All smoke No Fire: Fiberal Ire Against Fire-crackers isn’t Anti Pollution, It’s probably Anti Diwali

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India’s fireworks industry is worth a paltry 2000 crore. Or barely 300 million US$. India’s daily fuel bill is over 500 million. Daily fuel bill. Adjusting for carbon density and adding in other sources of pollution (such as domestic coal), the total impact of Diwali on pollution is less than a third of a percent of all pollution created. Carbon footprint of other “discretionary” consumption is as follows : iPhone 6: 95 kg, Lamb: 40 kg per kilo, Industrial production of Beef: 35 kg per kilo. The weight of 4000 Rs worth of Diwali crackers :  5 to 8 kilos. Assuming 50% carbon conversion, were talking of CO2 of no more than 40 kgs. That’s less than a leg of raan (Raan is whole leg of goat marinated in spices and slow cooked in a Tandoor oven/ grill.)

Let’s come to some other aspects of the Diwali firecrackers hysteria being created by the media. For example take “non CO2” pollution. Crackers, by definition are exceedingly simple incendiary devices. They basically consist of paper (roughly 50% by weight) and carbon, pot nitrate, sulfur. That’s it. That’s the core propellant. In other words, other than the potassium nitrate, nothing in them is different from any fuel. So their contribution to “particularly noxious gases” is no more than that of normal fuel. Further, since they are made from basic and crude substrates, the density of these chemicals though considerable is a lot less than of a refined fuel like petrol. It is precisely because petrol is so dangerous that we had to invent internal combustion for it!

A back of the envelope assessment suggests that the weight of firecrackers sold in India is probably no more than 100,000 tons (2,000 crore annual sales, roughly Rs 200 the cost of a “kilo” of crackerstranslates into 10,00,00,000 kg). Of this, roughly 50% is paper, so total explosive weight of 50,000 tons. Daily burn of petrol/diesel? 500,000,000 liters — or 500,000 tons — 10 TIMES THE NUMBER. PER DAY. On petrol alone. So leave aside the hype, if pollution control is what you want, then crackers should be far lower on the scale.

If we look at heavy metal or noxious stuff, here too crackers, because of their exceedingly simple nature pale in front of e-waste. An Astonishing 50 million tons each year. That is 50,000,000,000 kilos. No bets for guessing who wins the poison with metals contest.

It leaves us with the last angle: noise pollution, one where crackers don’t fare well — but don’t do so badly either. Here is a report from this year: all crackers in the market are below legal limits. ALL OF THEM! Even the noisiest which practically no one buys — the atom bomb — is at 99 Db. Lower than vehicular traffic noise!

The point of all the analysis of firecrackers is simple: bursting crackers as a means of celebration is far less damaging, polluting or even cruel than scores of other forms of human celebrations or normal human activities. Plus, it is only a once in a year event. That is not to say there is no case for hygiene, better working conditions etc for those who make fire crackers. It is also not to say they are non damaging. But of all the forms of pollution-creating human activity, it is way down, way down the list of damaging things you can do. You can do 10x more for pollution by turning vegetarian!


Ergo, those campaigning against firecrackers, who simultaneously utter not a peep for other sources and drivers of pollution, aren’t campaigning against pollution at all. They are campaigning against Diwali and the centrality of firecrackers to its enjoyment. So, if you really care for environemnet, do the following:
Switch off the AC, Eat only veg food, Eschew all imported foods and drinks, Sell your car and adopt a bicycle. Stop buying electronic gadgets that have a yeti sized carbon footprint.

Till you do that fiberals, and till you find 8 LAKH jobs (which is what Sivakasi creates), take your sanctimony and false indignation elsewhere.


Bottom-line: We can all enjoy Diwali the way we want, and we can safely ignore the numerically illiterate and mendacious press/media that writes on this subject. Its a guilty pleasure, but a whole lot less guilty than slaughter, gasoline, coal and electronic devices.


Enjoy it your way! Happy Diwali.

 

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Adheet Gogate

Adheet is a Mumbai based doctor and a Harvard Alumnus

78 Comments

  1. Rahul Poddar
    October 31, 2016 - 3:42 pm

    Very good analysis and research. Thanks for sharing this eye opener.

