A day left before the most awaited Indian festival of colours - Holi, yet not everyone is looking forward to celebrating, especially young women. Recently, the news of "semen-flinging' went viral and shocked many, it's is a fairly new 'thing' in which men flight balloons filled with semen on women 'as a part of their Holi celebrations', because 'Bura na mano Holi hai'. The recent victim of this had been college students in Delhi.
Over the years several women fell victims to molestation, rapes and physical violence during the festival and the perpetrators - most of the times ran scot free pretending to just celebrate the festival. The problem has now grown big enough to stop young women from celebrating the way they want to, forcing them to keep themselves locked indoors to avoid such harassment, mostly sexual.
Taling to college students in Delhi, Oneindia received such revelations:
Mayuri of Delhi University said, "I used to be very excited about Holi, but at the age of 15, I was groped by a group of middle-aged men under the pretext of smearing colour on my face. Since that incident, I make it a point to not step out of my home on that day."
Pritika, an MBA student in Delhi said, "I hate it when people touch me inappropriately and if I react to that they just pass the blame on me for being so fussy and being a spoilt-sport in a celebration. I think Holi is no longer a festival in which both the genders could equally enjoy,'
Not only in Delhi, Oneindia also spoke to young women from Kolkata Here's what they had to say:
Dipika, a chartered accountant said, "I always make sure I play Holi only with people I know because you can't trust everyone on this occasion. Most people are intoxicated usually and the men feel entitled to do everything inappropriate. I would rather stay home than being treated in an undignified manner,"
Dhrubo, a Calcutta University student said how her sister was groped in her locality during Holi, "My sister and I were out for playing Holi in our own locality where we have been staying for almost 20 years now, suddenly a few uncles came and just rushed towards my sister shouting 'Holi Hai', and before she could realise anything she was touched inappropriately and the group left and continued making merry,"
Incidents like these make it very evident that are festivals have also not been spared from the perversity of the human mind. What was once a festival of colour-flinging has been turned into semen-flinging and sometimes balloons filled with stones which would bleed or blind someone.
This Holi, there should be the only celebration of colours and diversity. The festival should be enjoyed by all and not just by the gender-privileged ones. There should not have to be listicles such as "7 ways women can be safe during Holi, or 'How to save yourself from being touched in Holi,"
Oneindia wishes all the viewers a very happy and safe Holi and recommends standing up for the wrongs that take place during the festival and make it safe for all.