Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Secularization of Festivals

Back in the day, different festivals meant different things. Sankranti was about sharing the bounties of your harvest. Ugadi was about reminding yourself to have the equanimity to accept both the sweet and bitter of life. Diwali was about driving to Hosur to buy cheap crackers put together by child labourers in Sivakasi so that you could indulge in a large-scale assault on my right to clean air. Ganesha Habba was about introducing toxic lead paints into all our local water bodies.

Now all festivals mean the same thing. "This XXX, head to your nearest mall to buy things you don't really need for a discount that's not really there". Replace XXX with the festival of your choice - Christmas, Diwali, Eid or Navroz- and you know that that announcement works. Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen, the secularization of our festivals is complete.