    Reply
    • Beena
      November 3, 2016 - 2:39 am

      The thing not factored here is the plight of people in shivkashi

      Reply
  2. MeetA
    October 31, 2016 - 4:48 pm

    This data is eye opening. Thanks for putting it up!!

    In my view too, there is more pollution in other areas than busting Diwali crackers. Those crying for pollution are actually anti-Diwali and nothing more.

    Reply
    • Siddharth Chaudhary
      November 3, 2016 - 1:44 pm

      Celebrating Diwali was never about firecrackers. It was a chinese tradition which was made popular by a south indian couple. True, the pollution created by firecrackers is next to nothing with conventional pollutants. But, that doesn’t mean it is OK to do it. If this was the reason given to every other thing, then anything can be justified. As soon as I landed in Delhi, the next day of Diwali, I felt as if I was suffocating. It’s been four days to Diwali and the after effects still linger. Every small effort towards a goal is worthy. I celebrated Diwali as well, by gifting juice packs and biscuits to needy. Diwali is about making yourself, your home and your society prosperous, definitely not about burning chemicals!

      Reply
      • November 4, 2016 - 6:29 am

        well said. You have money to burst in fire, no brains to write about something good. rather than justifying how Bad is good.

        Reply
      • KAPIL SHARMA
        November 4, 2016 - 8:13 pm

        Sorry to say Siddharth, even if you would have landed a week prior to Diwali in Delhi… Situation was still the same. Read some news from NASA and other agencies, this situation is because of burning of Crop waste in Neighboring states. Moreover, the same situation prevails over Lahore exactly the next day of Diwali and i am sure they are not suppose to have burned crackers on Diwali 🙂

        Reply
  3. Krish Jan
    October 31, 2016 - 5:37 pm

    Just one word. WOW!.

    Reply
  4. Kiran
    October 31, 2016 - 5:47 pm

    Waah! So true!

    Reply
  5. RAMESH SONI...
    October 31, 2016 - 6:07 pm

    Nice Informative About buying Crackers in Diwali…but would have Apperciate if it has come before A week as many would have read and taken a conscious decision peacefully of celebrating Diwali…

    Reply
  6. samarpeet
    October 31, 2016 - 8:55 pm

    thumbs up sir/ thanks to clear my mind the hoopla

    Reply
  7. Dattaprasad Bopardikar.
    October 31, 2016 - 10:34 pm

    Wonderful analysis.

    Reply
  8. Gopal T Kaushik
    November 1, 2016 - 1:49 am

    It appears many news items in the media are hollow hype for either sensationalism, one-upmanship, political gains, monetary gains, covertly striking down certain religious rituals or some such vested interest. When it comes to real analysis, however, they stand nowhere and choose to look the other way, since they would have already achieved their notorious hidden agenda.

    Reply
  9. Naveen Jalan
    November 1, 2016 - 2:35 am

    The above data suggests a lot deeper conspiracy by media to curb all Hindu festivals in the name of pollution, safety (Diwali), humane, water conservation (Holi) but no one ever talks about the good it teaches us . it teaches us solidarity, culture, unity in diversity and lot more.

    Too good a compilation!

    Reply
  10. Sandhya Bhadri.
    November 1, 2016 - 3:58 am

    Very it’s hype created , to be true personally I have never lit the crackers , because I am scared.

    Reply
  11. V Sai Vara Prasad
    November 1, 2016 - 4:49 am

    A noteworthy analysis & befitting reply to those who advocates of nonfirecrsckers on Diwali.Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  12. Ritesh
    November 1, 2016 - 5:24 am

    Really Useful Information..

    Reply
  13. November 1, 2016 - 5:32 am

    Written nicely, Could you add supportive links to the article which will help anyone to check facts?.

    Reply
  14. Srinivas
    November 1, 2016 - 5:37 am

    Thank you for giving such a report . It’s truely a lesson for those who are ‘campaigning against diwali’.

    Reply
  15. Priya
    November 1, 2016 - 6:20 am

    Hey adheet,

    This is the first time I came across your blog and I appreciate your thought and the statistical data that you present in support with it.

