‘Why just crackers? Ban Muharram bloodshed too’: Chetan Bhagat triggers debate on Twitter
Shashi Tharoor has also reacted.delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2017 10:59 IST
The Supreme Court’s order banning sale of fire crackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1 prompted a flurry of mixed reactions on social media on Monday. While many lauded the apex court’s efforts to save the city from being engulfed in toxic haze like last year, several saw the order as a dampener on Diwali celebrations.
Among the many miffed, was author and columnist Chetan Bhagat who took to Twitter to raise questions that resonated with a large number of people.
Bhagat, an active Twitter user, started a thread by asking the SC (and Twitter) what Diwali was for children without crackers. He was slammed by several users who tweeted saying Diwali was supposed to be a festival of lights, not pollution, a festival where children could breathe properly.
It's a festival of lights. Not noise or air pollution. You're supposedly an IITian. Do you know what causes pollution? Burning crackers. ??????— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) October 9, 2017
"What’s Diwali for children without crackers?"— Harpreet Singh (@Harry_Jerry) October 9, 2017
A Diwali when they can breathe.
Bhagat, however, had an answer ready for every question thrown at him. The 43-year-old said the need of the hour was to innovate. He said car aggregators, such as Uber, and unchecked vehicle polluters caused more pollution on a daily basis. Twitter user @Crimson_Bud rued the delay in the ban and said it should have been put in place months ago to save vendors from unemployment.
This decision cud have been taken in last 9 months.imagine the loss of vendors who hav invested money in buying firecrackers!!— Saakshi (@Crimson_Bud) October 9, 2017
Bhagat then went on to draw a parallel between the firecracker ban and banning trees on Christmas or goats on Bakr-Eid. The screenwriter said he wanted to see people who support the ban to show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of ‘blood and gore’.
Politician Shashi Tharoor also reacted to Bhagat’s tirade:
Your examples of practices integral to those observances; banning them would be like banning lamps onDiwali. Firecrackers are unholy add-ons— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 9, 2017
To which Bhagat asked who “decided what makes a part of a celebration, done for generations, suddenly unholy? And the courts should ban it?”
Here is a chronological list of Bhagat’s tweets
SC bans fireworks on Diwali? A full ban? What’s Diwali for children without crackers?— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate. Don’t ban. Respect traditions.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
It is one day of the year. Our biggest festival. Uber has saved pollution more than any ban would. Come up with innovations. Not bans. https://t.co/1XfDHatBjW— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
I want to see people who fight to remove crackers for Diwali show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of blood and gore.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
If you care turn off electricity in your house for a week and don’t use cars. On what basis are you imposing a ban on someone’s traditions?— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Diwali is 1 day, 0.27% of year. pollution comes from 99.6% days of poor planning and regulation. Fix that. Not make 1 religion feel guilty.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Bhagat ended his thread by tweeting that many people who describe themselves as ‘open minded, liberal and tolerant’ were ‘ganging up like a mob and abusing the hell out of me today.’
I have a right to have my opinions. If all you can do is give hate, threats and personal attacks in response, reflects more on u.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
The festival of light falls on October 19 this year.
There is no prohibition on lighting celebratory firecrackers or their sale outside the National Capital Region except 23 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and Rajasthan, and 14 districts in Gurgaon.