Deepavali is popularly known as the “festival of lights“, the most significant spiritual meaning is “the awareness of the inner light”. The celebration of Deepavali as the “victory of good over evil”, refers to the light of higher knowledge dispelling all ignorance, the ignorance that masks one’s true nature, not as the body, but as the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality. Symbolically we all are taught to celebrate Diwali by lighting up small clay lamps filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil.
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमया।
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः॥
Aum śānti śānti śāntiḥ
(Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28)
From ignorance, lead me to truth;
From darkness, lead me to light;
From death, lead me to immortality
Aum peace, peace, peace
However, the actual practice has taken a new turn altogether in recent times. We have lost the complete consciousness about the festival. For us it is all about enjoying the holidays by consuming highly calorific sweets, burning crackers, smoking highly toxic air, scaring all those dumb animals/birds with the noise pollution and much more. Have you ever thought about how badly we are messing with the ecosystem in the name of a festival? For the momentary happiness spread over a couple of days, we are abusing the earth and its atmosphere. Not sure if we are heading into an irreversible situation from where we can never recover!
It may be tough for many of you who have kids at home to stay away from fireworks. But certainly not impossible once you show them these pics. These pics are seen on International Labour Organisation website. These kids were at work in Sivakasi where more than 80% of overall firecrackers are manufactured in India.
Photos © International Labour Organization[ILO] / Browne D
Is it fair to enjoy by bursting crackers during Diwali at the cost of child labour through out the year? I am not complaining that all companies follow such practices, but again, still we are responsible how minute ever may be the involvement. I am sorry to say this – if you say yes for firecrackers, you are indirectly supporting child labour too! Think again.
I agree with that , whenever putting the water mark at the center kills the essence of the picture . It will be nice if you can move them to a side .
Fire Crackers create lot of pollution. If Ram was here he would have been very angry at people messing up the clean environment which was there during his time.
With my new job i could not follow your blog for some days.
When i read first few comments assumed every one realized and are aware of ill effects of this crackers. Then i read some other comments where they represented the reality which happened on divalli day. Yes they were the people who made me sit inside home for whole day closing all my doors and windows. Mohan some time i feel it will be better if this world faces an end in 2012 and some new world starts.
Ah.. nice to have you back here. All the best on your new job.
md muddassir shah says
How very true.
We have indeed lost the true meaning of Deepavali.
Lets make a new beginning and start celebrating deepavali the way it is to be celebrated – Festival of lights, enlightment and spreading of the light, life and love.
Absolutely, that is the right way of celebrating.
I totally agree with you Muddasir…
Avoid Crackers to Avoid Air Pollution
Avoid Crackers to Avoid Noise Pollution
Avoid Crackers to Avoid Global Warming
Avoid Crackers to avoid Water Pollution
Avoid Crackers to Avoid Child Labour
So much of talk has been going around about the child laborers in Shivakashi while the govt. is still not doing much. You have done a wonderful blog (nothing new about that though). We haven’t bought crackers for past 5 years or so but that is not enough. We need to create more awareness
Way to go… thanks Farida!
deep pandey says
I agree to your views. Years ago Dipawali was a day of celebration for me but now due to increasing air and noise pollution it has become a day of lamentation.I think time has come when the Government should impose a total ban on all types of fire crackers
Let us all travel back into past at least on this aspect!
Shrinidhi Hande says
More than the post, I thank you for digging out those photos.. they speak 1000 words.
Glad it was more effective that way.
Yes Mohan!! From Onwards after reading your article, I will also not purchase crackers at all. wish you good luck.
Thanks for supporting! Good to have you here 🙂
yes agree with the concept that child labour must not be used in any form of industry. However, whilst we highlight negative sides of human exploitations, wonder what will happen to these kids if they did not work..probably be begging on streets or be another victim of human trafficking? any thoughts any body?
I do agree with you to some extent, but human nature is a bit adaptive to surroundings. If it is not firecracker industry, there will be much lesser evil which they resort to. The ultimate solution has to come from law enforcement.
Lakshmi Rajan says
For some years now I have switched to lighting lamps though frankly it was never a green conscious decision but may be evolution of mind. Now this year, though we did not celebrate Deepavali due to my dad’s demise but with my 8 month old baby this year near me to witness the noise in the air I have decided to say NO to future noisy crackers having understood how babies would react to the sound and also how birds and animals would too….
