Molestation, harassment: the un-Holiness of a festival

From across India, incidents of humiliation of minorities, molestation and harassment of women were reported

Holi celebration

The celebration of Holi in India is often marred by incidents of molestation and harassment as the phrase “Bura na mano Holi Hai” (Don’t feel bad, it is Holi) is used to justify all such criminal acts where more often than not, women become the target.

Several incidents of violence, molestation, harassment of minorities and women surfaced on social media between March 7 and 8 when Holi was celebrated across different parts of the country.

It was reported that Delhi’s Police Control Room received over 35,000 complaints on Holi while on an average they receive 24,000 complaints daily. These complaints included 211 cases of eve teasing, 40 cases of shootouts, 142 cases of stabbing, 46 cases of road rage, 21 cases of rape and 11 cases of murder, reported India Today.

In Kolkata, the police arrested over 400 people for disorderly conduct during Holi. Majority of the arrests were related to drunken brawl, blocking roads while playing Holi, drinking in the open and creating nuisance, reported Telegraph India.

A journalist at Dainik Bhaskar, Rajesh Sahu shared a picture of a mosque in UP clothed in green and wrote that the Muslims in UP are not even reassured by their Hindu brothers that their mosques will not be desecrated during Holi and hence they had to cover the mosque.



A show ran on Sudarshan News with the title “Mulle Holi Milan me Ayenge lekin Rang nahi lagayenge” (Mullas[derogatory term used for Muslims] will come for Holi but will not allow you to put colour on them). In the comment below, Sudarshan news corrected the word and wrote instead of “mulle” the word should be “kathmulle” (another, rather worse, derogatory term used for Muslims referring to their practice of male circumcision).


Another video was of burqa clad women sitting in an e-rickshaw, in Bareilly, UP who were doused with water, despite protesting it. Many young boys can be seen surrounding the rickshaw and while one woman was seemingly reprimanding the boys, another came from the other side and poured water on the other woman sitting with her.



Provocative songs were played during Holi celebration reportedly in Bhagwanpur village in Shravasti district of UP. The locals were mocking Muslims and playing the song during a procession, which had the words “Jo Ukhad Sako to Ukhad lo Sun lo Mulla jii” (Listen Mulla,  do whatever you want to).



It is a song by Sandeep Acharya and it is available to be played on popular apps like Apple Music and Spotify!


Another video was posted where a man can be seen forcibly applying colours to his sister in law, while she is clearly uncomfortable. This amounts to molestation and outraging the modesty of a woman



There was also a video showing the culture of Hindus during Holi where women are made to stand while men sing abusive songs at them. There are smiles on the faces of all the onlookers including the women, as they have accepted this abhorrent practice as their culture. Another video also came up of a similar practice where the men were once again singing some limericks extremely derogatory, obscene and sexual in nature while also including the name of God in it by saying “Bolo Radhe Govind” (Hailing Radha-Krishna)

TRIGGER WARNING! This video has explicit spoken words:



Holi, a festival of colours is supposed to be a joyous occasion but it is often marred by such incidents where men forget “consent” and in the name of applying colours, use force and end up violating the dignity of another human being. While women are often the victims in such cases, even minorities are starting to become targets now.



Pakistan: Atleast 15 Hindu students left injured after being attacked for celebrating Holi

Who Says Holi Is Just A Hindu Festival? Muslim Scholars, Sufi Mystics, Mughal Emperors, Not To Speak Of Common Muslims, They All Celebrated Holi



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