    But did you know during industrial revolution the majority white moth got out numbered and became the minority as the black moth managed to camouflage with the polluted trees. This was one of the effect of air pollution during industrial revolution in Britain. For India to develop we need industries, transportation and for industries to work there will be pollution it’s inevitable. However 30% of cracker industry is hit by illegal crackers made in china ( 25 the October 2015 TOI article ) and I hope we would share similar opinion on discouraging Indians to buy Chinese product. Secondly the industry of cracker is major sector of encouraging child labor. Almost 70% of the country’s firecrackers, including matches, are produced in Sivakasi. By 2011, there were about 9,500 firecracker units and 500 matches units in Sivakasi accounting for about 90% of India’s crackers and 75% of matches output.

    Most of these units employ children between the age of 5 to 15 years, who work for more than 12 hours in extremely hazardous conditions for meagre pays. Most of these children for the number of pieces that they produce every day, and earn anywhere between Rs 30 to 50 per day.

    Buying crackers is just contribution to japerodizing some innocent child s future.

    Reply
    • Hari
      November 1, 2016 - 8:57 am

      Please report the companies to the authorities and NGOs and the law will ensure they are shut down. This is an organised sector and hence highly regulated. The issue is more acute with cottage industry..aka candle making, diya etc??

      Reply
    • Banumathi
      November 1, 2016 - 9:39 am

      Hello friend, Have you ever been to Sivakasi? Once? . I am living at sivakasi, right from my birth to this day – 52 yrs. We don’t employ children between 5 to 15 yrs at fireworks or match factories. Come and see what we do and then make any comments about it.

      Reply
    • Murali
      November 3, 2016 - 4:06 pm

      Dear Ms Priya,
      Pity that you are so outdated… There is no child labour in any of the fireworks manufacturing unit in Sivakasi. Am sure you read some 30-40 year old news paper from some library and referring to child labour in a fireworks factory in Sivakasi. Do you think the media today is sleeping? Any single kid entering a factory will be video-graphed and broadcasted worldwide. Pls wake up mam. Am sure ur writing skills are good. But need content. All the best your future write-ups 🙂

      Reply
    • KAPIL SHARMA
      November 4, 2016 - 8:22 pm

      Hi Priya,

      Please report this matter to “Child & welfare ministry”, instead of writing this here if you are so sure about the plight of these childern as Child labour if completely banned and illegal by law in India.

      This has got nothing to do with this article as it says using crackers to celebrate diwali do not add much to the pollution, which was a hype created by Media.

      Reply
    • Narender Kumar
      November 5, 2016 - 6:59 pm

      Child labour in Shivakasi is indeed a issue, but then let us be clear why we are getting paranoid about crackers – is is environment, or child labour or imbalance international trade. Child labour in cracker industry has been there for a very long time. Neither then, nor now is media and liberal community interested in Child labour

      Reply
  16. Suyog
    November 1, 2016 - 6:59 am

    Nice article!

    Reply
  17. Rishi Kumar
    November 1, 2016 - 7:56 am

    Good, carry on to such information

    Reply
  18. vinay
    November 1, 2016 - 7:58 am

    Words from expert, thanks

    Reply
  19. November 1, 2016 - 8:42 am

    From time immemorial crackers have been used in villages during temple festivals and it provides good amount of employment to the rural people .The information is very useful .Hats off

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      November 4, 2016 - 4:18 am

      Immediately… Bangs her head against the wall!! Never knew ayodhya burnt firecracker to welcome ram!! I thought that was ghee diyas!! Ramayana needs to be updated. Call someone!! This is epic news.. We had a indo-china trade treaty back then!!

      Reply
  20. sridhar c
    November 1, 2016 - 8:57 am

    Very good article iam saving it for shutting the mouth of environmental psychics

    Reply
  21. Jatin barai
    November 1, 2016 - 9:25 am

    Superb article…

    Reply
  22. Chandrasekar R
    November 1, 2016 - 10:14 am

    Spot on… One or two days of fireworks cannot cause more damage to the environment than 365 days of vehicular pollution…

    Shame on schools that teach kids not to buy crackers… After all, this is a major Hindu festival… Would schools request kids and their parents not to eat meat during other religious festivals like Eid/ Christmas since meat has a higher carbon footprint?

    Reply
    • Siddharth Chaudhary
      November 3, 2016 - 1:54 pm

      This is like trowing garbage on a pile of already existing garbage. This thinking needs to change sir. Every effort, every small gesture, effects our (humans) future. Do your part, do not judge others.
      Religion (hindu, muslim, bla bla bla, the list is very big these days) is just a manifestation of us humans only. Do not fall to false pretenses. Make conscious decisions yourself.

