“Bura na mano, molestation hai?”
A distraught woman going through the trauma of rape on Holi – this was one of the moments in one of Bollywood’s all-time superhits, “Damini”, which released on April, 30, 1993.
In 1981, Bollywood saw another all-time hit movie coming from the senior Bachchan. This was “Silsila”, a movie where a drunk hero expresses his love to a girl by spreading colours on her and pulling her dupatta.
Decades have gone by and generations have changed. And so have the means of harassment, molestation, eve-teasing and the social and mental promotion of not-so-acceptable crimes.
On February 26, 2018, while Delhi was getting ready for the festive mood, a student of Lady Shri Ram College narrated how she had been attacked by a balloon filled with semen.
Yes – it wasn’t water that hit her but sperm. It was the same afternoon when my friends and I were passing by the lanes of our area for a college seminar. Suddenly, out of nowhere, water balloons hit us hard, destroying our dresses and forcing us to cancel our plans.
Holi, in my opinion, has turned out to be an excuse for the sexual harassment of women and vulgarity all over India. Not just women, in many cases, the hooligans don’t even spare senior citizens.
During these times, we must question why the concepts of consent and permission aren’t that mainstream or common anymore.
I believe that the roots of this kind of hooliganism lie in the very childhood when kids are encouraged by their parents to throw water balloons at strangers. The absence of restrictions often leads to the growth of ‘monster minds’ in these children.
The mute legal system, which doesn’t take any particular action during such festive nuisances, is another major point we need to ponder over.
The colours of violence are spreading faster than the colours of happiness and peace. Maybe we need to teach our boys the concept of consent instead of only teaching our girls to stay within the boundaries of fear.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.