The Supreme Court recently reinstated the ban on the sale of firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region. This action acted as a spark to a line of potential patakhas that has drawn different responses from the society. From jubilation, disappointment, mockery to accusations of having a communal bias; the Court has now seen it all. Among all this ruckus, the sane cry for a plea of fresh air seems to go unnoticed.Among all the expected reactions to the ban, the most alarming one is from hardcore right wing Hindutva ideologists who have perceived the ban as an attack upon their religious beliefs. According to these concerned individuals, this cracker ban is about to set of a precedent and who knows when the court may decide to intervene and ban cremations next. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh appeared in the judiciary and has been quoted to say, “ for Yakub Memen the Supreme Court holds a hearing at 2 in the morning. When will it make time to hear a plea to allow small children to play with fireworks?”. To pile up on what has been perceived to be an act of defiance on the part of the judiciary, there is an increasing paranoia about a systematically orchestrated attack on Hindu beliefs and customs including dahi handi, jallikattu, and now Diwali.
This indeed, has been the crux of the religious angst against the Court. For all the commitment taken by the BJP in their office, the saffron lobby does not seem satisfied with the existing legal structure. However, the fact that has failed to come within the notice of the people is that the Supreme Court is acting upon its own role as a vehicle for social change. There may be some mental reservations even in the minds of the judges to introduce drastic blanket bans on the sale of crackers, however taking a step in the right direction is a start nevertheless. When the city itself is choked for air, this ban should be perceived as a welcome step in the right direction instead of being taken as an attack against one religious group. The ban should be applauded and serve as a bold precedent towards a better environment instead of it undermining the judiciary to be influenced and act with greater caution on matters relating to Hindus in the future.
This write-up was prepared by Shashank Mishra (2nd Year)