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Writer Chetan Bhagat today expressed his disagreement with the Supreme Court's order banning the sale of fire crackers in Delhi-NCR till November 1, saying it should be regulated not banned.
In a series of tweets, he said that the tradition of burning fire crackers was essential to the festival of Diwali.
"SC bans fireworks on Diwali? A full ban? What's Diwali for children without crackers?," he tweeted.
Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid, Bhagat wrote.
"Regulate. Don't ban. Respect traditions," he tweeted.
He also tweeted in Hindi, "Aaj apne hi desh mein, unhone bacchon ke haath se fuljhari bhi cheen li. Happy Diwali mere dost. (Today, in their own country, they have snatched away sparkles from children's hands too. Happy Diwali friends)."
The writer went on to say that if crackers were banned to control pollution, the action should be emulated for "goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed" during festivals like Eid.
"Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?," Bhagat wrote.
"I want to see people who fight to remove crackers for Diwali show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of blood and gore," he tweeted.
Bhagat's tweets were met with sharp reactions by Twitterati including politician Shehzad Poonawalla, who wrote, "Yes coz when Shri Ram returned to Ayodhya you (& those who read your books) were bursting Chinese made crackers to celebrate the homecoming?"
Bhagat replied, "Be careful in your choice of words. That's all I would say."
Responding to another series of tweets that noted that Diwali celebrations were not equivalent to bursting crackers, and that it was a festival of lights and "not noise or air pollution", Bhagat said a ban was not the solution.
"So you are going to decide for everyone? Ban whatever doesn't suit your style?
"It is one day of the year. Our biggest festival. Uber has saved pollution more than any ban would. Come up with innovations. Not bans," he wrote.
He added, "Diwali one day a year is causing disorders? Or unchecked polluters who pollute everyday?"
A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said the apex court's September 12 order temporarily lifting the stay and permitting sale of fire crackers would be effective from November 1.
Diwali is on October 19 and the order effectively means that no fire crackers will be available for purchase before the festival.