      Reply
      • KAPIL SHARMA
        November 4, 2016 - 8:27 pm

        Siddharth Ji,

        Please do your part and sell your car, electronic gadgets and stop flying in aircraft who make you land in Delhi in such pollution… Once you will do even half of it, post any such comment after that.

        Reply
        • Siddharth Chaudhary
          November 5, 2016 - 5:45 am

          Thank you for your beautiful insight Kapil. Way to react, bravo!!

          Reply
  23. Rasika
    November 1, 2016 - 10:37 am

    Totally agreed. It’s not that people are not doing anything about the other sources of pollution. We are constantly striving to make changes for a better life. Bursting crackers (in huge quantities throughout India) is just going to add up to the burden.
    Also, the legal limit for noise that is mentioned, it is for humans isn’t it? What about the other animals who go through the turmoil while we humans are so enjoying bursting these crackers? We should think about these innocent creatures too.

    Reply
  24. Zareer
    November 1, 2016 - 11:17 am

    For a host of reasons, I found this article interesting. The data presented in this article is actually quite staggering. However, where this article loses the plot is the fact that the article talks to the wrong metrics. Like others have said the problem with firecrackers is the PM2.5 levels and not CO2.

    Additionally, this article seems to suggest because pollution is already so bad who cares if it gets slightly worse, this thought itself is repulsive to me.

    Lastly and most importantly what irks me most is the assumption that Diwali and firecrackers are synonymous. There is enough content out that proves that the use of firecrackers during Diwali is only 75 years old and Diwali is about respecting light and fire and its power and not playing with it. The author should read this article to educate himself and dissociate the two terms
    https://www.quora.com/Why-arent-Indian-roads-as-good-as-the-ones-in-the-US/answer/Ajit-Narayanan-1

    Reply
    • Rohit
      November 2, 2016 - 8:22 am

      Your short reply to this junk finds greater resonation with me as I feel Adheet just lost his way with connecting and putting the right metrics in his analysis of the issue.

      Reply
    • A HINDU
      November 2, 2016 - 11:41 am

      The only sensible comment I have come across so far. It is as if most of the people has got a licence to burst crackers. Since we already have pollution let’s what will a few crackers do.

      Reply
  25. Harish
    November 1, 2016 - 11:20 am

    Tight slap to anti-Indians 😊

    Reply
  26. November 1, 2016 - 11:27 am

    I liked the information given and shared it but some people are questioning about air particulate and all …pls clarify!
    Keep doing it.
    Excellent job

    Reply
  27. Bandu
    November 1, 2016 - 2:02 pm

    Seriously? WHO is this genius who has made these tall claims without substantiating it with any articles or links to real data? Diwali was originally a festival of lights where back in the days they would light up their houses with just oil lamps. Our ancestors were certainly much smarter than idiots who not only write such stuff but other idiots who believe it. Firecrackers is an industry built to mint money through emotions much like St. Valentines Day people buy gifts for their lovers which is far from the original tradition. Very soon you will be seen defending all the consumerism that is taking over from the west because of which all festivals will be about gifts from Amazon, Ebay etc. like their Black Fridays before Thanksgiving which again has nothing to do with that festival! GET A LIFE dude!

    Reply
  28. Grand master
    November 1, 2016 - 2:03 pm

    Let’s burst those crackers across the year in front of the home of this article’s author. …. as it is, it’s not gonna lead to any significant pollution at all, that’s what he says. ….. hahaha
    God bless all doctors from HarvArd!

    Reply
  29. Nishant
    November 1, 2016 - 2:32 pm

    No talk of PM at all. This is selective reasoning at best. PM2.5 levels across Delhi NCR hit an average of 761 ug/m3 at about 2am last night. This was 2.67 times the average of 284 ug/m3 at 2am night before.

    Let’s understand data can be used either way before you get swayed by confirmation bias.

    Reply
  30. Sankat
    November 1, 2016 - 4:18 pm

    Finally someone who speaks sense and hit the nail on the head.

