We are in the thick of festivities presently, with different Utsav’s ongoing and some around the corner. Agreed that these festivities bring about a lot of joy and excitement, but we should not forget the aftermaths of these festivities. I don’t think, I would be wrong, in putting forth, that these festivities leave behind, a cloud of air pollution, water pollution and noise pollution, around us, to bear for the rest of the year. So can’t we have more contemporary festivities, rather than follow the same conventional styles of celebrating, which will enhance joy and no aftermaths to suffer on.

Processions can be carried out peacefully, by getting rid of crackers, loudspeakers, bands. Pandals can get rid of loudspeakers by merely having the traditional Aartis or Bhajans, sung together without any background music or musical instruments being played. During Navratri, the Dandiyas, should be arranged on small scales in community halls and not on open grounds and music should be played on low volumes, to avoid the sound from going out of the hall premises, thereby reducing noise pollution and having mercy on students who invariably have their exams during the festive season and the patients who are in hospitals or in their houses.

Also, idols from different households could be carried together in one vehicle, instead of each idol, being carried in a separate family vehicle. Idols from Pandals in close proximity, in an area, should be carried by vehicle or vehicles depending on the size of the idol, arranged by the Pandals together from one area, thereby reducing traffic chaos and vehicular pollution.  Only handlers of the respective idols from both household and from the Pandals, should go along with the idols for immersion, thereby reducing traffic chaos on the road and stress on the security personnel and the police force, and also avoiding terrorists attacks and their aftermaths.

Idols should be made out of mud which is easily soluble in water, thereby reducing water pollution and also the agony of having to see the remains of the idols, float back on to the shores the next day. The previous day, we worship these idols with great care and respect, till they are immersed and the next day, the remains of these idols whom we have worshipped as God, surface on the water banks with roadside urchins jumping on to these remains and playing with them and we become mere mute spectators to all of this. This leads to some questions and we ponder what sort of reverence is this? Where has the reverence towards the almighty gone, or has the reverence also been immersed along with the idols?