Guru Krishna, Siva Aalayam, Rylands
This is my view of the recent debate around fireworks during the Diwali/ Deepavali festival.
After I heard about other Hindu organisations moving towards the Green Diwali celebration concept (without fireworks), I decided to support the decision made by City of Cape Town about fireworks even though there was no consultation and the timing of the announcement just before Diwali was inappropriate (“No fireworks sites this year”, Tatler, October 17).
The following are the reasons for my decision:
This year the global Hindu community celebrates the 150th birth centenary of Mahatma Gandhi. One of Gandhiji’s teachings to the world is animal protection – if the global Hindu community can stand together and stop using fireworks, it will be a great celebration and tribute that we are offering to the Mahatma.
The present situation on the Cape Flats with the ongoing gang-related violence where innocent people, women and children are killed daily is of concern to all. The police, army and firefighters need to give priority to emergencies and other incidents rather than monitoring fireworks display sites.
Hinduism promotes environmental protection. Fireworks are made from chemicals which have a negative impact on nature. They cause air pollution, water contamination, etc.
Taking all of these above into consideration and also looking at the current economic challenges, with poverty and unemployment, and the price of a box of fireworks ranging from R150 to R300 and above, this money can be better used to feed needy families and children.
I humbly request all Hindus to support the Green Diwali initiative and celebrate Diwali and Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth centenary with due respect for animals and our environment.
More important than fireworks is to light lamps of love, charity and compassion within yourself.
Happy Diwali. Iniya Deepavali nalvazhthukkal.