    Reply
  31. Suraj
    November 1, 2016 - 4:31 pm

    Here, few are giving insensitive comments and trying to project themselves DUDE or CULT without doing any proper research or understanding the mean characters of wrong people or motives that carry people in different directions.

    Reply
  32. Ujjwal Shah
    November 1, 2016 - 7:11 pm

    I appraise the efforts and viewpoint of author and readers on putting up the facts, however we must not forget that every step we take now, will impact to environment and it has started showing it’s worst effects in form of changes in ecological cycle. So, we must not loose any single opportunity to maintain the balance of ecology

    Reply
  33. Nina
    November 2, 2016 - 2:36 am

    Huh? Angrezi nahi samajh aayi? He s saying crackers cause way less pollution than other sources. Cut the other sources if you really care instead of coming after crackers. Period. Rest is your own fantasy interpretation.

    Reply
  34. Satyam
    November 2, 2016 - 3:31 am

    Absolutely! Can’t imagine a diwali without crackers. The quantities of crackers being burnt has already decreased..

    Reply
  35. Vyom Prakash
    November 2, 2016 - 4:30 am

    👍 nice piece of info.

    Reply
  36. Nidhi Chawla
    November 2, 2016 - 5:52 am

    Very true, All those people fighting for pollution free diwali would have ACs in each room, more than one car, would never use public transport , might have child labor in their as they are relatively inexpensive. I dont support burning hell lot of money on never ending rail of crackers, but it is okay to have some good memories and yes crackers are one of the good memories I have from my childhood days. I want my kids to have some nice memories too.

    Reply
    • surbhi
      November 2, 2016 - 8:41 am

      Pollution by AC and plethora of cars no doubt cause enough pollution. I might even go as far to say that it causes the action of frog boiling in the water, and hence we don’t worry. Diwali causes sudden elevation in hazardous particles. But still there is no effective argument to the point that it is completely acceptable to burst crackers. If the multiple cars and AC are culprit, so are crackers.

      Reply
  37. sahana
    November 2, 2016 - 7:13 am

    Eye opening Data!!!! a lot of things are followed today caused by media hype and not really believing in the cause and this is one of them too!

    Reply
  38. Shashank
    November 2, 2016 - 8:03 am

    Dear sir, your argument falls flat on the face if you just compare the air quality analysis before a day and after Diwali..
    Also, I agree with you that there are so many other thongs that contribute to pollution as you mentioned but do we have a healthy alternative to them? Can you survive Delhi summers without an AC? Can you cycle to your office insted of using a car or a 2 wheeler?
    We as a nation are trying to cut down on pollution with the implementation of CNG public transport, even most of the cars and taxis run on CNG now. So its not that actions are not being taken.. The onus also lies on the public.. Why dont ppl carpool or use public transport etc is a question we should ask ourselves.. As for me sir, i have a car fitted with a CNG kit.
    Again, i agree with you that pollution is already there but does that mean its ok to pollute more? Do you kniw how Delhi Ncr looks like today? What abt lil kids, old parents or ppl with asthma? Diwali is a wonderful festivel and should be celebrated with outmost love, and enthusiasm. Why crackers? For what all this noise and extra air pollution.. We are already dealing with so many sources of pollution. Why add another one?
    Some ppl say its traditional but thats not true either. Gun powder was invented way later than the time of Ramayana.. So lets stop being paranoid with the thinking that Hindu festivals are being targeted. Pollution is bad. Diyas, candles, sweets and spreading of love and brotherhood shld be the msg.. Arguing that its ok to pollute a little more coz there already is pollution is absurd. Yes we should work towards a greener and a healthier environment together.. Everyone of us!
    Cheers!

    Reply
    • Suraj Bhawal
      November 2, 2016 - 5:44 pm

      Atleast one sensible reply here.

