Holi is a famous Hindu festival celebrated in every part of India with utmost joy and enthusiasm; it’s a festival of colors. The vibrancy of colors brings in a lot of positivity in our lives.
The tradition of throwing brightly colored powder and water is said to come from the love story between Radha and Krishna. The festival begins on the night of full moon; fires are lit on every corner of our city to cleanse the air of evil spirits and bad vibes and to symbolize the destruction of the wicked Holika, after whom the festival is named. Followed to the morning, the streets fill with people coloring each other, sharing sweets, hugging each other with love and brotherhood.
But in between celebrating holi the number of hooliganism cases increases every year, we have seen cases like the one in Lady Shri Ram College for Women, where a woman posted an account of semen flinging on her instagram, giving another side of holi which is not bright and the oratory line buranamanoholihaiphrase that covers up the sexual harassment under the façade of celebrations. Another case of Knigtengle Sahaji , a BA student, JNU too had shared her bad experience of Holi by saying people have forcefully put colors on her while trying to grope her. This type of incidents happens in Holi every year, some are outspoken while many girls choose to keep quiet because of our patriarchal society that will blame the girl by saying, Holi me ye chalta hai.
Muck, grease, rotten tomatoes, eggs, cow dung, semen, urine are now more popular than pure colors of Holi. There have been protests marches in many cities against these repulsive acts of sexual harassment which increase more in Holi celebration. Holi has become a struggle for every woman who wants to celebrate the festival. Videos of hooliganism can be found easily in the time of Holi, harassing girls is being normalized in the time of celebration, for example last year a video which went viral in twitter that shows a crowd of men openly harassing women on the road who were managing to find their way amidst the traffic as colors were forcibly splashed on them and hence they kept fighting for the freedom we talked about women. Last year 879 cases at Rohtak PGIMS were reported of injuries in road accidents and clashes with other medical urgencies in the time of holi. Drunk and drive are in the hikes, violence in the streets is common too.
The issue needs to be raised rather than swept under the blanket of traditions. Its high time to stand against and raise our voices otherwise a time will come when there will be no girl in the street playing Holi. If actions are not taken every girl will live with the fear of getting harassed in the time of Holi. It’s the 74th year of independence and still women are not independent in the true sense. This Holi let's come all together, play Holi with pure intentions and let love and peace spread around the country and make it a better place for women.
Mass communication and journalism