“This Holi, Just One Colour Paints Delhi’s Streets: Red.”

Holi is almost here, if you put it on your fingers, it is just a few days. Usually before Holi, the whole country is filled with colourful greetings and merriment. But today, yes, there are colours seen on the streets, but they are just red. There is a lot of noise, but it is only people crying and shouting.

Today, the whole of Delhi is shocked by the loss of their own people and losing their home. And the reason for all this is democracy’s fourth pillar – the media – and a select few politicians who have been working to increase hatred between Hindus and Muslims, or rather they have succeeded in increasing it.

I still remember to this date when my Abbu’s kurtas used to be filled with lovely colours of Holi, and aunts from the neighbourhood used to come to our house to play with Ammi. Ammi loved her colours.

During Eid, Ammi used to go to this particular aunt’s house to hug and greet each other, and invite her home. Eid or Holi, everything seemed like exactly how it was supposed to be. From childhood, I had become used to seeing such a loving atmosphere.

But, I don’t know when this new bill created so much hatred among us that today, that we are shedding each other’s blood. The new government put a new bill in our hands by promising us a good day. In response to our questions, all they have down is sow seeds of hatred. The brunt of this is being seen today.

Communal hate has increased so much that people are being killed after being asked about their religion, names, and identity.

Ikra was also one of those who had called her brothers on February 24 when the situation worsened in Gokulpuri, And they confirmed that they are safe. But after cutting the call, her brother’s body joined the drain. The body was so injured that even the colour of his shroud was turning red.

I do not know how many more red-coloured shrouds there will be this Holi, and in spite of this, weeds are shaded.

Despite India being a democracy, we cannot engage in our religious practices today. We have to hide our identity. Many Muslim girls who are my friends have given up wearing the hijab, and some of the boys have shaved their beards. The way videos of police and goons went viral on social media – the faith of the people is now dwindling.

After 70 years of independence, we were moving forward together towards the dream of a new India, but today we are standing again where it was stuck before. A line from Sahir Ludhianvi’s film Dhul Ke Phool (Flowers Of Dust) is blurred today, “Na Hindu banega, na Musalman banega. Insaan ki aulaad, insaan banega.” (Neither a Hindu, nor a Muslim. The child of a human being shall grow up to be a human being.)

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