Diwali is about light and good wishes, of wealth and an eager wait for the Goddess Laxmi. Am I the only person who thinks this glorification of Narkasur – the supposed embodiment of Evil is not the best thing for our children and youth? I have no idea if this parade happens in other states, but here in Goa we have competitions where little children and big ones all help to make a giant monster Narkasura filled with fireworks. There are competitions with hefty prizes, sponsored generally by politicians. These kids probably think, giant ugly green and purpled faced monsters are evil and must be destroyed.
The faces of truly evil people are rarely ugly. On the contrary, they are almost always pleasant looking. Smiling, wearing regular clothes. Regular sized human beings, but make no mistake, they have more condensed evil in that package than any giant papier maché straw, fireworks and newspaper filled ugly statues. We should tell our kids that, but somehow we cannot. We let them grow up thinking bad people are ugly and good people are beautiful. That’s risky parenting.
Here’s a question, why don’t we forget about glorifying Narkasuras and instead, glorify Diwali? Have prizes for best decorated ward – get people of all religions involved; have a diya creating and decorating competition. Give our children a break from the evil around. Let them focus on light and goodness. Too much to ask for?