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What we must burn this Holika Dahan?

Holika Dahan is considered an indispensable part of the festival Holi, and Holika Dahan signifies the victory of good over evil and symbolises that only truth and good prevails. However, this year Holi and Holika Dahan come with covid-19 restrictions and norms, and we must abide by the guidelines to be safe and stand together in fighting this evil — coronavirus. 

This Holi Dahan we must pledge to burn the negativity that has occupied our society and obstructed its growth. We need to burn all such effigies that have restricted us from achieving our goals or moving ahead. We need to burn them all. Here we all going to discuss a few of them which we need to burn together as a society:

Inequality: First and foremost, we need to build a society that treats each of its human equal, irrespective of their gender, caste, creed, sexuality. Today, crimes against women increased 7.3 per cent from 2018 to 2019, and crimes against Scheduled Castes also went up 7.3 per cent in the same period, according to the annual National Crime Record Bureau’s “Crime in India” 2019 report. More often than not, women succumb to the preconceived notions of society and fall victim to patriarchy and injustice. Likewise, society often looked down upon the LGBTQIA community and differentiated them for not aligning with the set mould of the society. This Holika Dahan lets us acknowledge our superficial attitude and treat and greet every human with the same love and respect and burn this mould of society that categories humans and establishes a hierarchy amongst them. 

Injustice towards animals and nature: We, humans presume that we are supreme and every other existing creature vis-a-vis nature is beneath us. Often, the human population is left baffled and at the mercy of the raged nature. Only then, or maybe not, we acknowledge the supremacy nature holds. Our attitude towards nature is exploitative, we are ‘selfish creatures’ we want to keep everything to ourselves, we want to use every resource to its fullest and leave nothing for the coming generation. We are greedy. So much so that we take sadistic pleasure in harming animals be it for our joy, taste or determine our dominance. Cruelty against animals is a cognizable offence under Section 428 and Section 429 of the Indian penal code. There is an urgent need to implement effectively the laws made for the protection of animals. This Holika Dahan lets us find a human in us, by burning the inhumanity. Let us burn our evils and navigate the goods. Let us pledge to not harm the animal and not over utilise the resources.

Hypocrisy: We, humans are a hypocrite. We want to save the best for ourselves and seldom show consideration for others. We rarely show compassion and kindness towards each other. I often come across a firm argument to the aforementioned statement which says, “We gotta be clever to live in a society. Nice people are often cheated and left miserable.” But I feel this is how each one of us feels and now it has become collective consciousness. We don’t trust, we dont believe and we are selfish. We dont want good for others. We save all the good to ourselves. We want to establish our supremacy and make others feel inferior about themselves. 

A hypocritical behaviour that is very prevalent in us humans is cleaning our image or our home and damaging/laughing and throwing garbage at others (places). This is Holika Dahan lets burn this self-centred hypocritical attitude and take care of our surroundings and our community as much as we take care of our homes and ourselves. 

Unnecessary utilisation of resources: The world has enough for everyone’s needs, but not everyone’s greed  — Mahatma Gandhi.

We are exploiting the resources at a pace that would soon exhaust the resources and our future generation will hold us guilty for the deprivation. All the existing creatures as well as the future generation deserves equal exposure to the beauty of nature and its resources. Hence, this Holika Dahan lets promise to be considerate for our future generation and use the available resources to a limit. 

Unnecessary pressure/ expectation from children: Recently, Ritika Phogat, sister of Dangal sister Geeta and Babita Phogat committed suicide which made national headlines. Her suicide scratched open the voids of society, which lacks discourse around mental health and have tremendous pressure on children/youngsters. Today, in the race of being ahead of others, we often forget to teach our children to be easy on themselves. We forget to tell them that happiness matters the most and that their hard work will eventually pay off. We, knowingly or unknowingly push them to the cliff and from there either they see the sky for the soaring heights or the ditch to fall. The pressure on their shoulders often restricts them from flying and falling in the ditch seems to be an easier path for them. So, this Holika Dahan, let us burn the bubble of excessive pressure which we have built around our children and give them wings to fly high. 

There could be a long list of evils that hinders your peace, and which you want to burn this Holika Dahan, acknowledge each one of them and burn them all. The prevailing tough times due to the pandemic have added to the negativity, but what you need to know is that nothing lasts forever, every road has its end. You need to take that first step by changing yourself and you will see the change you wished for in society. It all starts with us. We are the individual flag-bearers of the campaign we want to advocate for. So this Holika Dahan, burn all the insecurities, reluctance and self-doubt along with the negativity. And a Happy Holi to you and your loved one. 

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