Diwali Pollution: Despite ban and toxic smog, Hindutva trolls justify firecrackers on social media
Despite ban by India’s apex court and immense sufferings faced by people due to the air quality turning hazardous, the right-wing Hindutva troll army justified bursting firecrackers on Diwali
Forget about the Sabyachai and Dabur ads which were withdrawn after the right-wing Hindutva forces threatened these companies, the same troll army in full force defied the Supreme Court order banning crackers and trolled those on social media who advocated the cause of clean air and peaceful Diwali.
Despite ban by India’s top court and immense sufferings faced by the people due to worsening air quality, the right-wing Hindutva troll army justified bursting firecrackers on the night of Diwali. A bunch of them – expressing their communal hatred in public and on social media– went on to abuse and humiliate those who spoke against the pollution.
They argued, without any care or consideration for human life that bursting firecrackers is an intrinsic part of the Diwali celebration, and this alone cannot be blamed for the hazardous air quality.
Actor Harsh Vardhan Kapoor, son of the famous Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor was abused throughout the night for putting out his opinion against bursting firecrackers. Finally, the actor had to delete his tweet. The language that was used to abuse Harsh Vardhan stands as testimony to how the festival of lights has become a playground for the Hindutva forces to intimidate people.
One user who calls himself a “nationalist” went on to say he will continue to burst crackers in the coming years. The gentleman believes even Supreme Court has no right to infringe upon his cultural space.
Actress Disha Patani was also abused and trolled brutally for just saying: Be kind to animals. She was even linked to Maoism and Naxalism. Ironically, her boyfriend Tigar Shroff was also attacked for her tweet.
Besides trolling and abusing on social media, the general public complained of breathing issues, swollen throat, running nose, and watery eyes due to increased pollution and many were heard asking who should they complain about the issue of bursting fire crackers and choking environment.
Localities adjacent to Delhi such as Anand Vihar, Vaishali, Indirapuram reported incidents of cracker-bursting till morning on Friday. In Delhi also, residents complained about pollutants, smog but the state machinery seemed to be indifferent to it.
In many areas, people wore masks inside their houses as it was increasingly difficult to breathe amid heavy crackers bursting.
By early evening on Thursday, Greater Kailash- 1 erupted in crackers without any thought for the smog that would drop over the city like a shroud the next day after Diwali. Backlanes of colonies had ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chants followed by bursting of a string of firecrackers.
The situation was quite similar in Defence Colony too where without care for the aftermath of such celebrations, in lanes after lanes and on terraces, residents were bursting crackers to celebrate the festival. Mehrauli and Sarvodaya Enclave in South Delhi too saw heavy bursting of crackers, said residents who did not want to be identified.
In RK Puram area, which has quarters for government employees, there was a considerable let-up in bursting of crackers. There wasn’t much noise from the many sectors in the area. The situation was similar in certain blocks of Vasant Kunj, but the sound of continuous bursting of crackers could be heard in background.
On Friday morning after Diwali many users shared pictures depicting hazardous air pollution due to crackers bursting.
“Sadly, no one seems to be listening to them as the politics polluted the minds which is more dangerous than the air pollution,” said a senior journalist living in NCR.
It is worth mentioning here that as per the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the 24-hour average PM2.5 concentration in Delhi-NCR rose from 243 micrograms per cubic meter at 6 pm to 263 micrograms per cubic meter at 9 pm, more than four times the safe limit of 60 micrograms per cubic meter.
The capital’s 24-hour average air quality index (AQI) stood at 382 on Thursday, up from 314 on Wednesday. It was 303 on Tuesday and 281 on Monday. An AQI between zero and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.