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BJP leaders back firecrackers: Guess Patakhas are Hindu after all!

Charu Kartikeya | Updated on: 11 October 2017, 18:56 IST
(Arya Sharma)

In the entire arsenal of crackers Delhiites used to hoard before Diwali every year, the “Laxmi bomb” had a place of pride. At the top was, of course, the king of “bombs”, the colloquial name for firecrackers in North India, the “Aloo bomb”, but “Laxmi bomb” was only one shade less impressive.

Given the fragile sentiments of Hindutva fundamentalists, it was surprising how a large movement never came up protesting the association of a Hindu goddess with a tube full of explosive powder that shred the image of the goddess into pieces.

The absence of that kind of opposition is finally beginning to make sense. Crackers, after all, are Hindu and bursting them is a Hindu thing. Just like feasting on mutton on Eid is a Muslim thing. At least this is what BJP would like the country to believe.

Officially, the party has not denounced the Supreme Court's order banning the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and NCR till November 1. However, some BJP leaders have clearly let it be known that they are against the ban and will in fact support efforts to bypass it.

To be sure, traders are also upset with the top court's order but that’s because the order came very late in the day, just 10 days short of Diwali. They had already stocked their shops and godowns with firecrackers worth lakhs and will now incur huge losses because none of those will be sold.

The BJP leaders' opposition to the ban, however, has nothing to do with these concerns. They feel that the court's reasoning of crackers causing pollution is a sham and that the real reason behind the ban is a concerted attack on Hindu festivals and, by extension, Hinduism.

The spokesperson of BJP's Delhi unit, Tajinder Bagga, is running a campaign to distribute crackers free of cost in slums.

Bagga claims the ban is an attack on Hindu festivals and he is fighting it to save his religion.

Interestingly, Bagga has also said his campaign will not be a violation of the court's order because only sale of firecrackers has been banned, not free distribution and bursting.

Bagga is not alone in the BJP. Senior party leader Bhupendra Singh, Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, tweeted out Diwali wishes early this year and added an invitation to 'friends in Delhi' to celebrate the festival in his state. In Madhya Pradesh, there is full freedom to burst crackers, Singh proudly announced.

That this sentiment against the SC order is widespread in the Sangh Parivar circles has been made clear by the disdain openly put out by the right wing eco-system on social media.


Is it just a matter of time before the BJP endorses this campaign officially?

First published: 11 October 2017, 18:57 IST
Charu Kartikeya @CharuKeya

Assistant Editor at Catch, Charu enjoys covering politics and uncovering politicians. Of nine years in journalism, he spent six happily covering Parliament and parliamentarians at Lok Sabha TV and the other three as news anchor at Doordarshan News. A Royal Enfield enthusiast, he dreams of having enough time to roar away towards Ladakh, but for the moment the only miles he's covering are the 20-km stretch between home and work.