Anupama writes a letter to her 18-years old daughter. Read what she has to say.
Women’s consent during Holi. It has become routine to openly disregard it, and perpetuate violence against women. It’s high time we protest and end this toxic culture!
In a quick succession of events that began after a student from the Lady Shree Ram College for Women posted about ‘semen flinging’ that happens during Holi near the college, many women came out with the stories of how this is something that happens every year, the overall licence that men take in the garb of a festival and of course, the saying Bura na mano, Holi hai! Well, enough now. Online campaigns have been launched demanding that the gravity of these actions be understood, along with drawing the attention of the concerned authorities.
Pinjra Tod, an organisation which fights against gender-biased rules in places of accommodations, i.e, PGs and hostels, organised an event, Bura Kyun Na Manoo? in light of the above incidents. They organised a march of female students through the areas chanting slogans and sporting posters and reclaiming their space in the city as equals. The above news is about the areas such as Amar Colony and Vijay Nagar, but other areas like Satya Niketan in South Campus, all of which are majorly PG inhabited areas get problematic during the time of Holi. People, in general, are attacked with balloons filled with what-not at least a week before Holi. It gets absolutely impossible to move around without getting doused with water.
It is absolutely disgusting to see how these people define ‘fun’. If this is the situation, I really don’t see how we can make them understand the concept of consent. Most times, apart from this, it is also kids who throw water at passers-by, and it might not be their fault either, because that is what they learn from adults as the way to celebrate the festival. However, this does not mean that kids should be ignored for their acts. It is necessary to talk to them about consent, and the concept of personal space in their formative years. Unless we do that, how do we ensure that they do not go ahead in life to do exactly what we are protesting against?
Just this Tuesday, in a very nice looking busy neighbourhood a bunch of kids threw water at me while there were fully grown adult men standing so, so close by, and just sneering. It enraged me to see them just standing there and showing their teeth like it was such fun and pointing out that they didn’t do it. This might not be a big deal but being somebody who absolutely hates anything like this, I could not imagine the level of outrage people who get balloons thrown at them feel, especially when it’s filled with more vile liquids than mere water. What is even crazier is that this is something that has been normalised to an extent that students just resign to it and stay home, missing classes.
I appreciate the girl who spoke out for doing it because it was something that most people didn’t even realise to be a major incident. Kudos to her, and to all the women who are out there fighting!
Image Source: YouTube
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18// New Delhi, India
A literature student on the path of her identity. I like
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