Tamil Nadu

Allow bursting of crackers from 4.30 a.m. to 6.30 a.m. during Diwali: TN govt. to SC

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Highlighting the multicultural hues of the country, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday asked the Supreme Court to modify its October 23 order restricting the bursting of firecrackers to a two-hour period between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. during festivals, including Diwali.

For one, the State of Tamil Nadu said the festival of Diwali is celebrated in the morning. Hence, the Supreme Court should allow bursting of crackers from 4.30 a.m. till 6.30 a.m. in Tamil Nadu.

“India being a Federal State is with different traditions and cultures. As far as celebrations relating to Diwali are concerned, each State or Sect has a separate set of beliefs, traditions and culture,” the application filed by the State, through advocate B. Vinodh Kanna, argued.

It said that “in Northern India, Diwali is celebrated in the night to celebrate the homecoming of Rama after slaying Ravana, Diwali is therefore on the night of November 7, 2018. In the State of Tamil Nadu, Diwali, pronounced as ‘Deepavali’, is celebrated commemorating the death of Narakashura, the Evil, slain by the Goddess in the early hours of dawn”.

 

Detailing the ritual of celebration, the State said in “Tamil Nadu, on the day of Diwali, people wake up early at around 4 a.m., take an oil bath, wear new clothes, and start the celebration with bursting fire crackers in the early morning itself. The celebration goes all day. Diwali this year in Tamil Nadu, is on the early morning of November 6”.

The State urged the court to extend the time for bursting crackers to 4.30 a.m. till 6.30 a.m. in the State.

The State said people in Tamil Nadu do not light lamps on Diwali, day or night. The customary lighting of lamps is reserved for ‘Karthigai Deepam’ which falls on full moon day in the Tamil Karthigai month.

The State pointed out that there are lakhs of people from other States, including the northern parts of the country, who have settled down in Tamil Nadu. However, they continue to follow their own traditions and culture. So, Diwali is celebrated both in the morning and in the night. So, instead of restricting the bursting of crackers for two hours in the night, another two-hour window should be opened in the morning. Besides, it would be more polluted if crackers are burst en masse at the same time in the State. This would only make pollution worse.

Disabling the people of Tamil Nadu from bursting fire crackers in the early morning of Diwali would amount to rejecting their religious rights.

“Diwali is a religious practice religiously and scrupulously followed by the Hindus from time immemorial and it had become a core and essential religious practice which is also protected under Article 25 of the Constitution as their fundamental right,” Tamil Nadu government said.

The Supreme Court had restricted the time for bursting crackers across India on festivals and other occasions as a means to reduce air pollution.

The Supreme Court is likely to hear the petitions on October 30.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 4:37:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/allow-bursting-of-crackers-from-430-am-to-630-am-during-diwali-tn-govt-to-sc/article25360949.ece

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