If you are a resident of Sivakasi, fireworks are a part of your life whether you like it or not. We walk around oblivious to the crescendo of bangs and booms that would have ripped the eardrums of outsiders to shreds. The thick pall of smoke that mushrooms the entire town despite doing nothing to improve the decor is accepted rather like an annoying relative.
In other places accidents in the industrial areas probably cause a lot of noise particularly when lives have been lost. But not in Sivakasi. Oh no, we have become inured not only to noise pollution but to death as well especially if it happens in the fireworks industry. It happens too damn often you see. Besides fireworks are the financial mainstay of this dump. And safety regulations cut into profits. It simply does not make sense to bite the hand that feeds you does it?
On July 21st, there was an explosion at Sri Krishna Fireworks, a private fireworks manufacturing unit. 8 people were killed and 45 injured. I seriously doubt the veracity of those figures especially since it was a major accident and took the firefighters three hours to douse the flames. There should have been an uproar but there wasn't. The big bang that should have resonated across the place lamenting the tragedy of it all fizzled out. The entire episode was hushed up quickly with some token arrests made and all the other dirt brushed under the carpet. After all it has happened hundreds of times in the past and it will happen again and again and again in the future. Let us all get over it shall we?
For a town that has learned to embrace noise, it is remarkable how silence can be maintained on the gravest of issues. It is about time the inhabitants of Sivakasi made some noise and for a good cause.