There is plenty of smoke emanating from ears as the Supreme Court banned fireworks in Delhi and in the National Capital Region (NCR) ahead of Diwali on October 19. Even as the news came in on Monday, social media sites were peppered with comments. Many of these saw a design to deny Hindus of their rights.
The court said it wanted to test if banning fireworks would make a difference to Delhi's air quality, ranked among the worst in the world .The SC had issued a similar ban in the NCR region last year, but it did not have the opportunity to observe the impact on pollution levels, it said. Reports said that the apex court has ordered that an agency compute the impact of a noise-and-smoke-free festival this year.
Let us not communalise this order and play into those who seek to divide us. Let us see it in its correct perspective. It is simply a test for air pollution in Delhi, and we must welcome it, as air quality is linked with quality of life and there have to be concerted efforts to improve it.
So it is with other festivals or any religion. Any time the rules are to be implemented, there is a backlash from people who say they are being targeted, or that the rules are is biased.
There are festivals where traffic cops are reluctant to enforce rules as they will be deemed communal. Anti-noise pollution activists are forced to turn a deaf ear during some festivals, with communities playing the victim card whenever it comes to following the rules.
Do not fall for this divisive rhetoric, or listen to those who would drum up unrest on religious lines. Rules and orders are meant to protect and bind people of all religions. Let us respect them and view them through a non-partisan prism.
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