Tanishq’s progressive advertisements this year has not been accepted by everyone in the society and has been facing backlash. Recently, Tanishq posted an ad for Diwali where the actresses talk about the different ways they be will celebrating Diwali this year, and one of the actresses say “definitely no firecrackers and I don’t think anyone should light any firecrackers, but a lot of diyas”. Due to this particular line, the ad made headlines and had a negative impact among certain people in the society. It was boycotted by many and later taken down.
Though the issue of bursting crackers has always been openly spoken about, the recent Tanishq ad on the same made a swirl in our society. Not diving into the fact whether it was intended or an agenda to alter Hindu traditions and influence the society, it was a social message for a cause that has been spoken about over the past few years and never before was it made a religious issue. The question as to whether religion has to be brought into a social message raised in many. In a secular country such as ours, religion has been brought into many social issues, particularly in the past few years.
The above pie charts indicate the opinion and progressive mindset of the majority in our society. Social awareness messages are meant to help people comprehend the consequences of their actions and make an informed decision on a specific matter. Intertwining social messages and religion might subjugate the sole purpose of the message and steer it towards a different issue.
When talking about Diwali there have always been various opinions in our country, bursting crackers has always been controversial in our society based on climate change and the impact it has on animals. More than ever, this year it is more crucial to avoid bursting crackers due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Doctors and scientists have established that the fumes from bursting crackers affects the air quality which parallelly affects our respiratory system, which now make us more vulnerable to COVID-19.
During the month of November, number of states announced a ban on selling and bursting of crackers and few had imposed a time limit, which surprisingly did not have the kind of response that the Tanishq ad received. The state governments around the country have been more stringent pertaining to bursting crackers this year but were not criticized as harshly. We as a society deserve to do the best for each other and protect ourselves, being one at times like this. The necessity of religion in social awareness issues need to be miniscule, if any. The scientific proof in the past and present indicates the impact bursting crackers has on our environment, which should be all the more reason to be more aware of our actions and the impact it will have over the years which should take precedence over our personal intentions.
In a survey done recently, it shows that a social awareness message such as the tanishq ad does not deserve to be boycotted and taken but to gain further reach.
According to researches, there is no proof of bursting crackers during Lord Rama’s return to Ayodhya after defeating Ravana. This tradition did not exist until 14000 – 1900 AD, when the origination of the festival did not comprise this tradition, should it be something that causes a drift in our society and threaten one of the very foundations of our constitution, secularism. There is no doubt that refraining from bursting crackers will have a grievous impact on firecracker industry, but maybe this is a change that has to happen at some point in the future to collectively protect our environment.
Taking into account the opinion of general population solely on the environmental impact of bursting firecrackers during Diwali, there are divided opinions among people. Though the general opinion leans toward “no”, this a question that would be more precisely answered by environmentalists.
Due to climate change and the increasing fear induced responsibility among people, there is a possibility that the firecracker industry might suffer severely sometime in the future. The phrase better late than never seems to be appropriate here, it is necessary for us to protect our environment currently for a better future.