Hooliganism in the name of Holi is unacceptable
Not only is it extremely inconvenient for office goers, students, and others on the road to be pelted with coloured water-filled balloons (and whatever else certain miscreants decide to fill in them), it can actually cause physical injurieseditorials Updated: Mar 01, 2018 23:21 IST
The news of various offensive fluids in balloons being flung at women in a Delhi college in the week preceding the festival of Holi brings up the unsavoury side of the festival yet again. Throwing water balloons at unsuspecting passers-by is problematic as it is; but to fling body fluids in balloons at women must be seen as a new low in the already despicable record of street-side violence against women in the country. Under the guise of celebration, it cannot be seen as acceptable to assault people, without a modicum of respect for their wishes.
This attitude, highly prevalent in north India around the festival of colours, must change. Not only is it emotionally traumatic for office goers, students, and others on the road to be pelted with coloured water-filled balloons (and whatever else certain miscreants decide to fill in them), it can cause physical injuries. Women have complained of increasing instances of groping and other forms of sexual assault as Holi nears. It should be made clear that using the oft-quoted ‘bura na maano holi hai (don’t mind it’s holi) refrain as an excuse to misbehave, especially with women, has no place in civilised society.
What is supposed to be a festival celebrating the arrival of spring by spraying friends and family with colour and water has become something of a nightmare for many people. Given that most of the colours that are used are filled with toxic chemicals and heavy metals and even mica (dry powders often contain mica, which can cause micro cuts on the skin, making it more susceptible to allergens and other infections), it is time citizens learnt to be mindful of others in their surroundings. Police and governments must take steps to ensure that miscreants are appropriately chastened for their misbehaviour; and citizens must ensure that they behave with respect towards those who choose not to play Holi. For only then can it be a festival that some of us don’t have to dread every year.