“Bura na mano, Holi hai!” Every year, people take this granted sentence to tease, harass, abuse, and stalk. Sadly, this year also paints the same picture. It’s about time we change it to “Bura Maano Un-Holi Hai”. The journey of vile behavior during Holi started early this year in Delhi.
A 1st year student of Lady Sri Ram College in New Delhi was attacked with a water balloon. Thinking it’s just fun? Well, the liquid inside the balloon was not water but Semen. Yes, you read it right. She posted the incident on her Instagram. The post went viral quickly and since then her account is set to private to protect her identity.
Here is what she said:
After her first post, she took the social platform again to narrate her experience of racism. She was the target of racial abuse because she is from Northeast India.
Read the post here:
However, this is not a single incident. Soon after this incident, another student Drishti Maan shared her horrific experience:
“My white kurta doesn’t invite you to throw balloons on me. A girl walking alone on road doesn’t invite you to wish her happy holi by touching her body.
3:58 pm I’m walking on road reading @t******* ‘s posts and thinking how horrible is that and exactly after that I feel a balloon hitting my back and just after some seconds I feel another on my feet. I literally couldn’t move after that and after a min I hear “HAPPY HOLI”. I couldn’t analyse what just happened, I felt so helpless. All the worst things were going in my mind. “What if they come back?” “what should I do? Should I shout?” It’s high time that we all should speak about this and we should take a step against it. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I am feeling rn. Let’s stand against this. Let us tell them the right way. Throwing balloons of semen on women doesn’t prove your masculinity. It is a shame that we connect things like these to our festivals. The whole concept of “Bura na mano holi hai” should honestly get banned because YES we feel bad, disgusting when men like you come out on streets around holi.”
These women were antagonized in the name of a festival. The sad part is that these are not unrelated incidents but part of a much bigger problem. It’s quite evident from the post of another student Sange Thungon. She is a student of Delhi University who recounted a similar incident.
“This is not new. Sure, I didn’t get semen thrown on me, but men flinging balloons on us and calling us names using the excuse of Holi is a regular affair around this festive time. I have been experiencing such things for the past two years. Men often ride by on bikes and make it a point to target girls specifically. Harassment is normal for them,”
The college strongly condemned this incident. In light of this incident, the Women’s Development Cell of Lady Sri Ram College has called for an emergency meeting. They posted this statement on Facebook:
Pinjra Tod, an autonomous body that protects the rights of women students in DU expressed their view on the issue with a Facebook post.
Delhi University has also posted their own set of regulations to make sure Holi remains a safe festival for all, especially women.
Following the incident, here is how some of the Netizens reacted:
These incidents are happening for few years around Lady Shri Ram College. There are people who lurk around the college to attack women with semen filled balloons. As it is done during Holi, so women are expected to shrug off the incident and pretend everything is ok.
It’s NOT ok! Stalking, hitting women with a balloon, or abusing is not ok. Not during the festival or any other days. It is never ok to pursue someone without their consent.
If you are harassed/stalked/abused during the festival or any other time, you can dial the following numbers:
How do you think we can decrease such crimes? Let’s know in the comments below.