Holi might be widely celebrated as the festival of colours nationwide, but for many women, it is a nightmare turned into reality every year. This year, this nightmare seems to have come early for students of Lady Sri Ram College of Delhi University. Students of the college took to social media to share how they were hit with balloons filled with semen. Taking the ‘bura na maano, Holi hai’ phrase on its face value, this is probably not the first time somebody has been at the receiving end of hooliganism and sexual harassment under the facade of “celebrations”. The women’s posts — now viral on the Internet as screenshots — are ghastly narrations of how without an inkling of shame the perpetrators flung the balloons at them. There is a general sense of disbelief and horror on social media, as people reacted furiously to what has happened.
Along with the college, Pinjra Tod — the autonomous collective protecting the rights of women students in DU, took to Facebook to strongly condemn the issue. While screenshots of one student’s Instagram posts sharing the ordeal are being circulated online, her account has been set to private mode. Indianexpress.com has reached out to her for more details and is not revealing the students’ identities, given the sensitivity of the matter. This is the text of the other student’s post, as she recounted her experience.
“My white kurta doesn’t invite you to throw balloons on me. A girl walking alone on road doesn’t invite you to wish her happy holi by touching her body.
3:58 pm I’m walking on road reading @t******* ‘s posts and thinking how horrible is that and exactly after that I feel a balloon hitting my back and just after some seconds I feel another on my feet. I literally couldn’t move after that and after a min I hear “HAPPY HOLI”. I couldn’t analyse what just happened, I felt so helpless. All the worst things were going in my mind. “What if they come back?” “ what should I do? Should I shout?” It’s high time that we all should speak about this and we should take a step against it. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I am feeling rn. Let’s stand against this. Let us tell them the right way. Throwing balloons of semen on women doesn’t prove your masculinity. It is a shame that we connect things like these to our festivals. The whole concept of “Bura na mano holi hai” should honestly get banned because YES we feel bad , disgusting when men like you come out on streets around holi.”
These are the LSR Students’ Union and Pinjra Tod‘s response to the issue. While the former has increased police patrol around the college and given out points of contact for students to reach out to, the latter has called out to society at large for this discriminatory scheme of affairs for women in India.
And this is how Netizens have been reacting to this.
Women in LSR have had semen-filled balloons thrown at them, most of my classmates prefer to skip classes rather than walk 500 meters from their PGs to college.
None of us see it as a festival anymore. https://t.co/ZNBxTVqso8
— A. (@kyunrious_) February 26, 2018
Just hearing about the semen filled balloons incident at LSR makes my blood boil. I’d call the people who did this dogs, but I think dogs are more civilized.
— Ana Hajarajanan (@RavenclawRoy) February 27, 2018
Another friend has narrated a similar incident. Disgusting doesn’t even begin to describe how fucked up this is https://t.co/P3NtOpOUst
— Kartikeya Ramanathan (@krtky) February 27, 2018
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeopleTV) February 27, 2018