And the festival of colours is back – with a hue of cheer, tinge of merry and splash of love! It is that time of the year again when children are at their naughtiest with those colourful water balloons, the teens at their prettiest with their holi #OOTD, and the family gatherings at their grandest, like a KJo’s K3G set! Not only is this festival a family time treat but also a celebration of strong friendships and young love where lovebirds wait for their lovers to colour them as a declaration of their love. However, behind this seemingly harmless bliss, the festival comes with its due horrors of unwanted sexual advances that people rarely talk about.
The festival of Holi tops the list when it comes to molestation, groping and merciless rape. The girls and women draped in wet clothes from top to bottom, generously inviting other people to tease them and apply colour, send all kind of wrong messages that creeps out there fail to decode even in the 21st century, thanks to Bollywood romanticizing the idea of forcing oneself on a girl especially on festivals like Holi. This is exactly how men are taught to exert their masculinity and manhood. Some advances are subtle, a mild touch here and a soft feel there, others are more evident ranging from shameless gropes to overpowering huddles.
Design credits: Pratiksha (Team Womenite)
There have been horrendous instances of crimes against women on the festival of Holi. There are girls as young as five who have colours applied in their private parts thanks to the courtesy of paedophile uncles who aren’t questioned by anyone. There are women who suffer from constant pain because some men thought it is funny to mix glass powder with colour before applying it on women just so they remember them. And of course, there are those innocent girls who are first groped, then abducted and finally gang-raped for the crime of enjoying a festival without any shred of fear or regard of her modesty. Probably, the only girls who are spared are the ones who are sheltered by their family members to protect their honour so as to them from being disgraced. Another beautiful example of how women must always be cautious and yield in order to protect themselves while boys, well, can be boys!
In spite of being aware of such atrocities, they are hushed and not talked about because it gives the said festival a “bad colour”. The religious communities are over-sensitive about their sacred festivals and would do anything to avoid the backlash. Even worse, the ones who talk about it are labelled as Leftist Muslim Anti-National, more so this time because of its election season. Thanks to the torchbearers of Nationalism, it is funny how a festival that celebrates truth, honour and glory is riddled with sickening misogyny and the deafening silence over it.
Article credits: Arushi (Team Womenite)