      Reply
  39. surbhi
    November 2, 2016 - 8:37 am

    Do you wish to imply that diwali is all about bursting crackers? I believe that crackers were not always been part of diwali celebrations and have been included recently. I

    Reply
  40. Ramesh
    November 2, 2016 - 9:39 am

    In spite of the data, it is better if people reduce(need not eliminate) firing crackers for other reasons. For example, if a person does not like to see crackers burning or flashes etc he has the choice to remain in home. That is not the case with sound. Whether you like it or not, the sound waves will reach your ears-people (especially the old ones, toddlers) need to have a choice on not to hear the sound.
    Further, children explode crackers not only on Diwali day but also for nearly 10 days(mercifully this trend too is decreasing due to various reasons)
    Diwali is about being happy – there are many ways to be happy. So a plea against crackers is not a plea against Diwali itself
    Of course, there is one thing which should be considered: anti Hindu parties too especially in TN and Bengal) , while celebrating victory of their candidates in elections. explode crackers. Hence anti Hindus have no valid reason to talk against the manner in which Diwali is celebrated

    Reply
  41. anand
    November 2, 2016 - 10:33 am

    It means bakari Id should be stopped completely if we compare with the crackers, it generate @ 8 time more carbon than crackers

    Reply
  42. Akshata
    November 2, 2016 - 11:52 am

    Firecrackers are vile for a number of reasons including, but not limited to:

    1. Extreme noise pollution that causes acute physical as well as psychological trauma to Old people, Babies, people with heart conditions, land dwelling animals, birds etc.

    2. Animals get displaced from their usual territories in large numbers as they run away due to fear. In the weeks post diwali, NGOs and kind hearted souls into animal welfare have to deal with injuries ranging from intentional hard to animal (burns on flesh, firecrackers exploded in jaws etc) to accidental burns and gunpowder poisoning, to aggravated injuries caused from scared animals running into other animals territories. Birds are found dead from heart attacks, dehydration and air poisoning.

    3. Has anyone ever spared a thought for the homeless people who live on the streets – the old, the babies, the sick – the ones for whom the streets are all they have? Imagine having your baby crawling around in a haze of smoke and fire and loud sounds – I would be terrified. But I have realized by now that basic sensitivity is too much to ask of most people.

    4. Severely asthmatic patients ,who have it worst on Diwali and the days following it. Taking into account the large percentage of the population that suffers from asthama, its quite ridiculous to intentional bombard them with noxious fumes even if just for a few days – just so you can have some immature fun.

    5. Numerous fires break out – usually in someone elses house because your God damned rocket has shot in through some poor souls balcony or window. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of loss of property and life, and larger numbers of burn injuries etc.

    I can still imagine if people enjoyed light and bright crackers that produce minimum fumes, but this trend of ladis and bombs is revolting and stupid to say the least. If you people love bombs so much, why don’t you go show your heroics at the borders. But you know what – its only gutless civilians who get such a thrill out of bombs and ladis.

    Diwali was always the festival of lights. Light some diyas or eco friendly lights, meet up with friends and family, remember the roots of the festival. That’s the original spirit of diwali.

    So dear author, I disagree wholeheartedly. Just by pulling out some numbers to try and substantiate your stand, that you should be allowed to destroy the peace for a good week while you go through your stash of firecrackers, often at totally ridiculous hours of the day and night – (not to mention ON THE MIDDLE OF THE ROADS bang in the middle of traffic), DOES NOT absolve you of any of the points I have mentioned here.

    Reply
  43. Rama Mohan Aluri
    November 2, 2016 - 1:03 pm

    May be particulate matter is a cause of concern. Lights and crackers have become integral with Deepaavali and let it continue to keep kids happy.
    Keep children off from many other vices that ruin people.

    Reply
  44. Shivam
    November 2, 2016 - 4:02 pm

    Lol.. making fool of people.,
    Shame on you..

    Reply
  45. R Venkatraman
    November 2, 2016 - 6:43 pm

    I lost one of my neighnours in an asthma attack on the night of Diwali and here i see a post like this after a couple of days. Cant help but lose hope on such money making cock sucking cyber corporates.

    If anyone saw or felt or smelt the couple of mornings after Diwali this year would realize the level of wrong use of statistics in this so called analytical piece of information.

    Reply
  46. Ashish Bhasin
    November 2, 2016 - 7:16 pm

    Dont get swayed by the slew of data whipped up … its all baloney !! Moreso , which scripture says that we have to fire up crackers on diwali.. and the author is forgetting that he himself contributes to pollution by using ACs cars flights perhaps meat too .. these have become necessary beasts of burden but one bit if we can STOP to assault our environment then why NOT ? Crackers can be avoided .. so while peddling to office 25 kms away or taking a steamer to go across the seas is not feasible or perhaps to put diwali humor for pun sake one can’t have a diwali rocket ride up one’s posteriors we better stay away from tipping the pollution scale further . I hope the author’s ear drums and eyes are ok to get the message loud and clear .

