With Holi upon us, it is important to remember that last year, revelry landed more than 150 children in hospital all with various ailments from nausea, stomach problems and skin rashes due to the colour posioning, pointing once again to the fact that when revellers deviate from the real purpose of festivals, disaster is bound to follow.
For years now, Holi, a celebration of colour has been marred by incidents like these, which cast a pall on the joyous occasion. Amdist the mindless application of dangerous chemical colours, sexual molestation goon-like behaviour, it is vital to ensure that Holi remains what it is, and does not degenerate into Holi-ganism.
Let us not forget the water balloon menace, where pouches are flung at commuters (especially women) in trains and on the roads too. This is merriment symptomatic of a sick society, which inflicts pain and injury on another, and then laughs at the spactacle of suffering.
This paper has run a consistent campaign for an eco-friendly Holi in the run-up to this festival. It is heartening to note that there is some awareness about using safe colours, water conservation and safety of women. This needs to be constantly reinforced so that everybody can take greater responsibility while playing Holi. With ‘Go green’ being the mantra of our times, one must move towards an eco-friendly way of celebrating.
In fact, it is time to extend the philosophy of hassle-free celebrations to other festivals through the calendar year. Make these occasions memorable but keep the sentiments and safety of other people in mind while doing so. Caution is the catchword as happiness can turn to tragedy in a trice and a minute of lunacy can turn into a lifetime of regret. Happy Holi.