Absolutely LR, atleast we can went out our frustration this way. But how do the animals/birds and babies express their anguish? Way to go.
dude … come on … I think trying to ruin a festival is insane …
Is there an end to this “green” disease … ?? How come one day of curbing awesome fun going to save the planet while we drive cars every day of the year … shop at the local super market and trash shit-loads of plastic each day … Most of us are thinking of a great service we are doing to the planet just by liking the facebook page “Green Planet” !!!
When government declares a policy to control all these things first, i will listen to the idle politicians about making my festivals green … If we want to really make the planet green, lets push the policy first because big business is having it’s way … while the poor middle class me is making silly sacrifices that amount to nothing !!!
It has to start somewhere… think about it for yourself. it is not a ‘green’ disease, but consciousness for a better living in the years and generations to come. Everything has to start from within. There wouldn’t be a govt without our vote.. No? It all has to start from each of us!
Jayanth Tadinada says
True, it has to start somewhere but as a person who understands math, I don’t see how the small change is going to integrate into something substantial.
For example, even I live in a very green way the economy of scale dictates that I’ll always be an outlier unless there is a substantial change in the system. So, if we take away the emotion of being a part of something that changes the world, living in a green way is just like a catholic abstinence pledge – i.e going against human nature!
Wish I had put the ‘Calvin Hobbes’ poster that talks about little progress everyday yields big results someday!
Ashwathy Nair says
Very informative post. Thank you for sharing!
0Pleasure is mine! Glad you liked it 🙂
I say NO to crackers!!!! for multiple reasons and this ones added looking at the Pics…
glad I found a companion here! way to go Shruti, hope you had a great deepavali.
The spirit of diwali has been left behind in the crass commercialisation which has overtaken tradition.Pollution-noise,chemical has spoiled the air. Dogs and animals have borne the brunt. Child labour has received a boost by people who have burned cash by buying crackers.
I hope next year things change
Change in the way we think is more important. We will have a solution for everything.
Uma Nayak says
Hi Mohan,that was a very educative post.Let us truly make Diwali a festival of LIGHTS…a sincere change from within…bus thodisi roshni ki zaroorat hai
Absolutely! glad you liked it Uma 🙂
Pratibha Singh says
Very thought provoking post and the great message of prohibiting use of crackers through the picture .The only way to discourage kids from bursting crackers is by showing such pictures. thanks for sharing this.
Well, I am not looking at prohibiting completely. It will have adverse effect on so many families. I wish the usages gets lesser as the years pass by and that makes the families depending on those fireworks manufacturing get to move to other fields of work. Nothing can be implemented overnight.. it has to be a slow and sustainable process!
That was a heartfelt plea. I know of one kid who voluntarily gave up firecrackers at the age of 7. Do read about it in my post Designer Diwali.
Sure, I will read your post. Thanks for your comment zephyr.
well written..the other side of burning crackers in diwali celebration…child labour is not only involved in making crackers,it is seen in many places and in diff.work suituations.Government shd take an tough action for these tortures of child labour and to the betterment of their lives..
Thanks Uma. I completely agree with your view of strict vigilance and law enforcement towards child labour.
prasann raghavan says
Is it too much to make a pledge by the bloggers, to start with, that they will not buy these crackers because of the child labour involved in it, and then implement it. Then spread it slowly.
You mentioned about consciousness, I have also written something about it in a different way.
Dear Prasanna, I do agree on that but certainly a good start to spread the awareness and there by to bring down the menace to whatever is possible. Sure, I will read your post… heading over there!
Why have you stared putting these annoying watermarks on the pictures , thats too bank on the middle . Can you please put the watermarks on lower left or right corner .
Debashish, I have seen too many copy cats on the net who simply copy images without due credits. Hence this is my way of protecting my work.
I agree with that , how ever putting the water mark at the center kills the essence of the picture . It will be nice if you can move them to a side .
Debashish, I understand what you are saying. But I have come across few media crooks who are smart enough to crop the image which has the watermark on the sides/edges. So, I m left with no other option 🙁
Kumar Bibek says
I wish I could do more for this cause. I don’t buy crackers now.
That is the first step… now promote that good gesture of yours among your friends too.