His next few tweets became steadily controversial as he commented that if crackers were banned in Diwali, the same should hold for "goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed".
Can I just ask on cracker ban. Why only guts to do this for Hindu festivals? Banning goat sacrifice and Muharram bloodshed soon too?— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Responding to a petition citing deadly pollution in Delhi peaking during Diwali, the Supreme Court yesterday banned the sale of firecrackers till November 1, saying it wants to assess the impact on the air quality. The court said those who had firecrackers can still burst them on October 19, when millions will celebrate the festival of lights by bursting crackers and lighting lamps.
Banning crackers on Diwali is like banning Christmas trees on Christmas and goats on Bakr-Eid. Regulate. Don't ban. Respect traditions.— Chetan Bhagat (@chetan_bhagat) October 9, 2017
Chetan Bhagat's outrage lent itself to multiple angry posts that drew a mix of condemnation and approval.
"I want to see people who fight to remove crackers for Diwali show the same passion in reforming other festivals full of blood and gore," tweeted the author.
Your examples of practices integral to those observances; banning them would be like banning lamps onDiwali. Firecrackers are unholy add-ons— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 9, 2017
Hi Chetan would you rather have your children suffer respiratory disorders instead? Don't force your idiotic fantasies reg Diwali to kids.— Priyanka (@autumnrainwish) October 9, 2017
So you feel I support that! Never! Anything that causes pollution should be used intelligently regardless of religion, Profession or need.— PawanKumar (@pawankrpoonia) October 9, 2017
Soldiering on despite flak, Chetan Bhagat insisted that a ban was not the solution. "So you are going to decide for everyone? Ban whatever doesn't suit your style?
The problem with modern India is that elite education has been a failure to inculcate wisdom in people's minds. Be wise before u tweet.— siddhartha (@sid_mnnit) October 9, 2017
"It is one day of the year. Our biggest festival. Uber has saved pollution more than any ban would. Come up with innovations. Not bans," he wrote.
Each year, Diwali festivities leave the air in Delhi thick with toxic smog and suspended particles, and residents complaining of breathlessness and lung difficulties.
Last Diwali, the pollution in Delhi was said to be dangerous and the worst in 10 years. After the festival, the Supreme Court, responding to a petition by three children aged between six years and 14 months, banned the sale of crackers. The ban was paused when cracker manufacturers said it would impact earnings. But the children went to the court again asking that the ban be restored.