar Tiwari of the Sanskriti Bachao Manch in Madhya Pradesh.

According to the group, Hindu sentiments are hurt when people light fireworks with images of gods and these tear into pieces. It is opposing the sale of such firecrackers.

Read more: RSS leader wants balanced debate on firecrackers, says not all spread pollution

Hindu hardliners are trying to give a communal colour, saying the images were deliberately printed in a conspiracy against the festival.

“The factory owner and workers are from another religion. They want to make fun of us when we burst photos of goddess Laxmi, who we worship on Diwali. We are requesting people not to buy such firecrackers,” right-wing activist Anup Chaubey said.

Read more: Diwali cracker ban: SC refuses to modify ruling,‘anguished over communal angle’

The activists plan to hold protests and dunk any offending fireworks in water after removing the image.

The group said 6,500 people have joined the campaign so far.

Shops selling firecrackers claimed to have cleared out any such stocks.

“The firecrackers come from Ganj-Basoda in MP and Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu. We are not receiving any with photos of gods and goddesses … nobody can raise any question against us,” said Daulatram, general secretary of Bhopal Firecrackers Association.

First Published: Oct 16, 2017 07:08 IST