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Happy Diwali

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali.

It is a day to celebrate happiness in life. There may not be much happiness but still we need to grab the moment of happiness and feel happy. We light up earthen lamps called Diya. Billions of Diya are lighted up to nudge everyone to come out of the dark corners of life where most people are trapped for economic or health reasons.

The Festival is eagerly awaited by people but in particular by the Artisans who make these Diya by hand on the potter’s wheel.

They eagerly wait for the grand occasion, make all necessary preparations, arrange financial and other resources, raw material and start booking orders six months in advance. It means a livelihood for the whole family for a whole year!

Who can guarantee such means of gainful livelihood and self-employment? It is not only the potter community alone but hundreds of other trades comprising “handicraft, Khadi & village industries”.

The sector provides such means of livelihood and employment on a sustainable basis without causing environmental pollution.

These trades spur economic activity in several other complimentary businesses such as garments, utensils, ready to eat food of a liberal variety, ornaments, edible oils & wicks for the Diya, fragrances and many other items.

It is a wonderful economic activity which provides regular and sustainable livelihood and employment. Yet, it has been under increasing attack from uninformed/half-informed/ill-informed elements, whose only goal is to grab newspaper headlines or TV photo opportunity. They can’t justify their attack.

These elements are hyper critical of pollution during Diwali.

They object to fireworks on the occasion. They are obnoxious for almost a fortnight criticizing celebrations in the name of pollution as if other festivals or Games display fireworks which cause no pollution! They fear every other festival and consider it wise to keep their mouth shut but when the occasion is Diwali, they become hyper critical. Can these people be called wise? Do Diyas cause pollution?

They are handmade village industry products providing employment to millions as delineated in the foregoing.

Who manufactures crackers and other fireworks?

Industry- the darling of our hyper critical pollution activists.

They have not uttered a single word against the cracker industry nor demanded closure of industrial units manufacturing these polluting industrial products.

Why the double standards? Is it because they get gratification from the organized industry but nothing from village industry?

Hundreds of workers get killed in these industrial units every year and fire accidents during their transportation, storage, handling and firing whereas Diyas don’t cause a single fatality!

First of all, “industrialization” has killed these village industries by machine producing Diya and other similar products. Is it Economic Justice?

Our Diwali critics have turned a blind eye to such economic disruption and loss of livelihood/employment of the self-employed skilled artisans.

For profit to a few industries, the jobs of millions stand sacrificed and still the Indian press and electronic media fearlessly Indulges in sustained campaign again the festival, killing the mood of happiness and spirit of joy for a day! Tomorrow will be the same again as yesterday was- we all know it.

We want these privileged people to apply a bit of socio-economic wisdom before going full blast against moments of joy like Diwali in a country.

Industrialization alone is responsible for pollution, environmental degradation, climate change, non communicable diseases like depression, hypertension, heart attack and cancer. What else can be expected from people in modern fast life when they are not allowed to even enjoy one day out of 365 days? And pollution is caused by motor vehicles on a 24×7 basis and several other contributory factors gifted to us by industrialization. People need to strike a balance in life.

Once again a Very Happy Diwali. Enjoy the occasion and be happy!

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