The mainstream media all over the world is perhaps too busy probing into more serious affairs to highlight the recent Halloween mishap in Seoul, Korea. If you can call the death of 100 people (many were injured as well) in the stampede a mere mishap, that is. Wonder what would it take to bring the matter into global limelight and cognizance considering the location isn’t a mandir, the celebrations weren’t in India and most importantly, the festival wasn’t a Hindu one!
Not that those celebrating Halloween in India would even be bothered. Their quota of sloganeering directed at saving the environment is complete. Condemning the firecrackers burst during Deepawali to be the sole reason for ruining air quality, they probably are saving their energy to voice their ire again about water wastage during Holi. Obviously, the global fireworks display during New Years doesn’t fall in their purview. The attack was, is and will always be on Hindu festivals and celebrations. So clearly, Halloween, a toxic narrative through which the West peddles its consumerist agenda amongst brainwashed believers in India, is spared.
We won’t go into the origin of Halloween, which was actually an ancient Celtic festival called Samhain. But it is interesting to note how the pagan harvest festival was usurped by the missionaries to lend it a Christian colour gradually. What is more interesting is how the directive was so built the world over that the celebrations became a massive platform for companies to sell their products. Plastic or synthetic costumes, excessive confectionaries, décor items and pumpkins, Halloween became an orgy of nonsensical excesses. Just like how Christmas, a borrowed concept from the pagan Saturnalia, became a consumptive celebration. If you come to think of it, isn’t this how the US reaped profits by ‘marketing’ quite a large number of days? Think how they laughed to the bank selling the concept of love. Valentine’s anyone?
Those were the 90s when while we were smitten by the simplicity of times, the ecosystem in India, the missionaries in cahoots with the state were systematically brainwashing us to stop prioritizing our own culture while paying more heed to all these foreign ‘days’. The consumerist rot was slowly pushed into our consciousness. If Valentine’s was the in thing then, it is Halloweens now. Funnily, urban Indians in tier-one cities are even observing Thanksgiving, after having fallen prey to silly trends. Ask them about Akashdeepam or Ulkadaanam during Amavasya in Kartik maas, they would probably scoff saying, “We don’t believe in regressive Hindu rituals!” That’s the irony. The most beautiful Sanatani practices have been painted wrongly while alien exports, which make no sense as well as harm the planet, are described as fun so that deracinated Hindus bite the bait.
Note how hypocritical activists launch nonsensical tirades against firecrackers but go mum on Halloween. They probably congratulate those preening and pouting in a silly charade wearing grotesque Halloween costumes (the US has surely found the gullible lot in India). Not once will they sloganeer against the deluge of plastic paraphernalia reaching landfills. No media organization will publish detailed reports on the heavy usage of highly inflammable PVC plastics that are the hardest to recycle. Many decorative candles and tea lights placed inside pumpkins contain petroleum-based paraffin that release harmful chemicals when lit.
Pseudo-nutritionists stigmatizing Indian mithai will drool over the calories from the trick-and-treating. Six hundred million pounds of candy are purchased each year for Halloween in the US (7000 calories of candy are consumed by each child in the US). About $2 billion is spent on candies each Halloween in USA. These products cause adverse health effects and might end up in conditions such as heart ailments, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, fatty liver and more. Kids can end up with tooth decay and obesity while various ingredients used in candies such as caffeine and dyes affect the nervous system. With Halloween popularized in India now, imagine what corporates are trying to do with our children!
Food activists will be enthralled by the excessive food wastage from discarded pumpkins. Did you know that about 1.4 billion pounds of pumpkin are wasted every year in the US, while its 9.5 million pounds in the UK! All this amounts to 18,000 tonnes of food wastage. According to the US Department of Energy, pumpkins that end up in landfill decompose and emit methane that has more than 20 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide.
Halloween witnesses dressing up of the most obnoxious kind in synthetics, which are derived from fossil fuels. With Bollywood celebrities and social media influencers having painted Halloween rather cool, there is a large segment amongst urban masses here falling for this fake insidious trend, leading to them overdosing on synthetics trash to be part of the Halloween wave. Makeup companies sell toxic cosmetics many apply for the parties. Skin ailments and rashes would obviously benefit dermatologists. It’s a chain of greedy capitalists functioning here.
But then, all faults lie with only Hindus hence their sustainable beliefs, traditions and customs are to be usurped by senseless corporatized, commercialized, formulaic events so that redundant commodities can be sold! To achieve that end, Bharatiya diversity needs to be discredited and clueless youngsters must be converted into braindead zombies so that the West easily peddles its commodities in a huge market called India! If the global left cabal is successful in abolishing the religious identity of our Deepawali, Durga Puja, Onam and all, they will need to alter the descriptions and jargons of our festivals totally without letting the Hindus realise how they were hoodwinked. The communist propaganda is continuously at is to ruin our indigenous industries (business takes place here from Navratri to Dev Deepawali where we buy local products important for the spiritual celebrations during these festivals) here because the western modules will never be able to penetrate a country where every state has such rich but varied rituals. Hence, the need to dehinduize everything to achieve the deeply problematic consumerist end. This is a cultural warfare aimed at extinguishing our rich civilization. The point is, will we let that happen?
Sharmi Adhikary is a senior lifestyle journalist and columnist with a yen for exploring interesting concepts in fashion, culture and cinema.