Dear Shashi Tharoor sir,
This is an open letter to address the difference of opinions I have with the ‘Hindu Haze’ that you see in Deepawali,” and by a Hindu who is sad to be called “an individual polarized by the triumphalist people. Let us not barge into personal conflicts of deciding who is polarized and who is triumphalist. At least these words get huge on an average Indian travelling on an economy class seat in an aeroplane, unlike someone who thinks economy class as a “Cattle herd”.
Bakr-Id sacrifices hurt only goats; Muharram mourners flagellate themselves, but Diwali firecrackers affect celebrants&non-revellers alike.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 10, 2017
To start with, you go on to mention the pleas of parents to ban crackers has been an age-old demand in Delhi and how it causes pollution in the city by smog which clouds above the city during winters. Delhi NCR experiences winter in the months of December and January, which is over 45 days away from the Deepawali celebrations. To add furthermore, let us just look into what actually pushes in more pollutants to the atmosphere. Delhi registers a record growth of around 9.9% vehicles every year, a data from Delhi government shows the increase in the number of vehicles in Delhi from 8.8 million in 2014-15 to 9.7 million in 2015-16. If we try to say cracker bursting is Willful polluting, then adding new vehicles is also the same. A city which hosts around 20 million people having half the number of vehicles in itself is alarming. And remember these vehicles pollute the city every single day, unlike 3 days during Deepawali.
For a moment before we discuss the ‘Hindu Chauvinism’ that is cribbing against the cracker ban let us just look back at old days when you celebrated things. I understand that you feel that stadium inaugurations, political party victories, New Year eve, Christmas can be celebrated with crackers, but celebrating Deepawali with crackers is bad!
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 31, 2015
Now coming to the age-old debate of a bloodless Muharram, you speak about only goats being harmed. There are two reasons I am sad about this line of argument sir.
Disgraceful BJP political pandering to retrograde elements inTN&Maharashtra results in torture of bulls. Urge Animal Welfare Board to appeal
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 10, 2016
Absurd to justify inhumane conduct on the grounds of traditional culture. Sati was also part of traditional culture:will BJP justify it now?
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 10, 2016
These were your reactions when people wanted Jallikattu. We can’t justify animal torture in the name of traditional culture. Can we? Isn’t hurting and torturing goats in line with the above sentiments sir? Didn’t we all cry against the torturing of dogs in Yulin festival in China? Wasn’t that just about hurting animals?
Well, again let us not discuss on the sentiments and emotions attached with these celebrations. Let us check it from the perspective of pollution, the carbon footprint and the pollution caused by the meat consumption that accompanies these celebrations! A survey from PETA says that a staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. Going by your words banning beef is a way to stop willful pollution of the environment, isn’t it? Let us all consume Tofu instead. Coming back with a prerogative saying “People have the right to eat what they want isn’t allowed. Because people are not let to burn what they feel like for celebrations.
Sir, we agree on your discourse where you say,” Diwali firecrackers effect both revellers and non-revellers alike. And Lord Ram was not welcomed with crackers.” Yes, we need to ban anything that effects the revellers and the non-revellers alike. And also things that were not a part of a tradition. For your information sir, loudspeakers were not a part of any Masjids or any tradition till the late 1920’s, something which isn’t as debatable as the timeline of the invention of gunpowder used in crackers.
Going by your own words and observations, Article 25 of the Indian Constitution grants Indians the freedom to practice religion “subject to public order, morality and health”. But if a religious observance – however, sanctified by centuries of tradition – affects the health of the public, modern civic responsibility suggests it must be modified. There are crores of people effected by noise created 5 times a day 365 days a year and their hearing capacities are in danger. Doesn’t our civic responsibility urge us to stop that?
One more point sir. I strongly disapprove of you denying the claims of Hinduism is in danger, because I am tired of people poking fingers into my eyes every time I celebrate my festivals, every time I try and follow what my ancestors have laid out in front of me to follow. I am afraid of Hinduism being a punching bag for all of you ‘Intellectuals’ to throw punches at whenever you are frustrated or feel like appeasing someone. I am sad about the double standards that you follow dictate terms like, “Harming Nature, sentiments, cruelty” clause in every Hindu celebration. “Wasting water” during Holi and “colours on innocent animals” become a matter of concern for you who sits inside your private pools and travels in Business class planes. You cry of Patriarchal oppression during Karwa Chauth. But you don’t see patriarchy in “Mutilating female gentiles. “ With Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja you crib about polluting water but ironically you don’t talk about the rivers of blood and animal waste that flows into the same water sources. You pick on every single Hindu celebration and mock our culture with a simple claim of being Environment unfriendly. Dear sir, we are tired of the Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies that you speak, write, opinion about and sell in the name of being secular. Please stop picking on us Hindus and dissecting Hindutva for personal and political gains. Let the ‘Dharma’ of this land flourish for years and years to come. Let us leave the traits of the rich tradition that we have for our descendants to come than try and malign it in the name of liberation