Call it fate or horror but even the Gods couldn’t help prevent deaths in their premises as over a 100 people were charred to death and several hundred injured in a maddening act of fireworks contest at Paravur Puttingal Devi Temple at Kollam in Kerala. Be it a cricket victory or festive celebration or an occasion of happiness like marriages or bringing in the New Year, people in India celebrates by bursting crackers but without following safety norms needed for such an outburst of joy. The temple fire tragedy should act as an eye-opener and bursting of crackers needs to be banned in our country by law that is forcefully enforced and followed. Fireworks display not only causes sound pollution but is also an environmental hazard apart from a serious risk to human lives when incidents like the one at Kerala had taken place. An enquiry is ordered by the authorities and soon forgotten till another similar incident takes place in future.
More and more people are giving up bursting crackers even for Diwali which is good news but a ban on manufacture of crackers should be in place so that such tragedies don’t happen at all. In the United States, bursting crackers are allowed for special occasions but with proper permissions in open grounds and with safety standards which include fire brigades and ambulances at the site.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)