Diwali is called the biggest festival of India, and rightly so. People in the country celebrate it regardless of caste, creed or religion. However, in this fast-paced modernized world, the festival is losing its essence. Well-known industrialist Sanjay Dalmia feels perturbed by the change.
“The spirit of Diwali is no longer as it used to be. I still remember how Diwali used to be celebrated during my childhood. Back in those days, the festival meant break from school, feasting with friends, new clothes and bursting a few crackers,” said Sanjay Dalmia.
Feeling nostalgic, the business mogul added, “Diwali would be the time when our parents bring in some new things for the house, and relatives would visit with gifts. Back then, there was a certain kind of innocence linked to the way in which we celebrated the festival. It was more inclusive. Even people with limited means could join in and enjoy the festivities.”
According to Mr Dalmia, modernization of Indian festivals has completely distorted the spirit of Diwali. “Today, people are more into savoring what technology has to offer. The culture of not going uninvited and unannounced is keeping relatives and friends apart. A simple Skype call, email or Whatsapp text saves people from paying or returning visits,” lamented Mr Dalmia.
Paucity of time is another factor contributing to the changed notions of celebrating Diwali. With the busy lifestyles that we have today, Diwali is no longer a five-day festival, but a quick, one-day affair. The tradition of cleaning and painting of house before Diwali has largely been abandoned by people, thanks to the new high quality paints that last years.
“Earlier, ladies of the family would gather days before the five-day festival began and would prepare sumptuous meals and mouth-watering sweets, which would last at least a fortnight. Now the whole lot of homemade sweets and snacks are being replaced by readymade stuff,” said Mr Sanjay Dalmia.
He further added, “Buying new clothes before Diwali is no longer considered a privilege by us, since we buy clothes year around, whenever we want to. Traditional diyas are being replaced by LED fairy lights because latter are more bright, decorative and convenient.”
“I admit that time changes everything. However, some things are better kept intact. Celebrating Diwali the traditional way would not only be a soothing and stress-free experience, it would also keep the next generations in touch with Indian culture, traditions and values,” said Mr Sanjay Dalmia.