The Supreme Court has refused to impose a nationwide blanket ban on firecrackers and permitted the sale and manufacture of low emission “green” alternatives. It also fixed a two-hour time period from 8 pm for bursting crackers on Diwali and a 35-minute window between 11:55 pm and 12:30 am for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The Christian community in Mumbai says the relaxation of the rule during Christmas Eve was unnecessary. As reported by mumbaimirror, Abraham Mathai, president- Indian Christian Voice & former vice chairman-Minorities Commission, remarked that “With respect to the Supreme Court’s verdict, it has to be pointed out that bursting firecrackers on Christmas Eve is not part of Christmas tradition historically. Permitting the use of fire crackers on Christmas Eve until 12:30 am is absolutely unnecessary as Christmas is the celebration of peace and joy and the community does not require the use of fire crackers as it is not at all a religious requirement. As a peace loving and responsible community, Christians all over India, stand for the protection of the environment and we want to ensure that our environment is free from such pollution during our festival celebrations.”

Regarding December 31, it is a global celebration where the New Year is celebrated and welcomed with firecrackers which isn’t the case during Christmas, said Mathai.