Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 01 March 2024 9.05 AM IST

Court order banning fireworks needs revision


A single bench order of the High Court banning the untimely bursting of firecrackers at places of worship in the state has led to detailed and extensive discussions. Kerala is decorated with many religious spots and it has imbibed into the culture of the state. Traditions are also varied across the breadth of the state and many temples and churches still consider fireworks as an integral part of the culture. Therefore, it won't be easy to take a unilateral position on this issue. Therefore, before submitting the report requested by the court, the government should hold discussions with all concerned authorities including the Devaswom.

Justice Amit Rawal's order came from a petition that was filed in 2015 by the residents of the Ernakulam Maradu Kottaram Bhagavathi Temple who requested the court to ban the firecrackers bursting near the premises of Mangayil Government Higher Secondary and Lower Primary School. The petition pointed out the damages firecrackers brought to houses and the repeated injuries sustained by adults and children in the nearby area was also pointed. It also mentioned that the bursting of crackers at odd hours was nothing but an attempt to disturb the serene life of people.

“ There is no command in any holy scripture that says bursting crackers will please the god” The court also directed that the district administration with the help of the police should inspect and seize the crackers illegally stored in places related to religion. The decision may seem like a prudent one in the wake of the repeated fire tragedies that shocked our society but it will be arduous for such a decision to turn into a reality as not everything works as per commands of the law.

For example, the highest court of the country announced the verdict regarding the entry of women into Sabarimala, but what ensued was chaos of unprecedented level. Religious communities opposed while leading political parties had to eat their words to win people again. Any religious practice that does not hurt the feelings of others and is not based on blind superstition is permitted in the country. So, it is of utmost importance for everyone to remain an inclusive society without any quibbles.

One of the main attractions of the Thrissur Pooram, which is attended by lakhs of devotees and even tourists every year, is the midnight fireworks. Paramekkavu & Thiruvambady Devaswoms waited no time to issue strong protests at the single bench order. The court is considering the matter again on the 24th of this month. The government has been directed to submit a report within that. Discussions with representatives of all concerned will help alleviate tensions. However, noise pollution warrants attention and is not anything to simply ignore. Just like the restriction on the use of loudspeakers, there should be some restrictions in this regard.

Fireworks should be conducted in a way to not interrupt children’s studies, or bring distress to ailing elders. Normally, festival seasons and examination dates converge together and it adds to the pain of students to fight all these disturbances to focus on their studies. A better plan should be charted to help solve this quagmire.

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