this holi, don’t forget to ask for consent

Holi can be many things for many people, but for women, it’s another day to feel unsafe and scared. the only difference in holi is that its daytime.

we are celebrating the festival of colours today. it is the day when friends and family apply colours on each other and discard negativity for a brighter and cheerful future but, this is also the day when many women don’t step out of their houses. it is the day when women have to be more careful than usual days so they don’t get groped or misbehaved with under the guise of the famous holi saying: bura na mano holi hai, i.e., don’t take it badly, it’s holi.

well, its high time that this phrase is thrown out from our dictionary, simply because, holi or no holi, the idea of consent doesn’t change. forcing someone to play holi while touching them inappropriately, whether they are women or men is completely unacceptable. However, unfortunately, in most cases where inappropriate touching is involved, women become a larger section of the victims.

our bollywood "cinematic universe" has consistently failed to recognise consent as an important part of the festival, whether it be the Ranbeer Kappor-Deepika Padukone starrer hit song Balam Pichkari or the Varn Dhawan-Alia Bhatt starrer Badri ki Dulhania. The girl is always seen being manhandled in a fun lovable way. Well, that is a big NO.

so, don’t hit your colleagues or girlfriends with balloons without their consent. in fact, this can land you in jail if you are in Nagpur. having fun is not a crime but having fun that makes someone in your vicinity uncomfortable is harassment.

whether it is a workplace, university, home, or school, no one should engage in harassing passers-by in the name of “harmless fun”.

so bura mano because its harassment. Dont let anyone tell you any different

hope you have a great holi!

with love, live aastey.