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Apeksha Bagchi

IWB Blogger

Photographers Show How Fear Of Harassment Makes The Festival Of Colours A #BlackAndWhiteHoli For Women

  • IWB Post
  •  March 20, 2019

It is Holi tomorrow, ‘Yay!’ for you but I will be forced to sit in my house or, if I do play Holi, I’ll have to be hyper alert to protect myself from unwanted touches in the guise of ‘Bura na mano Holi hai.’ Wondering who am I? I am every girl who returned home with her clothes splattered with semen-filled balloons, I am that girl who loves colors but wants to run from those perverts who will touch her without permission and molest her in the garb of celebrating the festival. I am that girl who exists even if you, living blissfully in your bubble of safety, think she doesn’t.

I have often come across women who straight out deny that there exists a darker side to this bright day of colours. You have never been molested or abused, thus you have an untarnished view of this festival? Good for you that you never have to think ‘Should I play Holi, is it worth the humiliation that I may or may not have to face?’ But what about the ones who cross the streets in fear on this day, the ones who come home drenched in colours, in tears, as they recount to their horrified family how a stranger grabbed their breasts on the pretext of colouring them?

Devoid of colours, that’s what this festival is to countless women across the nation- a reality that Indian Women Blog is presenting in its campaign #BlackAndWhiteHoli, where we invited photographers across India to share monochrome pictures of Holi. Contributing towards making Holi a safer festival for women, these pictures depict that dark side of Holi we refuse to accept but which, sadly, exists.

The festival of colours is upon us. Clouds of colours, happy cheers, music, sweets, festivity etc sounds pretty much like the #HappyHoli, we wish each other and actually how it should be. But if you talk to the women around you, you might hear something different. Holi is nothing short of a nightmare for most of the women. For decades, some men have been using this festival as an excuse for their egregious behaviour, where they molest and harass women under the garb of #BuraNaMaano. To highlight this issue and work towards making Holi a safer festival for women, instead of the one where they’re afraid of even stepping out of their homes, this year @indianwomenblog started a campaign – #BlackAndWhiteHoli – where they invited photographers to share some pictures to show how devoid of colour this festival can be for some women. We should also take responsibility of keeping it safer for women around us and fighting against the real evil(these men) #HoliHaiParConsentNahi

227 Likes, 0 Comments – ali monis naqvi (@pictoryali) on Instagram: “The festival of colours is upon us. Clouds of colours, happy cheers, music, sweets, festivity etc…”

Kick-starting our campaign #BlackAndWhiteHoli with this beautiful still from @_modern_monk . **** . The festival of colours is upon us. Clouds of colours, happy cheers, music, sweets, festive vibes… sounds pretty much like the #HappyHoli, we wish each other on this auspicious day. But if you talk to the women around you, you might hear something different. Holi is nothing short of a nightmare for women. For decades, some men have been using this festival as an excuse for their egregious behaviour, where they molest and harass women under the garb of #BuraNaMaano. To highlight this issue and work towards making Holi a safer festival for women, instead of the one where they’re afraid of even stepping out of their homes, we’re planning the campaign – #BlackAndWhiteHoli. We invite photographers from across the country to share some pictures they’ve clicked on Holi over the years, but in monochrome or Black & White, to show how devoid of colour this festival can be for some women. Tag your pals behind the lens to let them know about this campaign and join the cause of making Holi a safer day for women.

376 Likes, 5 Comments – Indian Women Blog (@indianwomenblog) on Instagram: “Kick-starting our campaign #BlackAndWhiteHoli with this beautiful still from @_modern_monk . **** ….”

Continuing our campaign #BlackAndWhiteHoli with this thought-provoking still from @awaara_musaafir . **** . The festival of colours is upon us. Clouds of colours, happy cheers, music, sweets, festive vibes… sounds pretty much like the #HappyHoli, we wish each other on this auspicious day. But if you talk to the women around you, you might hear something different. Holi is nothing short of a nightmare for women. For decades, some men have been using this festival as an excuse for their egregious behaviour, where they molest and harass women under the garb of #BuraNaMaano. To highlight this issue and work towards making Holi a safer festival for women, instead of the one where they’re afraid of even stepping out of their homes, we’re planning the campaign – #BlackAndWhiteHoli. We invite photographers from across the country to share some pictures they’ve clicked on Holi over the years, but in monochrome or Black & White, to show how devoid of colour this festival can be for some women. Tag your pals behind the lens to let them know about this campaign and join the cause of making Holi a safer day for women. 📸 Concept: @awaara_musaafir and @priyanka_nazareth . . #indianphotography #holicampaign #darkside #streetphotography

475 Likes, 6 Comments – Indian Women Blog (@indianwomenblog) on Instagram: “Continuing our campaign #BlackAndWhiteHoli with this thought-provoking still from @awaara_musaafir…”

#BlackAndWhiteHoli #IWBRepost via @zishaanalatif ・・・ It’s what parents make of children at home that they go out into the world to become either human beings or complete assholes (Boys!)….parents please don’t blame the school or the teachers, you and only you are to blame, so choose correct because it will shape the sanity and sustainability of our society for generations … Or everything comes right around to haunt you..eventually! Holi marks the arrival of spring, also celebrates fertility, colour, love, and the triumph of good over evil. The origins of the festival can be found in various legends in Hindu mythology, ironically…one of which tells the story of a demon, Holika, and her brother, King Hiranyakashipu…which has transcended ages and chapters to become a true story for most women in India today, trying to triumph good over evil (men in general or especially men on Holi!) The unabashed celebration of Holi, considered a “happy” festival but with that comes the convenience of passage, with time loosening of its tradition and moral compass which becomes a complete nightmare for most women in the urban or rural roots of India. This year, the @indianwomenblog take charge, in highlighting this unfortunate use of a “festival” by desperate men to grossly satisfy their need by sexually oppressing and harassing women from all age groups that have succumbed to these demonic intents for decades, under the garb of #BuraNaMaano !! WE ALL good intentioned men need to highlight this issue and work towards making Holi a safer festival for women, instead of the one where they’re afraid of even stepping out of their homes. (Unless when they genuinely just don’t feel like stepping out on Holi, the way I don’t because the concept of “Holi”…it’s but Holy for me.. I rather watch @netflix_in !) #blackandwhiteholi – to show how devoid of colour this festival can be for women. #happyholi – to show how ignorant we choose to be! Photograph – from the series ‘MumbaDevi’ : A group of young enthusiastic boys engaged in a macho display of colourful affection on Holi, at Chowpaty beach, Girgaum, Bombay. 04/03/2007

183 Likes, 0 Comments – Indian Women Blog (@indianwomenblog) on Instagram: “#BlackAndWhiteHoli #IWBRepost via @zishaanalatif ・・・ It’s what parents make of children at home…”

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