Consent and Holi: Girls speak up on how they don’t go hand in hand
The festival of colours has many memories attached, sweets and preparations, stories narrated by elders, the triumph of good over evil. As twenty first century India goes, this triumph becomes more indispensable, but does it always occur?
Holi is a socially sanctioned event for anyone in your neighbourhood/community/school/college/etc to forget the notion of consent and do anything to your body because ‘bura na mano, holi hain’?
The common tagline around the festival is “Bura na mano holi he”, but celebrations have gone ahead to be one sided, from the perspective of one gender, and for many, have created experiences and memories which go against the spirit of holi itself. SheThePeople.TV talked to different girls on what they think of these trends.
“Holi is a socially sanctioned event for anyone in your neighbourhood/community/school/college/etc to forget the notion of consent and do anything to your body because ‘bura na mano, holi hain.’ I cannot count the number of times a creepy uncle has touched me inappropriately in plain sight or a guy friend has bumped into me, with his hands going to my breasts. And the worst part is that we’ve normalized it to the extent where we’re made to feel bad about excluding ourselves from Holi celebrations.” says Akanksha Shyam, a media student.
The environment Akanksha talks about has limited public spaces on the festival day, as many girls choose to avoid them. “I would not go if I’ve had a rough experience before, because I would protect myself from these idiots, because there are so many out there that how many times would I gather my courage.” says Priyanshu Kumari,a student of architecture.
Shrishti Parihar, who is pursuing Maths (Honours) describes a recent experience. “On 6th March, I was walking on the sidewalk when I saw some boys throw a water balloon at a girl in front of me. I thought they knew her. Minutes later, around ten of them threw a water balloon on me, they were on motorcycles and ran away soon enough. I was shocked and drenched, my books and Kindle were soaked with water. I registered a complaint on the women’s helpline when I happened to see them again the next day. The people there were very helpful, then I got a call from the local police station. The policeman tried to frame it as innocent, ‘holi khel rahe honge’ he said, I countered by telling him that Holi doesn’t sanction all actions. They told me that they have the vehicle’s number and they’ll call later for further investigation. No one has called me, the apathy of the police has left me without a place where I can complaint about this. It is harassment, these boys are only doing it to girls and not the public at large” she says.
Ashwarya Agarwal, a student of law has a message for those who touch women without consent “Touch , touch of love by the ones you love or your loved ones, friends family touch to help, caressing in need and there is a touch which sends shivers down the nerve endings, the touch from a leech person who tries to satisfy his male ego his sexual arouses by touching a girl without her consent.
The policeman tried to frame it as innocent, ‘holi khel rahe honge’ he said, I countered by telling him that Holi doesn’t sanction all actions.
And once that they got a chance why end it with touching , why not pinch, grope, hit afterall bura na mano holi hai and under alcohol consumption everything is allowed perfect defence to all the wrongs. But not anymore you dirty human. This time don’t think the girl won’t say anything because she isnt the abala naari that you think she is, if you dare touch her or make her feel uncomfortable she will give it back to you and make you regret your fantasy for life! With all due respect Your fellow gender.