Diwali Crackers, Pollution and convenient transfer of Guilt

1. Crackers are bad as they cause pollution. The already rotten air of Delhi will be beyond repair if our obsession with bursting crackers continues!

2. While on its own, the idea of not bursting crackers is good but in totality, it is one of the worst ideas to propagate, it lulls everyone to ignore all other major causes of pollution and focus on a non-issue which is bursting of crackers.

3. Delhi air is super bad and reasons are many and cover everyone – from neighbor states, to trucks to some people burning stuff or some festivals and yes population.

4. Interestingly none of us blame ourselves for this mess, our procreation, consumption or a rather excessive over-consumption without a single effort towards rejuvenating nature or reducing consumption.

5. Indian newspapers are running big advertisement campaigns on how to save the world by not bursting crackers while publishing 48 pages newspaper with 3 page of news and 45 pages of hottest Diwali models with or without clothes or some advertisements. Is paper wastage not responsible for forest destruction, useless garbage, and air pollution?

6. Friends talk about pollution by crackers while gorging maggie, drinking cola and finishing snickers for desserts. All neatly packed in plastics and non-biodegradable wrappers which will just lie there in landfills and will create excess garbage!! any guilt no, as they all have already committed to the anti-cracker campaign.

7. Our whole generation can’t even survive a day without air conditioning blowing at 22 degrees and uses car/bike even for local shopping. It burns fossil fuel and consumes electricity without a trace of guilt. And do we feel guilty while switching on AC or driving our car? Probably no as already posted on Facebook about our opposition to crackers!

8. Attending rock shows, guzzling beer, liquor in plastic cups, consuming more plastic, more energy and creating 100x louder decimal noise, do you feel any guilt? arrey baba, already said no to crackers.

9. Continuous use of mobile, laptops, clicking endless selfies, posting endless messages on social media and thus consuming 10x more energy than their unconnected counterparts. Are they feeling the guilt of pollution due to coal burning?? well, they have already said no to crackers, what else do you want!

10. Changing phones to the latest models, religiously upgrading to latest mobile, laptop or another gadget. Are we worried about the toxic waste created by these batteries and silicon toxicity destroying nature? Is there any guilt? well already said no to crackers, what else do you want!! Please don’t irritate further.

11. How many trees have an average citizen planted? Ok, forget trees, how many plants? How many pots? any guilt? well what do you want, I have already said no to crackers

So looks like while we are very committed to saying no to crackers, there is almost zero commitment to save nature or protect the environment. So why such hullabaloo on crackers ?? Because it is easy, it is convenient and there is no loss in advt revenue, no pressure from any lobby group or no paid PR campaigns in newspapers. By not bursting cracker, we feel good about ourselves and at the same time absolve ourselves from the greater crime of polluting earth many times more by our over-consumption.

Saying no to crackers costs nothing, as one looks cool, and can show off without doing an iota of sacrifice. Life goes on without any change in lifestyle,  and businesses continue to pollute without any impact on profitability or top line. Life becomes easy for Courts / Politicians and NGOs as they can show off action without any repercussions for a simple reason that  Cracker industry is small-scale cottage industry with no large PR budget or fancy senior lawyers on the payroll. had Cracker industry being a 10,000 Cr organized industry, same newspaper/ media groups/ politicians/activist would have been arguing in a different tone. Hence banning crackers is the easiest way out as nobody out there to counter the argument.

So before jumping on no to crackers bandwagon, please pause for a moment, plant a sapling or have a decoration plant at home, unsubscribe to that 48 page soft porn junk disguised as newspaper, say no to processed food, plastic packaging, keep AC at 28 degree, drink RO water instead of plastic bottled water, walk/cycle or do carpool and then say no to Crackers!!
It is easy to blame others and difficult to change self! So for a change, this Diwali let us start with self!

Happy Diwali

Shailesh Vickram Singh

Shailesh Vickram Singh is an entrepreneur / venture capitalist with more than 20 years of exp.