Why modern Holi is not what the gods would've wanted?
Why modern Holi is not what the gods would've wanted?
Image via PTI

The festival of colours, Holi, is celebrated towards the end of the winter, marking the beginning of the harvest season or spring. For the unversed, the festival was celebrated to symbolize the triumph of good over evil and laud one of the greatest devotees of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad, who came out unscathed from fire, owing to his sheer faith in the almighty.

This is the reason why Holika Dahan (a day before Holi) is considered to hold significance, when people light a bonfire and burn effigies of the evil aunt who wanted to kill her nephew (Prahlad). However, a day after the Holika Dahan, which is currently given most of the importance in terms of commercialization, is celebrated sans any significance of its own.

At present the superficiality of the festival has taken the best of it and with commercialization triumphing over the actuality of sentiments and the essence of reverence, the whole purpose of celebrating this occasion has been and is being defeated. For starters, the use of coloured powder has neither religious significance nor any helpful properties, making it an unnecessarily glorified element of Holi.

The indiscriminate use of colour, which at times is not good for the skin, hair overall health is an avoidable risk undertaken without purpose. Beliefs suggest that Lord Krishna who was called 'Shyam' owing to his dark skin tone and was ashamed of what Radha and the other gopis would think about his skin, he was thus instructed by his mother to use colours to obliterate the difference in skin tones. People believe that this one of the main reasons why colour is used during Holi.

Even if one would consider that colors were used in earlier times, they would have been prepared from natural ingredients, as opposed to the ones available in the market today. The Holi parties and gatherings take place on a large scale with hundreds or thousands of people coming under one roof, causes a colossal waste of water. This is another hitch that makes attending these parties anything but a guilt-free enjoyment experience.

Moreover, events and parties cash in on the excitement of people and their fear of missing out on attending a Holi bash.

Another cringe-worthy aspect of Holi is the fact that for a day or at times a few days prior to the festival, people tend to take consent for granted. Consent, here, is used not pitting men against women, but, in fact, highlighting that the festival gives an intangible, unseen and unspoken right to splash water on someone or put colour on someone's face, at times leaving no room or time to understand if the person is agreeable.

On that note, this Holi, it is best to ponder why you are spending or participating in something that lacks meaning all together.

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