Digital diwali

Preeti Mehra | Updated on January 08, 2018

Bring together technology and environmental awareness

How do we celebrate the festival of lights without sound, smoke and fury? The Supreme Court ordained that fireworks will not be sold in Delhi and the NCR this Diwali season; in all likelihood they may be banned forever. Many feel the fun has been taken out of the festival to hurt the sentiments of the majority community. They argue that if crackers add to the pollution, then why aren’t other pollutants such as like vehicular traffic also banned.

But why is there so much despair? If the aim is to have fun on Diwali, there are a hundred different ways to do so. One suggestion is using technology to create toys for children that illuminate but do not ignite. For instance, chakras made of LED lights, torches fashioned as psychedelic sparklers, electronic anars, aerodynamic smoke-free rockets — the possibilities are endless. And if imagination is the true mother of invention, we could aim for a ‘Digital Diwali’ with electronic firework displays on websites, in virtual reality and even on television. What’s more, you could enjoy it even on your smartphone! If India is changing the way it claims, and the majority party want to take the Made in India, Swachh Bharat and Digital India route to development, why are its supporters not wanting to walk the same road to clean the air, reduce pollution and give citizens a better atmosphere during their favourite festival? After all, those criticising the ban on sale of firecrackers would agree that Diwali would be much more fun without breathing in noxious fumes. Last year, air quality in the capital deteriorated to such record levels of toxicity that schools were closed and all construction activity came to a halt. For Diwali’s sake let us look at the problem holistically and arrive at a pragmatic solution.

So, here’s to a virtual, smoke- and noise-free Diwali in future. Remember, celebrations can be just a click away!

Associate Editor

Published on October 17, 2017

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