There is no technical solution to the “Diwali cracker” menace in India. The only way to solve this problem is through policy action.
Garrett Hardin would have argued- the utility or fun of bursting one more cracker is enjoyed by only me where the negative outcome in terms of pollution ( noise and air) is shared by the rest of the society. So the natural course of action for me will be to burst more crackers to maximise my utility. Every person will think the same and burst more crackers and therefore bringing us to our collective doom.
Since exuberance for crackers cannot be moderated by individuals it needs to be regulated through policy action.
Diwali celebrations doesn’t have be only about bursting crackers. It need not be a tamasha of who has more patakas and which ones are louder. Every year during the Diwali week lot of people go through a hard time. Infants and kids suffer, Old people suffer, dogs have a hard time and next morning every one has pain in their eyes and ears.
Imagine its 10.30 pm on Diwali night. You are sleeping in your house. At this precise moment your neighbour brings out “100,000 ladi waala pataka”. It burns for about 25 minutes or so and in the process waking up everyone in the neighbourhood . Are you really celebrating return of Lord Rama from Vanvas? Is 10,000 ladi wala pataka or Atom bomb really necessary to enjoy Diwali ?
Multiply this by 10,000 colonies in Delhi and soon it starts sounding like war front. If Lord Rama were to enter Delhi on Diwali day he would assume that people are fighting and not celebrating his return.
I don’t think ban of crackers in Delhi is attack on Hindu festivals. We have been attacking our festivals for long. They are increasingly becoming symbol of who has more money to splurge. There was a time when we would all put candles, rangoli, diva’s in the house. Yes there were crackers but not a whole lot. Now everywhere you see you have Chinese lights. People are seen competing with each other.
I’m not against bursting crackers in Diwali but in moderation. Since we don’t know moderation the only thing left is judiciary to set the limits.