Holi is well known as the “Festival Of Colours” but behind this happy title is a flip-side. This list portrays the dark underbelly of the festival and the things people get away with under the pretext of a celebration.
Holi has long been perverted with several of these ridiculous practices. Don’t you think it’s time that we evolve from these primitive displays and find more socially relevant ways of enjoying the festival? Think about it.
1. Listen up, guys. Water shortage is not a hoax. Don’t contribute to the unscrupulous use of water, especially when several cities in India are facing drought.
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The number one grudge we have against Indian festivals is their destructive nature; be it polluting water bodies during Ganesh Chaturthi or air pollution during Diwali. Holi is no different, with millions of litres of water being wasted for just a few hours of entertainment. Add to the humongous amount of plastic created by the use of water balloons, the chemicals in the colours floating around in the environment and the noise pollution through the loudspeakers playing songs with no relation whatsoever to the festival. Hypocrisy definitely runs rampant in our culture. All year long people complain about water cuts, especially during summer, or the dirty streets and how the government does nothing to clean it up. This is especially funny when the same people go and contribute to water wastage and trash the streets. The most common justification received is that a little excess is “OK” because the celebration only lasts a day. They are right, except for the fact that, in a place like India, a festival with such excesses is never too far off and everything eventually adds up. Also, to the people who justify this behaviour by saying, ‘Excess water is wasted on all the other days of the year too,’ is that REALLY your excuse?
2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you i.e stop the relentless bullying.
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We have noticed that our festivals keep getting increasingly dangerous. It is common practice for revelers to overstep their boundaries and be a public nuisance. Common office-goers or random passers-by fall victim to a barrage of unwanted water and colours ruining their clothes and maybe even their personal belongings. Bikers and women in rickshaws are easy targets but the speed of the vehicle plus the force of the balloon can cause serious accidents. Several men take advantage of the festival to grope women under the pretext of applying “gulaal” and get away with it as they are not recognizable with their painted faces. Such disgusting behaviour is not even taken seriously by authorities if any attempt to file a complaint is made. It is shameful that as Indians, our favourite past time is to get offended and cry outrage for every possible thing, yet we happily turn a blind eye when it comes to this nonsense.
3. Remember that Holi is a time for fun, not war.
Some people find great joy in brewing the most disgusting concoctions to fill in the water balloons. This includes mud, rocks, excrete, urine and even itching powder. Another trend is to throw eggs at people who then have to suffer from the mess and the stink. The most ironic part is that a lot of this is done by the so called “literate” and “educated” class who think so greatly of themselves.
4. Respect an individual’s personal space and don’t force anyone into uncomfortable situations.
If an innocent onlooker does willingly come to participate in the festivities, they might soon regret it. The aggressive behaviour demonstrated by some revellers such as ganging up on a single person, putting them in an arm lock, attacking with water balloons etc is no way to celebrate. Holi is not a license for unnecessary physical contact for both men and women. A true ‘celebration’ cannot occur when there is a segment of people who have to bear the brunt of others’ actions.
5. Spare a moment to think about our furry friends.
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As if tormenting our fellow humans wasn’t enough, even animals aren’t spared from torture. These creatures are put through several unwanted situations such as getting wet, chemical colours that irritate their skin and the unknowing ingestion of plastic. Not to mention the sudden crowds of people going crazy while also playing loud music scares them to no end. This affects not only the strays but also the so called beloved pets who owners call part of their family.
Think about it.