Diwali, the festival of lights, symbolizes the victory of light over
darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil and hope over despair.
Diwali is a Hindu festival, celebrated by lighting lamps all over the house. Diwali
is also an occasion to distribute and exchange sweets
between friends and family, where pleasantries are extended over a five-day
period. Diwali wishes through e-cards
, video chats and greeting
cards are sent to near and dear one who live away from home. The main festival
night of Diwali falls on the new-moon night of autumn, which is said to be the
A Diwali celebration is always marked by a night sky with fireworks
display and sounds of bursting crackers
Fireworks animation is a common trend among people who do not wish to use real
firecrackers to avoid pollution
Lighting of lamps or diyas
signifies overcoming darkness, not only of the world, but also within oneself.
The light signifies knowledge and it dispels the darkness of ignorance.
Knowledge is the greatest form of wealth and ignorance is the root cause of all
kinds of sorrow.
So, does switching on the tube lights, bulbs and the colourful
imported fancy serial lights justify the purpose? After all, they too, dispel
Lighting up the traditional Indian lamp or diya
has a deeper meaning. The ghee
used in the lamp stands for our negative tendencies and the wick is the ego.
When the diya
is lit by the flame of
knowledge, there is a slow, but sure, burning of these negative tendencies and
However, the current trend reveals yet another reason to light up
the traditional lamp. The aftermaths of Diwali during the past few years have
seen cases of burns
, and people worrying
about their health for having gone easy with sweets. Leading newspapers have
published the dark Diwalis of the Indian potters and firework
facing stiff competition with cheap, imported serial lamps
and dangerous, illegally imported fireworks. These stories are a wake-up call
for us to do something about it.
There have been several reasons cited by the buyers, sellers and the
users why people should opt to use electric
instead of the earthen oil lamps. The serial lights are
cheaper and require lesser effort to light them up. Further, even after
lighting, the oil lamps are blown off by wind or a small shower. The oil needs
to be refilled every now and then. The serial lights are a spectacular sight as
they come in various shapes, colours and designs. The dancing-musical lights
that seem to be moving or changing colours are very attractive, but come at a
slightly higher price.
What has the Indian government done about it?
The department of Industrial policy
and promotion under the commerce ministry has announced that possession and
sale of imported firecrackers would be illegal. Chief Ministers of all states
have been instructed by the central government to take heavy action against
Plans to encourage people to use more diyas
instead of cheap electric lights.
Plans to revive "deep daan", a
practice of offering earthen lamps in rivers and lakes during Diwali. This
practice is also much more environmental friendly than the pollution-causing
These changes have been welcomed by the fireworks manufacturers,
adding that the imported crackers are also not tested for safety and could pose
a threat to life. These changes also go with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Damodardas Modi's "Make In India" concept, in which the products bought by
Indians must be made in India.
Since October 2010, newspapers have been reporting the dark Diwalis
of the potters and Indian firecracker industry. The rising costs of clay, oil
and ghee have seemed to contribute to the low sales of the earthen lamps. About
50-odd potter families in Rajasthan were hit badly after they worked hard to
make the diyas,
hoping to sell them
About 5 lakh families in Tamil Nadu's Sivakasi town working in
fireworks companies are threatened of getting swamped by Chinese firecrackers,
as reported in October 2014. Nearly 35% of products made in India for this
year's Diwali remain unsold, posing a threat to the Rs. 60 billion Indian
firecracker industry. Most of these imported firecrackers are illegal.
However, in November 2013, there was some reassuring news about the
potters and sellers Patna. The report mentioned that after an 'electrical
Diwali' the previous year, people have turned back to the soft flame of
and the potters
happily churned out a huge number of basic as well as designer earthen diyas
So, how do we bring cheer to the Indian
industry this Diwali? There is always the middle path to choose, in a way that
will not hit the Indian diya
and fireworks companies.
Line up the earthen diyas
and place the serial lights in
them to make them look like lighted lamps.
that come along with wind-guards. Most of the diyas
are available with the wind-shield
to keep them burning against the breeze
Make holes in earthen pots and light a
inside it. This will also create
a light-patterns dancing on the walls of your house.
Make designer paper lamps and light up
a bulb or diya
Buy and use firecrackers
that are made in
India. Have a safe Diwali.
Let us all celebrate this Diwali as Indians - Be Indian, Buy Indian
and Make In India.