The Supreme Court of India on today said that its order of last November banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) will continue till October 31.
The Supreme Court of India today said its order of last November banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) will continue till October 31. The SC order, however, turned into a controversy when some tried to give it a communal turn. Celebrated author Chetan Bhagat was one of the first to denounce the verdict. In a series of tweets, the author compared the SC order to banning Christmas trees on Christmas or goat slaughter on Bakrid.
“SC bans fireworks on Diwali? A full ban? What’s Diwali for children without crackers? Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too? Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too? Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate. Don’t ban. Respect traditions,” Bhagat Tweeted. Bhagat’s views invited both support and criticism on the social media.
However, it is wrong to see the SC order through the prism of religion.
For those who still remember the horror of the week following Diwali in NCR last year, the SC order is like an early respite. For around a week after Diwali last year, the region had become a kind of gas chamber because of the burning of crackers in Delhi-NCR and stubble burning in nearby states, forcing the closure of schools.
According to Delhi Pollution Control Committee, the PM 2.5 levels had reached 999 – 16 times over the safe limit of 60 last year.
Diwali is on October 19. According to PTI, the apex court on Monday said it has not changed the September 12 order but its November 11, 2016 order banning the sale of firecrackers “should be given a chance”. Through the 2016 order, SC had suspended all licences which “permit sale of fireworks, wholesale and retail within the territory of NCR”.
On September 12 this year, the top court had temporarily lifted its earlier order and permitted sale of firecrackers.
The SC order needs to be welcomed for one more reason. The air quality of the National Capital has already hit a “very unhealthy levels”, according to data shared by the US embassy.