Sparks of fire
Though a ban exists on the import and sale of firecrackers, both ordinary citizens and even some law-enforcers have revelled in the forbidden pleasure of sparks and explosions. The rampant use of these devices this Tihar is mainly due to the vastly improved political and security situation emphasised by the ceasefire and the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Maoists. Definitely, the public is in a more relaxed mood in years. As there is a good demand for firecrackers, businessmen have always tried to find a way round the law to ensure supply, blaming high public demand for their illegal profit. And most of the law-enforcers have looked away, particularly this year. But there have been cases of confiscation of firecrackers from the shopkeepers, as well as of their harassment, including the demand for money in exchange for sparing them legal action.
A report, for example, says that firecrackers seized from vendors and locals have been exploded inside a ward police post premises in Bhrikutinagar of Banke district. Then there have been some casualties, especially among kids, when the tiny explosives misfired. Indeed, firecrackers make Deepawali more colourful. But it has its own demerits, including the waste of money and the possibility of injury. But it is also necessary that the coexistence of a legal ban and its open violations should end. It is time that the law came up for a review and a certain degree of relaxation to take into account the realities of the situation.