It is that time of the year again when families get together and children are overjoyed seeing the mouth-watering delicacies prepared for the festival of colors, Holi. The festival of Holi is the most celebrated all around India and many from different parts of the world come to take part in this joyful festival of colors. The festival that was once celebrated in high-spirits has now become a reason for many chagrined citizens who refuse to take part in the celebrations anymore.
Holi is a Hindu spring festival celebrated in the Indian subcontinent, also known as the festival of colors. The history of the festival dates back to Hiranyakashipu, a king in ancient India who was like a demon. Hiranyakashipu started considering himself God and asked his people to worship him like God. The cruel king has a young son named Prahalad. Prahalad had never obeyed his father’s order and kept on worshiping Lord Vishnu. The King was cruel and decided to kill his own son, because he refused to worship him. He asked his sister ‘Holika’, who was immune to fire, to sit on a pyre of fire with Prahalad in her lap. Their plan was to burn Prahalad. But their plan did not go through as Prahalad who was reciting the name of Lord Vishnu throughout was safe, but Holika got burnt to ashes. The defeat of Holika signifies the burning of all that is bad. The festival therefore, signifies the victory of good over evil. (https://www.mapsofindia.com/my-india/india/why-holi-is-celebrated)
It is believed that Lord Krishna used to celebrate Holi with colors and hence popularized the same. Holi is celebrated to welcome the spring season and the farmers celebrate over their new harvests. The festival of such great significance is a day that everyone awaits from the beginning of the new year. But, the celebrations in many cities across the country have taken an ugly side leaving many citizens especially women fumed over unruly Holi celebrations.
I have lived in Delhi for many years and Holi week used to be the most torturous ones which I never looked forward to. Young kids would stand on the streets or on the balcony with water balloons, who would be looking for targets to shoot out. It is quite saddening to see such young boys throwing water balloons,eggs and anything that comes to their reach at young girls and women. Why? Because they are the easy targets and many girls won’t fire back at you which makes them a safer option for such ugly tricks. Water balloons hit at a distance are really painful and the pain can last for many days. The smell of egg is difficult to wash off and the permanent colors refuse to go away from your best kept dresses.
It doesn’t end there, young boys on bikes and cars have taken the tradition of harassing girls one step further just for their own amusement. It is all the more disheartening to see children being motivated by their parents to become a part of this infamous tradition. Celebrations are supposed to be spreading happiness and joy, it should not become a tradition of enjoying at the cost of others. Have a safe Holi and spread the joy of Holi by playing with love and respect with everyone you care for.
Wish you all a very Happy Holi!