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Every year you’ll read stories of girls who were sexually harassed, assaulted and groped by men on Holi with the excuse of smearing colours. A recent video went viral wherein a Japanese tourist faced such assault at the hands of Indian men who, while smearing her with colours, egged, spanked, and groped her. It is horrifying to watch.
A lot of people might say ‘Bura na maano Holi hai’, it’s all fun and games and that the guys mean no harm. Some might even say that such accusations show Indian festivals in a bad light. Society will give excuse after excuse to normalize such behavior than hold men accountable who don’t know the first thing about consent.
Another such case has come to light. An 18-year-old took to Reddit’s r/India subreddit to share how, at a public Holi event where there was a DJ and rain dance, two guys kept touching her inappropriately while smearing colours on her. Since there were two guys and she was the only girl with her friends not in sight amidst a noisy Holi party, she could neither push them away nor raise an alarm.
“So me (18F) and my friends went to an event to play Holi. Basically, there was a DJ, there was rain dance and there was gulal wali Holi. So me and one of my friends got some colours and we started throwing it at random people in the crowd. We coloured them, some coloured us back, it was fun. I am usually comfortable getting coloured by random people regardless of their gender. So I was going through the crowd and suddenly a hand catches me. I was like, here it comes. I closed my eyes as I get a palette of colors on my face. Two boys coloured my hair and face. This wasn’t the problem. The problem was when those hands went downwards. I can very well distinguish between accidental and intentional touches. And this was no accident,” she revealed.
She went on to add the uncomfortable details of being touched by the two strangers.
“I feel two hands grabbing my waist. I feel them laying their hands all over my stomach. I feel an occasional finger in my navel. I feel it pressing in. I feel a hand running down my lower back. I try to push back but they resist. I feel helpless. I panic. I push back harder but I feel two firm hands pressing in on the sides of my waist and yank me back so hard it hurt my abdomen. They coloured me for much, much longer than what is expected. I feel hands all over my abdomen, from my ribs to my lower stomach. I feel hands running down my waist to my hips. My other friends are nowhere to be seen. The boys leave me and get lost somewhere in the crowd. I try to look for them but they were unrecognisable. I lie to my friends that I’m feeling feverish and we go back from the place,” she wrote.
Have a look at her post here:
Got very uncomfortable yesterday while playing holi from india
When this was happening, the girl completely froze and tried to scream but the guys were colouring her face.
“Yes, I just froze there while they kept running their hands over me. I felt violated. My stomach was completely exposed….something which I was previously very comfortable to do but now, doubtful. They didn’t go near my chest…I thought they will but they stopped at my ribs. They went to my lower stomach. It was like, only they were in control. I tried to scream but they were coloring my face,” she shared.
Several people online shared similar experiences of going through such uncomfortable situations during festivals and events. Here’s what some of them said:
This makes my blood boil!
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