    Reply
  47. Karan
    November 2, 2016 - 8:08 pm

    Fireworks are less noisy than traffic you say? Really? Are you sure about that? Can you hear the traffic noise in your house as clearly as the explosions during Diwali? Using the word “Ergo” doesn’t make your tissue paper calculations sophisticated or real. If journalism is your full time profession, I would suggest a rethink of your life choices.

    Reply
  48. A. Banerjie
    November 3, 2016 - 4:05 am

    So what happened in Delhi the day after Diwali and the firecrackers was the figment of our collective anti-Diwali imaginations? Or did all the car and carbon footprint (or whatever!) accummulate and release itself strategically on that very day? The writer of this humbug piece seems to be doing some heavy duty PR for Chinese firecracker manufacturers. As for Sivakasi the less said the better about an industry that uses child labour!

    Reply
  49. Nitica
    November 3, 2016 - 4:15 am

    Am I reading this correctly?

    1) Anti-diwali? The mythology from Ramayana and Diwali as a festival have nothing to do with Fire-crackers until the 1940s. I share a quora answer, its message aside you may focus on the historical details provided. Therefore the title is ill-chosen unless we give the author some points for using ‘probably’ to slightly dial down the polarizing title.

    https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-connection-between-history-of-firecrackers-and-Diwali/answer/Ajit-Narayanan-1

    2) To summarize part of the article, which uses an argument of the form, A isn’t that bad you know because B is really bad and much much worse than A you know. So stop complaining about A. You are definitely guilty of B and I’m sure you are doing nothing about that. Such hypocrites you are. Insert A=Firecrackers, B=Fossil fuels, etc. Fallacious argument and assumption that the people raising concerns about A must be hypocrites, doesn’t equal sound logic.

    3) Given numbers can be represented either way. Anti-pollution vs Anti-Diwali? Why are they pitted versus each other. Is the author excluding the possibility of someone celebrating Diwali would not raise concerns about pollution or say an environmentalist cannot ‘truly’ celebrate Diwali? Using an article with few true facts, in order to polarise opinion is unhealthy.

    4) Finally, by posting this what do you wish to truly achieve?
    Create an awareness about other bigger environmental issues? Well you cant do that by sharing an article that practically dons an accusing or ridiculing tone (‘sulking environmentalist’).

    Lets not polarise issues or pigeon-hole people.
    Lets have meaningful discussions.

    Reply
  50. P NAGESWARA RAO
    November 3, 2016 - 4:25 am

    What kind of Doctor are you? You are one of those typical Sanghi Brahmins worried about Non veg as if all vegetarian is cooked by Sun,
    Pollution is pollution whether it is by fuel or crackers, whatever possible need to be reduced period

    Reply
  51. Karan Shah
    November 3, 2016 - 7:47 am

    This idiot has compared necessity with can leave away things. Its like saying burning firewood instead of LPG is hardly 1-2% of pollutants, instead stop using cars first. Every drop counts, every effort should be lauded. Skeptics like you are good for nothing. “ANTI DIWALI” is as illiterate a comment as some of our politicians.

    Reply
  52. Jerin Jose
    November 3, 2016 - 11:21 am

    Well, what if someone writes an article about how vehicular emission’s are tiny compared to industry emissions and justifies the use of fossil fuel based vehicles.

    If this trend continues, soon, people will find justifications to start bursting firecrackers at every event be it festivals, birthdays, promotions, marriages, birth, death, affairs, breakups, new year as per different calendars etc. Basically it means everyday is a celebration and with the kind of population we have, that means a lot of pollution. After all firecrackers aren’t restricted to Diwali alone right ?!

    In South India, tradition has been to celebrate by lighting up deepa’s (hence the name deepavali) in your home, streets, offices and temples. When did firecrackers come into the picture? Also if anyone could share a reference to the mention of firecracker celebrations in any sacred texts, please share. I am pretty sure that even if there is such a reference, it would have been in balance with nature.

