Ever wondered what’s wrong with the society when your parents say “Beta aaj bahar mat jaana, holi hai”? Why is it that we have allowed this festival to be turned into a medium for assault?
It is with disgust, nausea, anger and frustration that I say this, girls from Lady Shri Ram college of Delhi were hit with semen filled ballons when they were passing through the streets, and the worst part is that not a single person in that busy market area batted a single eyelid at the sight of men throwing liquid filled balloons at a girl, but my friend this is one such issue that has come up amongst thousands, because when such hooliganism is opposed they are replied with “BURA NA MAANO, HOLI HAI”.
Every holi, girls fear from stepping out, from being hit by balloons on their private parts or anywhere, and although it’s girls who are the primary targets but it is not just girls who suffer from this, it is the society as a whole. But the worst part is that we as a society fail to understand that it is sexual harassment.
I don’t want a man on the traffic signal unnecessarily put his colored hands on my cheeks, or balloons thrown at me when I am going to the gurdwara, and it’s not just me, it is several others who do not want this, then why do we fail to oppose this?
It is time we stand up against the normalization of sexual harassment and violence that precedes and succeeds every holi. It is time we say “HAM BURA MAANENGEY”, let us all stand up for this cause, raise our voices, because without my consent I don’t want anyone touching me or throwing colors and balloons at me. It is my body, it is my right. It is time we reclaim the streets.
And one such effort was made by the girls of Lady Shri Ram College who carried out a march on 1st March against this hooliganism, they raised their voices, and spread this awareness across streets with posters and slogans, like “Marzi nahi toh holi nahi”, “Hame chahiyee hamari azaadi” and ensured that people know that it will no more be normalized. They were backed by the police and media who helped give their bit in spreading this awareness, it’s time we do too. Ab nahi toh kab?
Kyuki ye toh tyohar k naam pe atyachar hai,
Aur ham isse nahi sahenge.
About the Author:
I’m just another nobody amongst the millions. I’m just another girl with dreams, with hopes, with the passion to be able to make a difference, tiny as it maybe, if my words can become an antidote, or breath back life in a place gathering empty then I’d say I breath to write. As for the rest, I study political science at the University of Delhi, Lady Shri Ram College for women.
Ishan Khalsa (Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi)