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Why Holi is becoming unsafe for Women in India?

Holi Colours

We are in the final week of March and eagerly waiting for the joy and celebration of Holi.  This is one of the most widely and joyfully celebrated festivals, observed in all parts of the world. But instead of adding colours, the course of this festival has moved ahead with adding stains. Instead of adding joy and colours, this festival has brought greyer and darker shades to women’s lives. With respect to Sexual Harassment cases trending this day, let us discuss how to tackle such a situation and eradicate this evil trend.

Bura Na Maano Holi Hai 

This popular quote has become the new “Assault-jingle” of the country, during Holi. Hooliganism, under the curtain of a festival, should never be accepted. 

Every year, this rises to a new high with even newer forms of atrocities. People forcibly smear colours on women, without their consent. Such incidents have peaked so much that forceful touching, lewd comments and physical harassment have overtaken in the pretense of the celebration. And this kind of creepy behavior does not only come from strangers but sadly from neighbors, relatives, and friends as well. 

Sexual Harassment on Women on Holi
Sexual Harassment on Women on Holi

Source: https://www.indiatvnews.com/lifestyle/people-holi-2019-how-to-not-sexually-harass-women-on-pretext-of-playing-holi-509870 

On this day, the streets are transformed into a sort of untrusted avenue, that is so dangerous that women choose to stay indoors.  

These atrocious acts of assault, violence, humiliation and harassment are registered every year; when are we going to understand that we have reached a new low? A new low of disgrace, shamelessness, and barbarian behavior.

Popular culture and the entertainment industry have made a subtle affirmation to such kind of animalistic behavior, coining as “Fun”, which is disgraceful and must not be empowered. 

“I was only 13 years old when this middle-aged uncle, greased his hungry hands all over my body, with his ferocious smile. This instilled fear into my soul for years and I have stopped playing Holi since then, this is not just a feeling of harassment but a feeling of violation. Taking advantage of someone in the name of a festival is so degrading”stated a student from Delhi University.  

Forceful smearing of Holi Colours on Women
Forceful smearing of Holi Colours on Women

Source: https://tribune.com.pk/article/33252/holi-should-stop-being-an-excuse-to-sexually-harass-wome 

This Holi, we have to set our new bars of acting as humans and less animal-like by voicing for such incidents. 

Speak Up: Talk and Communicate 

Such incidents can happen anywhere; community celebration, indoors, outdoors, at your place, etc. The attacker could be your friend, teacher, elderly, neighbor, or even worse cases, a family member. Reach out to the person you are comfortable with and report about the incident. There are active groups that work judiciously for women’s protection; contact them and get the attacker into the notice, as early as possible. 

It has happened; Act upon it

Taking your privacy and respect into priority, confront the harasser. Don’t jump to a conclusion; understand and judge the person’s mentality, situation, and the scenario around you. Do not let your mind interpret that it could be a misunderstanding or you’re being judgmental. You must realize your instincts and start acting on it. Even a brush of a hand could be beyond your comfort level. If you ignore it, they may consider it as a sign of encouragement.  

If you are alone and helpless, act smart because reacting to the action, the abuser can get a hold of more such victims to violate. Look around for the crowd and help and confront the person. If you can handle the situation, do not spare or delay confronting the person. 

File an FIR on the attacker 

Inappropriate touching, making sexual advances and harassing, all come under the same umbrella of Sexual Harassment. Stand up and file an FIR at your nearest police station. You can call the National Commission for Women Helpline toll-free number (1091). Remember, if this gets ignored, someone else, like you, may have to suffer. 

Let us celebrate this Holi with good vibes, providing a safer environment for everyone. Use organic holi colours instead of artificial Colours.

Buy Organic Colours for Holi Online from Khadi Essentials and get attractive discounts upon purchase.  

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