Crackers and Hypocrisy

July 4th and firecrackers go hand in hand in the US! Almost every other person you meet in the USA recommends you to attend the nearest fire crackers show. And heeding to this advice, I attended it right in the capital of USA, Washington DC. I loved the whole atmosphere that day - it had rained and the weather was cool and cloudy. A huge sea of people were gathered around the beautiful washington monument and exactly at 9:09, the magnificent cracker show began. People around me were clad in USA colors, flags everywhere and were cheering -- U-S-A! U-S-A! Overall, everyone around me were passionate about their country and there was nothing but patriotism! And, this is more or less the scene in every town, city, university in the USA.

While seeing this, my mind wondered what would be the situation if we had something like this in India. Rather, why don’t we have something like this already in place ? Why do we celebrate our Independence day in a rather boring fashion ? - protocols, speeches, etc. -- all that it takes to make it uninteresting! If people in the US definitely know something, it’s selling! Patriotism is made so natural and enjoyable that developing anti-national feelings is not even an option!

Anyways, let’s say we do learn this bit from the US and decide to have a cracker show or some such event for August 15th - what will be the reaction ? All the left liberals in the country, the so called ‘intelligentsia’ will go crazy! We will have hundreds of articles flooding national and international newspapers about how India can’t afford such a massive ‘waste of money’ when it has so many poor mouths to feed. Actually, I don’t need to write about this in a hypothetical manner - this is already true! Remember when Mangalyan was a success ? - there were articles everywhere that India just wasted 500 cr. on a project that is not going to benefit the ‘poor’ in any way! Every time around Jan 26th, I see a bunch of articles about how money used for the Republic Day “extravagance” can be used to help the poor! Let me not even get into the hypocrisy displayed with respect to Hindu festivals like Deepavali, Holi, or Ganesha Chaturthi! Every school kid is taught about cracker-less deepavali, color-less holi, idol-less ganesha - prevent pollution, global warming, save water, blah blah… Really ?

Do you know what causes more pollution ? cars, unregulated industries! Do you know what is a waste of water ? - large scale consumption of meat! It takes about 8-10 times more water than rice to produce the same quantity of beef! Are children taught about this in schools ? NO!! - Asking the right questions and logical thinking are definitely not acceptable -- as long as you parrot politically acceptable lines, you are celebrated as a hero!

Next time you see someone lecturing you about money being wasted or pollution during national or Hindu festivals, ask them these questions:

  • Can India afford to have unreasonable subsidy schemes where you distribute 1kg of rice for ONE rupee? What does it mean to our economic progress ? How much do these socialist programs affect the country’s debts ?
  • Why is there no ruckus about firecrackers during new years , July 4th, etc? Do they not cause pollution ?
  • What about consumption of meat on a large scale ? Is it not a grave wastage of water which we as a society cannot clearly afford ?

The next national or Hindu festival, just celebrate it the way you like! Pollution, animal welfare, water and money wastage - Ignore all these reasons! There is no need for you to not celebrate when the ones lecturing you are nothing but hypocrites.