Post Mortem

An Unusual Diwali

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 11/13/2020 1:21:58 PM IST

 The return of Lord Rama and Sita on a special occasion to his kingdom in Ayodhya after their 14 year exile is regarded as the Diwali in India. South India celebrates it as Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura. In all interpretations, it marks the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. It’s an official holiday in 10 different countries and that festival of lights is celebrated a big way at least 25 nations by Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh population across the world.

The word Diwali comes from the Sanskrit word deepavali, meaning “rows of lighted lamps”. The festival of lights has been celebrated with friends and family throughout India since time immemorial. However Diwali this year is a different kind of homecomingduring this global pandemic. It is hard to celebrate amid all the fearing from Covid-19. The vaccine is yet to arrive even if many potential vaccines are being studied and several large clinical trials reported for safe and effective standards. World Health Organization is working to facilitate equitable access for the billions of people who need it in coming days.

We should remain responsible and vigilant for the safety of ourselves. Rising level of air pollution could play a crucial role while the threat of Covid-19 still looming large? Diwali is no longer lighting clay lamps outside homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. It overtook by sparks and sounds. Although Diwali is known for fireworks, it is not complete without bursting crackers. And people want to have a blast on Diwali with sweets and family time. But the real issue is air pollution. Fireworks emit toxic fumes and can cause respiratory problems and even terrify pets and wildlife under the piles of fire-crackers. It creates excessive noise pollution and disturbs the balance in the atmosphere. 

With the fear of spike in coronavirus crisis in coming winter, several states and Union Territories have decided to impose a ban on firecrackers and its sale. The National Green Tribunal  already imposed a total ban on sale or use of all kinds of firecrackers in the National Capital Region till November 30 midnight. But increasing socialization during the festive period could turn deadlier if we do not follow safety precautions.

A complete ban on crackers might spell gloom for Sivakasi in Tamilnadu, known for its firecracker industry that employed lakhs of people. Should India celebrate Diwali by crackers for happiness or deaths and diseases?Education reformist from Ladakh,SonamWangchuk has recently appealed India to celebrate Diwali to an unusual note. With Chinese hawk’s eye and proactive military movement along the disputed frontier to change the status quo, 50,000 strong Indian soldiers can’t relax their tense muscles; they stand for coming winter at hotspot Galwan valley.

Pandemic Covid is still not subsiding with millions of victims, our economy shattered and it hit the poor hardest. Should we celebrate Diwali for others? Medicos are doing yeomen job during this time. May this Diwali be dedicated tothem? The last but not least Army in battlefield has been brilliant. The soldiers stand sentinel with their musketeers on.Above all, northern neighbor China is a formidable antagonist for India in terms of economic growth and current projections of GDP and investment. India must buy local products to help kick starting our economy.  Let’s not buy anything made in China during Diwali till the Chinese withdraw their soldiers and restore the status quo.

Should India celebrate the festival ostentatiously while the country may head for big trouble? The lethal virus aided by pollution can turn deadlier for us. Let us go participating celebration fun-online. The advisory issued to celebrate the festival indoors.  Masks offer protection against the double threat of coronavirus as well as the smoke and pollution caused by burning firecrackers. Alcohol based Sanitizers are highly inflammable and they must be kept away from candles and diyas. 

Simple precautions such as avoiding large gatherings, wearing a masks and maintaining social distancing area new normal in this Covid pandemic. The government has already put restrictions and regulations for the safety of people. We must stay physically active and take healthy diet to immune at this pandemic situation. Therefore, amid such testing times, we must ensure a happy and safe celebration in this unusual Diwali. This Diwali is to stay safe, stay healthy and spread positivity. A sweet packaging tray with a diya and no crackers has indeed brightened our day.

Kamal Baruah

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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