Coronavirus in India: Why cancelling Holi was PM Modi's brightest idea ever
Coronavirus in India: Why cancelling Holi was PM Modi's brightest idea ever
Photo by PTI

One doesn’t often agree with the PM of this country but on Thursday PM Modi warmed the cockles of one’s dark heart by ensuring that Holi would be cancelled.

Well, not cancelled like a ‘feminist’ making a joke about dead-naming, but cancelled in the real sense that Sanders appears to be in Super Tuesday where Biden finally seems to be getting the upper hand.

PM Modi, right after announcing that he would be handing over his social media handles to ‘inspirational women’, said that he’d not be attending mass gatherings.

PM Modi tweeted: “Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme.”

PM Modi’s biggest ideas are more misses than hits; after all we are still missing most of the mainstream politicians from the Valley and the point behind demonetization. But even a harsh critic can't deny that 'cancelling' Holi is downright brilliant.

Not to say he hasn’t had great ideas like rural electrification or Jan Dhan accounts or making science cool again, but to say a loud ‘no to Holi’ has to be one of his best.

Coronavirus in India: Why cancelling Holi was PM Modi's brightest idea ever
Photo by AFP

Because even without the threat of coronavirus, looming large like an invisible Thanos in a country with negligible healthcare resources, Holi is a festival that gives this author the heebie jeebies. Perhaps it has something to do with growing in a boys’ boarding school where they felt they hadn’t celebrated Holi without tearing one’s clothes off or rubbing black polish and sour curd upon each other.

There’s something about the festival that brings out the inner beast of even the most civilised of individuals. Indians have trouble understanding the concept of consent on the best of days, so imagine the outcome, when they have their faces smeared with colour which makes it harder to recognise them.

Coronavirus in India: Why cancelling Holi was PM Modi's brightest idea ever
Photo by PTI

Long before anonymous trolls became the menace of the internet, we had anonymous trolls on the streets, throwing water balloons, harassing passers-by and simply refusing to accept an individual’s right to abstain from the mob mentality that masquerades as mass pageantry.

Coronavirus in India: Why cancelling Holi was PM Modi's brightest idea ever
Photo by ANI

And then, you’ve the entire religious angle where people take great offence to the festival, calling you anti-Hindu simply because you don’t want to participate. So thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for giving us the opportunity to give a pass to that heinous tradition for one year.

Nirmalya Dutta is Web Editor of The Free Press Journal.

He tweets at @nirmalyadutta23.

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