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Holi Is Not A Consent-Free-Day: Rules Of Not Touching A Woman Without Consent Remain Unchanged

By Sadho:

Holi, as we all know, celebrates the beginning of the new season, spring. Holi, as I remember back in my village, used to be the festival of vibrant joys, communal harmony (Hindu and Muslim community along with small group of Christian and some other religious/cultural communities often came together on this day) and a celebration of a culture that teaches us to forgive and love even our enemies. I remember my father, who being what he was – the strongman of JMM, had many foes, but during the time of Holi they would all forget everything and come together to celebrate it.

But over the period of time, as I grew up, moved out (because my mother wanted to me study in an English medium school) of my village back in Bihar (now Jharkhand), I realize that there’s no such sensibility attached to it anymore. All it has become is another form of hooliganism, vandalism and an excuse to hit and hurt people by throwing eggs, water balloons, rotten tomatoes, etc. on them. The sense of Holi – that sheer experience of being able to spread joy through vibrant colours, is lost now. So is the very passion of colour that once upon a time brought people from different communities together (I am a witness to this rare phenomenon which is rarer in our society today).


And as I am talking about Holi, I also need to bring in the idea of consent that this festival actually and completely obliterates. You see, the way we play Holi or the way it’s celebrated in our society these days, the issue of touching a woman/girl without her consent, holds no merit to it. It absolutely disagrees with the whole notion of consent. I have seen it, and shockingly experienced it too (what, you think a man/boy who doesn’t want to be soaked in the colours of Holi, would appreciate it?)

A few days ago, while having a discussion on the same, my friend Wrisha had commented that – “Be it in religion or cultural practices, what is morally and ethically wrong shall forever remain wrong.”

And I believe that touching, fondling, and even applying the colour of Holi on a woman/girl without her consent is wrong. No matter what! So to the girls out there (some of who are my friends, some something else), this is for you:


…because that’s the only (and current) solution to the horrible state of you all in our society and your dismal plight.

You must be to comment.
  1. Souhail

    I agree and support the idea that consent should be at the center of these celebrations. I am however quite disappointed with the women-centric view you adopted. Both men and women should be respected, untouched and should only be sprayed with color if they consent.

    1. SadhoRam

      Hey Souhail,

      Thank you for your comment. But please do not be disappointed. You are right when you say ‘both men and women should be respected, untouched and should only be sprayed with color if they consent’. But if you read para just below the pic, you will see that I have mentioned about men too!

    2. Souhail

      I did read the whole article. But it is very clear that the whole focus of the article is women. Men are only hastily mentioned. I definitely command you for the part you wrote about women and agree with it very much, but just as much should have been said about men. That would have made your article much stronger and well-rounded.

  2. Harish

    Agreed with Souhail

  3. sanober desnavi

    Holi was moreover a friendly celebrated before partition but after partition situation changed the friendly cozy relation ended up with community harmony of voilence and distress but the political people also isolated the two lovable relation into a phase where Islam is still today treated as violence bloodshed lot off innocent people are admitted into jail as they have kept a long beard and their clothing’s are same as of any common man but problem is many terrorist dress the same so many innocent people are behind the bars .
    The holi which use to bring the joy sadly brings unhappiness to those family where traders in order to expand their business are adulterating and mixing the those elements which disastrous .I remember in olden days people use to play holi with flowers petals, leaves ,soil and pure Gulal were made but strangely now days business doesn’t focus on customers relation but on money .

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