Diwali is around the corner and yet again my news feed is full of articles, events, posts by liberals for celebrating an eco-friendly Diwali. I still remember my childhood when festivals like Diwali would mean all the market full of light and colorful diyas etc. There would be stalls all-round the market for sweets, and other delicacies. For us, Diwali meant good food, a lot of sweets, new clothes, gifts and a few fireworks and a lot of diyas. Traditionally, Diwali signifies the entry of winter and we celebrate it with the warmth of light. Light signifies the importance of knowledge and getting rid of evil in and around us. Diwali is about inclusiveness and you celebrate it with everyone. See your surroundings and you will see that it is celebrated by everyone irrespective of the caste or creed with equal enthusiasm.
Some of the headlines of these articles in my news feed are, “Save animals this diwali”. “Diwali is display of materialism”, “Embrace minimalism this diwali” and what not. There are festivals where these same animals are hurt and for the information it produces much larger carbon footprint that any of the things done on diwali. People who write this would never come out of AC in office or otherwise throughout the year aren’t they harming the environment more than anything? But the same people say that burning some cracker is bad and harms the environment? Hypocrisy!! Isn’t it?
This has become a pattern round the year when you will hear don’t waste water movement during holi, don’t spread noise pollution during Navratri, telling about karwa Chauth as oppression on women, not to pollute water during Ganesh Chaturthi and Durga Pooja etc. But the same people would use buckets full of water to clean their cars, will party all night, waste innumerable things all-round the year. But guess what, people have started finding joy in this and it has become a trend which every liberal want to follow.
Do you see such an outrage on other festivals? Just think. These so called “Opinion-Givers” have mocked each and every custom in the face on environmental un-friendliness.
Now let’s look at the other side of the story. Holi is a festival of colors, Ganesh Chaturthi is to celebrate harvest and to make us realize that one day we must return to mother earth, Diwali marks the entry to winter and hence it’s the festival of light and warmth and in all of this you will never see the un-friendliness.
Though I agree that over a period people have changed the way they celebrate and some change in that is needed and it must be led by people. But bashing all the festivals will not bear any fruit. It in turn will agitate people to do certain things.
Since time immemorial Hinduism is the only religion which has adapted to time place and situation yet it has not lost the essence of what it should be. The narrative to the said changes must come from faith and should have a positive reinforcement and not a negative one which floats around in the media.
I do my part in making sure that we don’t harm the environment. Buying clay diyas rather than Chinese lights to make sure we spread the joy to other households, help social organizations who work for underprivileged in education, clothes or whatever is in my span of control and Yes I do buy crackers but in very small quantity and made in India and call everyone from surroundings and then use them so that we don’t do everything individually thus celebrating and stay frugal.
According to Indian constitution every religion has all the rights to celebrate the festival in the way they want and they should, but you should not let anyone disrespect the way of your life.
Although I agree that we must be sensible about doing everything, that will never come by shaming and bashing people, festival, and religions. That will come from inclusiveness which is the very core of all these festivals.
Don’t let anyone ridicule your way of life. People can have a difference of opinion and that’s fair, we should be all ears to it, give our logic to them and take some positives from the discussion to carry out in future.