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If Holi was originally all about togetherness and enjoyment, we have made an unholy mess of it by how we treat women at Holi celebrations.
India is a country of festivals and celebrations. Our festivals are important aspects of our culture as these make sure the bond of love between the families, societies, and neighbours are maintained. Holi, the festival of colours is the most loved of festivals – loved by people of every age, caste, creed. We play Holi with our friends, with colours and water. The whole month is spent in cleaning and shopping. We buy sweets, water balloons and fancy pichkaris. And we can totally relate to the pain of students if Holi lies in the middle of the board exams. This is the best festival because on this day we can have a whole lot of fun, and for adults, they get to enjoy like kids once again. The whole nation celebrates it together with happiness and joy.
In earlier times, ladies were not allowed at Holi celebrations with the menfolk. They used to play among themselves with other ladies and children. But now the times have changed and there is no such restriction. But have you ever noticed how this grand Holi celebration has a dark side? People sometimes find their fun not in playing with colour, but rather, molesting the women around them. The festival instead of being about fun and enjoyment turns into groping, targeting and molesting.
Men abuse women in every way possible. They follow the girls with pichkaris and water balloons. The aim at their backs and every part of the body by which they can offend the ladies. The boys make odd hand gestures and abuse us in every way possible. They apply colour just to touch women and make them uncomfortable. It is custom, says society. But I don’t think Indian culture is about molesting and harassing the girls, daughters, mothers, and sisters of the society. If it is so, then I am not proud either about it. If these men can molest women in the daylight, in front of the whole world, then I don’t think they can be stopped on other, normal days too.
And to this mental pain, add up the physical pain they cause. With water and colour, they mix very harmful acids which leaves the skin burning and causes redness. These monsters do not think about how much pain it causes; all they think about is ‘fun’.
People dictate that girls should cover themselves fully; however, the irony is that fully covered women too are not left unmolested; their breasts and bottoms are touched casually by these evil men. So then, it becomes a good idea to be a spectator at Holi celebrations rather than play. Women from every section of society are being targeted. And age too is no bar! The scene is so bizarre that it scares away many girls. This alienated group of stupid men wetting the girls with pichkaris and aiming at their bodies lewdly and then laughing – is this celebration?
At this, our Indian society will say, “Why did you even go to play Holi? The simple solution to protect yourself is DO NOT PLAY HOLI.”
Holi is supposed to be the festival of happiness, respecting one another and enjoying ourselves together. But is this the happiness? By molesting the girls, forcing your masculinity on them, is this the respect you offer women? Is this enjoyment when you are giving them lifelong pain and making them feel guilty of being born a girl?
This is not Indian culture, this is not a festival, and this is not celebration. Lastly, is this really Holi or simply unholy?
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Top image via Pixabay, used for representational purposes only