#DontBlameDiwali is trending in India. Are government policies one-way mechanism?

On Sunday, a hashtag has been going rounds on social media platforms and on twitter in particular granting support to the issue that ‘Diwali’ should not be blamed for air pollution.

The hashtag #DontBlameDiwali with people venting out their anger and frustration on government which is apparently trying hard to hide its failure in curbing the menace of air pollution.

Netizens and many others feel that firecrackers used on Diwali contributes a very low proportion to air pollution, while stubble burning is the real cause of concern. It is viewed as if government is trying to mislead people by portraying Diwali as an elephant in the room which is responsible for poor air quality. However, stubble burning is the main cause of air pollution, but it remains unaddressed because our politicians are keen on meeting their political ends.

People see it as a failure of government as despite complete ban on firecrackers, their use was not affected in any way. A neitzen wrote, “Despite a complete ban on green crackers prominent media houses & activists are busy in blaming Diwali for the ongoing harmful air pollution in Delhi. Why aren’t they criticizing government for not taking any steps to curb the stubble burning in neighbouring states. #DontBlameDiwali”.

Air pollution is a cause of concern globally and there are various global and local catalysts contributing to it. In the case of New Delhi, India’s capital, which is among the most polluted cities in the world the agents of pollution of air are many, but prominent among them is stubble burning and firecrackers.

This year, Delhi government with many other state following the suit imposed a complete ban on firecrackers. But, the ban was flouted and firecrackers did not see a decline this year too.

Therefore, another issue apart from air pollution is that of disobedience to government policies. We are a democratic society and everybody has right to express their perspectives. We elect our representatives periodically to ensure smooth functioning of the country. But, what is the point of visiting the polling booth, voting there and electing governments when the the rules and policies which are in larger interest are disobeyed. Government policies are input and output mechanism. It is not a one way process. So, in our opinion government rules should be followed, besides being an aware and vigilant citizen who speaks for the right cause at right time.

Also, it is high time for government to proactively deal with the issue of air pollution. Taking extreme steps is not the sign of democratic governance. So, government should be more people-friendly and address the right issue at right time.

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