A matrimonial website and a food delivery app’s Holi ads calling to celebrate the festival with caution so that women are not harassed and to avoid wasting food by hurling eggs at people were met with outrage and vicious online abuse for daring to ‘target’ a Hindu festival. Days later a video of a young Japanese tourist being manhandled on the pretext of Holi went viral. The young woman was seen being viciously assaulted by three youths who went on to break an egg on her head.
The fact is a community get-together meant to herald spring with colour and gaiety has over the years been severely distorted as people resort to hooliganism in the name of a cherished Hindu festival.
Flowers and organic colours have been replaced with paint, dirty water and eggs. It is an opportunity for molesters to target vulnerable women. In fact many women have stopped venturing out for fear of harassment. Therefore, the outrage over ads which raised this important issue is grossly misplaced. The trolls who have been calling for boycott of these two companies should be shut down promptly.
The shameful harassment of the Japanese tourist, on the other hand, should be met with outrage. No one harms Indian culture in all its various manifestations more than such hooligans. The tourist herself has removed her online posts and expressed her continued fascination with India and its many wonders. It is only fitting that the country should reciprocate her generosity with an assurance to bring her assaulters to justice. For once the police have acted proactively and booked three persons for the assault. They should meet with severe punishment so that other such offenders are deterred from ever shaming the country again.
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