A ridiculous allegation related to the ongoing Holi festivities surfaced yesterday. A purported student of Lady Shri Ram College of the University of Delhi, reportedly hailing from the Northeast, alleged that some people had hurled at her balloons, the content of which turned out to be semen rather than water. While the way Holi is observed in public spaces is known to encroach upon the privacy of individuals — your body is an essential part of your personal space — the accusation clearly smacked of propaganda. Most probably, the kind of propaganda that emerges every time a Hindu festival approaches.
Those outraged by the allegation immediately questioned on social media how it was possible to produce semen in such quantity that would fill a balloon. Even if it is assumed that the balloon(s) was/were partially filled with water, doing so would reduce the viscosity of the alleged human fluid so much that it can no longer remain identifiable except when the mixture is tested in a laboratory.
In all likelihood, the woman must have been attacked, though. And there could be some liquid other than water and innocuous colours in the balloons. Even that is objectionable. One should not involve unwilling people in the festivity. Some at the receiving end are inconvenienced to the extent of their careers getting affected — for example, when colours spoil clothes worn by the victims on the way to their offices.
On other occasions, Holi becomes an excuse for some men to take chances with the women they are acquainted with. Without mincing words, it must be said they take undue advantage of the relaxed atmosphere to grope. And while the offender does not mind, the offended include such men, the womenfolk of whose families are targeted. This is an undesirable aspect of the festival that must discontinue. The other aspects that call for a revision are the use of paints, dyes, coal, electrolytes, chemical agents and other substances that are toxic for the body in the place of gulal (powdered colours specially made for the occasion).
Invoking God to justify the evil practices does not impress. The gopis mentioned in Srimadbhagavatam and the Mahabharata were sadhikas who had chosen to attain God by means of love. By no stretch of imagination can the violators of a woman’s space in this day and age equate themselves to Lord Krishna who played Holi in Vrindavan. Atheists and rationalists may note that Krishna was a child — who had left his native village, never to return, at the tender age of 8 years — while these molesters are not. Today, the smearing of colours is not always an act between consenting adults. It always ought to be.
It is noted with relief that the noise of the propaganda against Hindu practices is showing signs of recession. It had tentatively begun in the media in the 1990s, with appeals to not burst crackers during Diwali, which had reached a crescendo recently as the judiciary had jumped on the bandwagon, ignoring more severe pollutants in the air and their causes. The idea was cleverly thought out. Some of the greatest attractions of Hinduism have been its flamboyance and laissez-faire. Human psychology finds it so irresistible that even in the ancient era of mitigated competition between faiths, Buddhist Hinayana saw a massive exodus of followers to Mahayana — to compete with the dazzle of mainstream Hindu practices that was weaning its support base away.
Ergo, a bunch of activists noted that a breed of unapologetic Hindus had risen in the recent past, registering the presence of the way of life by means of loud festivities while enlightened Hindus had renewed with vigour a campaign to educate the masses in the scriptures. Motivated by the West, the half-baked sociologists hit upon the strategy that if Hindu society was made to lose its sheen, its attraction would lessen in the fallout, and the intellectuals in the community wouldn’t be able to hold the crowd just as the Buddhists in the era of conflicts with the most ancient faith of the world couldn’t [let’s not digress with the sub-plot that Buddhism was not a religion, to begin with; it was a branch that sprang out of the same civilisation].
But we saw through the ploy. It was rightly remarked on Facebook and Twitter by hundreds of social networking site users that, for example, those who flush out several gallons of precious water every time after urinating in a toilet in a volume not more than some millilitres had no right to lecture people on the virtue of conservation of water every year when Holi arrives. These acerbic jokes seem to have had an impact on the propagandists, as their appeals for ‘conservation’ in this season appear quite muted.
Finally, before we blame others, we must leave no room for others to complain. Do not unassumingly buy what alien religions, Western ethos, Marxist ideology, desperate feminism, etc sell you in fashionable packages. At the same time, do not earn your culture a bad name with your social misconduct.