New Delhi: While Holi brings cheer and colours, many women in India, have increasingly come to dread the occasion because sadly, the beautiful festival has become a breeding ground for eve-teasers and molesters. Hooliganism and rowdiness on Holi is rampant and it’s for this very reason, that women have to think twice before from stepping out of homes, lest they become victims of unsolicited touch. Also Read - Holi 2020: How to Remove Colour From Your Skin And Hair; Tips to Prevent Your Skin And Hair
Every year, scores of women have to go through dreadful experiences like being teased, jostled in public places, forcibly fondled and smeared with gross things ranging from paint, grease, and sewage water to semen. Also Read - Holi 2020: Tips And Tricks to Keep Your Car And Bike Away From Colour Stain This Holi
What’s more infuriating is that if a woman shows her reluctance to participate, people shut her down with that oft-quoted cliche line, ‘Bura na maano Holi hai’. Also Read - Holi 2020: Top Bollywood Playlist to Make You Dance Like There's no Tomorrow
What sort of excuse is this?
For centuries, our society has normalised touching without consent during Holi, which is highly problematic as it somehow gives a free pass to molest women. We have normalised the behaviour of invading someone’s personal space, rub colours on them without their consent, all in the name of festivals and celebration.
But how can anyone justify men groping, teasing women and using colours on them forcefully while getting away by simply telling ‘Bura na maano Holi hai?’ What sort of excuse is this?
Mention consent and you will be probably laughed at, or worse you will be seen as someone who is anti-culture, anti-Hindu and what not! Be vocal about your choices and boundaries and be ready to get an earful about how ‘you are no fun’, a ‘killjoy’ and a ‘spoilsport’.
Not just Indian society, Bollywood is equally to blame in normalising this harassment culture.
This Holi, ‘Hum Bura Manenge’
It’s for these very reasons that we have been forced to take protective measures over the years, but not this time! This Holi, ‘hum bura manenge’. Dare you to touch us without consent and we will give it back to you. When we report you to the police, tum bhi bura mat maanna!
All said and done, just like everyone, we have the right to enjoy this festival without inhibitions and not be in a self-imposed lockdown. So men, can you please behave yourselves and be gentle when you are playing Holi? Can you respect logic and personal space and just move on?
On that note, Happy Holi everyone! Be safe and be aware.
(The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of India.com. The writer is solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article)