Let's celebrate without any tragedies
Mumbai's pyramids are ready and waiting to smash that pot
Dahi Handi fervour is already on, with the festival around the corner on Monday. Mumbai's pyramids are ready and waiting to smash that pot. Mandals are primed to outdo each other after long rounds of practice.
Let us put caution above all this festival. Often, those who advocate shorter handi heights and warn participants against foolhardy stunts are termed party poopers. Trouble makers even dub them as anti-Hindu to stir the communal pot. This is untrue and one must reject all such labels and tricks that are nothing but pressure tactics to give the green light to the truly dangerous.
We need to celebrate dahi handi staying true to the spirit of the festival. It should be pure joy without causing distress or injury to anybody — participant or passerby. One has to welcome the growing awareness by mandals, many of these now correctly insist on protective gear for those practising for the human pyramid on Janmashtami.
There have been avoidable accidents in the past. Some have resulted small injuries, while others are much more grievous with young men becoming paralysed for life. Mandals must obey all diktats because rules are made in the best interests of all participating in the festival. Post dahi handi, locals must adhere to traffic rules. We see young men, at times, three to a bike careening through city roads. Watch out for pedestrians and traffic, realise that you can have fun and observe discipline, too. Both do not have to be mutually exclusive.
Make this dahi handi a start for rethinking celebrations of any kind and of any community. Minimal to no disruption of any kind to any person, and concern for others should form the cornerstone of the spirit in which we enjoy. Happy Janmashtami and dahi handi.
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