    For eg. Ganesha idols are supposed to be created from clay from 3 mighty rivers and submerged in local rivers. Clay naturally enhances the water carry capacity of lakes. If you look at all traditions especially Hindu traditions, the underlying purpose was to show your love to God as well protect nature in the process.
    http://hindupad.com/why-lord-ganesha-idol-is-immersed-in-water-reasons-behind-ganesh-immersion-or-visarjan/

    http://www.forumforhinduawakening.org/understanding/glory-of-hindu-dharma/ganesh-made-of-clay-only-scientific

    Reply
    • Jerin Jose
      November 3, 2016 - 11:41 am

      But when everyone is ready to use Plaster of Paris(PoP) as opposed to clay because of convenience and cost. What happened to age old tradition in this case? And when environmentally conscious citizens say that PoP should not be used, then people come out and say that Hindus are being targeted. Ridiculously foolish responses !

      think the same for Deepavali/Diwali. Celebrate with love for nature. After all we need to show some respect to Mukhya-Vāyu also.

      Reply
  53. SuchindranathAiyerS
    November 3, 2016 - 2:54 pm

    Animal activists should ban halal first. Polution activists should ban the internal combustion engine first. Right to child hood activists should ban school fees and sale of foof that ought to be free first. Get to Deepavalli after all that is done.

    Reply
  54. Mohit Bajaj
    November 3, 2016 - 4:13 pm

    Seconding Shashank…
    Firstly, firecrackers are concentrated in certain areas and burnt. When you live in such an area, you can make out the difference in the air you breathe. It is enough to make my eyes water at times….so I don’t agree with this argument at all. Secondly, crackers are explosives by nature, and dangerous to use. Many countries ban citizens from purchasing crackers, or heavily regulate such purchases. Lastly, crackers are not necessary to celebrate Diwali or any other festival – a good nature and heart is enough.

    Assuming that your statistics regarding the noise levels and carbon footprint of crackers are sound, they seem to be used in a way that covers more then they reveal – someone once said “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”.

    Reply
  55. Sajan
    November 3, 2016 - 6:26 pm

    The author has used statistics to promote a very perverted idea. As pointed out by many readers it is unfair to relate discouraging firecrackers to mean anti Diwali.
    16 years ago my daughter was born on eve of Diwali and it was a horrible welcome for her to this world. Poor girl was shivering and jerking every time a ‘bomb’ exploded. The doctors too were on vacation.
    Last year, my 70 years old mother contracted throat infection and cough during Diwali due to the pollution and she suffered almost 6 months before she could be healed.
    This year during Diwali night I ventured out to fill Petrol in my car and the streets were full of smoke and poor visibility.
    Hospitals and clinics are full of small and elderly patients suffering from respiratory infection.
    Requesting the author to please introspect and check whom is he promoting?

    Reply
  56. Nikhil
    November 4, 2016 - 4:28 am

    Did not expect this crap from a site called grow india

    Reply
  57. Krishna S
    November 4, 2016 - 5:31 am

    Very well written buddy. Just 2 days ago, I wrote the same on my Facebook wall and people started saying things to me. This article will surely be a smack on the faces of the double standard folks who enjoy meat, poultry, luxury cars, air conditioning but complain about smoke during Diwali..
    Cheers to you for this article…

    Reply
  58. Shwetha Acharya,Ph.D.
    November 6, 2016 - 5:53 am

    The article doesnot have enough references to support the data presented and has extremely biased and misleading conclusions. First, the author talks about the plight of 8 lakh employees of Sivakasi industry due to anti-cracker sentiments but fails to see the problems with the industry [This article gives link to another article on Sivakasi (first line -“2000 crore”), which talks about the struggles the fireworks industry faces]. The inhuman working conditions, child labour and illegal processing units, competition from Chinese firecracker imports- Sivakasi fireworks has it all and author turns a blind eye to all social problems (Lives of poor people don’t matter to most educated Indians!).Second, the article talks about fireworks only with respect to CO2 emission, but conveniently ignores the rise in particulate matter (PM 2.5) and other compounds during Diwali (http://www.sciencedirect.com/…/pii/S1309104215000380 -you can find several such articles on Google scholar about impact of fireworks on health). Finally I would like to add, Diwali is a festival of lights (and not of sound), you could just light several lamps (which is PM free, noise pollution free) and donate the money for charity instead of burning crackers!

    Reply

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