You are here
Home > Facts > Holi Or Mass Molestation? The Dark Side Of Lath Maar Holi That No One Talks About

Holi Or Mass Molestation? The Dark Side Of Lath Maar Holi That No One Talks About

Lath Maar Holi

Growing up in India, you’d know the importance of festivals, especially the ones like Holi. 

As kids, we’ve all spent the festival with our friends filling balloons with water and buying the fanciest of pichkaris. Remember being sad when you realized Holi was in the middle of exams? In short, Holi was the day we could lose all control and there’s nothing more fun than that, is there?

As adults, Holi is the festival that allows us to be kids once more. And now, we can even wander and discover how our beloved festival is celebrated in different parts of the nation. It is safe to say that we’ve all got Vrindavan’s Lath Maar Holi on our bucket list.

Lath Maar translates into ‘beating with sticks’. Apparently, the females are allowed to hit the men folk with sticks, but it’s all meant to be playful. It is a week long affair in the Braj province and the festival is famous all over the world, attracting journalists and travel photographers from various parts of the world.

However, beneath this seemingly fun tradition is a dark side that allows for mass molestation of women. Losing control here isn’t just about playing with too much colour. It is about getting groped, targeted and molested.

Writer Meghana Sanka and travel photographer Deepti Asthana share their accounts of Lath Maar Holi and after reading them, no woman would want to have this on her bucket list.

Meghana Sanka went to Nandgaon to witness the festivities this year around Holi and talks about how she was groped and assaulted by different men:

“A Sadhu stared at my breasts and before I could react, put his elbows out, rubbed them against my breasts and walked away. So much for being a Sadhu !”

Men shamelessly robbed her off her modesty. They followed her around, targeting her posterior with their pichkaris. If that wasn’t enough, she suddenly felt a burning sensation.

While we were rounding up our bunch of people, a few locals came up loaded with their big pichkaris and aimed at my posterior and another friend’s back. We tried to move but their pichkaris followed. We hurriedly left the temple only to find that the water had trickled down to my thighs and it was burning.

The reason for the burning sensation left Meghana stunned. She went to play Holi at a famous place but her excitement was washed away due to being groped by strangers and the burns that it gave her.

That’s when a friend told me, they mix Shira (glass powder) and aim. My inner thighs were cut raw with the glass powder and I was in immense pain. I could barely walk. I took a seat on a wall for witnessing the Lath Maar Holi.

“Legend has it that the boys of Nandgaon are supposed to tease the girls of Barsana and Nandgaon so much that they get tired and come to bash them up with lathis. The boys made vulgar hand gestures and used the choicest of abuses individually on a lot of girls, especially those who weren’t locals. I don’t know if this is what the legend talks about. It surely did not seem like the Indian culture we boast of. If the boys can talk this way to random girls during Holi, there is no guarantee that they don’t do it on the rest of the days.”

She added, “After the show was over, we walked back to our cars and I endured the pain throughout the journey. My thighs did not stop burning. Even after 2 days, I can’t walk since the skin is still raw. Another friend told me later, “They mix Shira knowingly. They want women to remember who they played Holi with.”

Sadly, Meghana is not the only one who had to experience the festival this way. Travel photographer Deepti Asthana was rather excited for this event. She had even planned on organizing an all-women photography tour to the place next year, but what happened with her has made sure she never visits the place again.

“Like always, I was fully prepared covering my camera gear to protect it from water and colors and I was dressed as locally as possible in the traditional dress of Salwar-kurta and a dupatta. However, I was not prepared for the nakedness of the mentality of people there. As soon as I entered Nandgaon, accompanied by two other photographers, I was surrounded and alienated by a group of men on the stairs. One after another buckets of color were poured over me, the pichkaaris were specifically targeting my breasts and posteriors and before I could understand what was happening, someone gave a pat on my bottom.”

Deepti retired pretty early on after the horrific things that she experienced. She went to a terrace and became a spectator. However, that experience left her scarred too. She could view women of all ages facing what she faced.

“I found a safe place for me to sit on the roof of the temple at Nandgaon and I was almost shaking in fear. Each female there was a perfect target whether she was an 8-year-old kid or a 60-year-old woman. Surrounding a girl in a group and drenching her from top to toe; targeting her assets from their pichkari was the routine for them there. It all looked so obscene as a viewer for me, and I was in the same situation just a couple of hours ago.”

The people she encountered had no regard for her bodily autonomy. She was groped but the biggest problem was that she was blamed for it too.

I was standing among four photographers shooting the transgenders who were dancing in front of the temple. Suddenly, a hand came from behind and groped my breasts. I managed to catch the hand and saw two young boys, half my age, giggling. I shouted in my full capacity and questioned them on how dare they touched me? And the reply was “You are standing here on Holi, what do you expect?

Holi is supposed to be for everyone, isn’t it? But clearly, some men use it as an excuse to force themselves on women. We could go on about how it needs to stop but if someone’s mentality is sick, there is no coming back from there. Our heart goes out to all the women who go through this every single year in the name of tradition and culture.

If this is how Holi is played, we’d rather not celebrate this festival.

Get Latest News from India & World, Top Trending Stories from Lifestyle, Humor, Sports, Travel, Foods, Technology, entertainment & bollywood, Women, Education, Politics & Crime, Viral Photos and Videos.

12 thoughts on “Holi Or Mass Molestation? The Dark Side Of Lath Maar Holi That No One Talks About

  1. Hi There! We are looking for experienced people that might be interested in from working their home on a part-time basis. If you want to earn $500 a day, and you don’t mind writing some short opinions up, this might be perfect opportunity for you! Simply check out the link here NOW!

  2. I wish to show my admiration for your generosity giving support to folks who really need help with this particular matter. Your very own commitment to passing the solution across appeared to be certainly invaluable and has constantly permitted folks just like me to reach their dreams. Your valuable hints and tips means a lot to me and additionally to my peers. Regards; from everyone of us.

  3. I’m just writing to make you understand what a nice discovery my wife’s child undergone using yuor web blog. She figured out a lot of details, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess an awesome giving character to let most people effortlessly learn about a variety of hard to do topics. You truly exceeded visitors’ desires. Thanks for showing these powerful, trustworthy, edifying not to mention easy tips on that topic to Ethel.

  4. I must show my appreciation for your kind-heartedness giving support to persons who must have assistance with this one area of interest. Your very own commitment to passing the message all-around had been wonderfully beneficial and have in most cases helped workers just like me to arrive at their ambitions. The insightful tutorial means so much to me and additionally to my fellow workers. Regards; from each one of us.

  5. Needed to write you this tiny observation to be able to give thanks the moment again for these nice concepts you have contributed in this article. It was certainly wonderfully open-handed with people like you to supply publicly exactly what many people could possibly have sold for an e book in making some money for their own end, primarily now that you might well have done it in case you decided. Those ideas additionally served like the easy way to be certain that other individuals have similar fervor just as my very own to find out much more with regards to this issue. I’m certain there are millions of more fun situations ahead for people who looked at your website.

  6. A lot of thanks for your whole work on this website. Ellie really likes setting aside time for internet research and it’s simple to grasp why. I learn all regarding the powerful mode you make practical techniques by means of this web site and attract contribution from other people on this theme plus our favorite princess is actually studying a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You are performing a very good job.

  7. I together with my friends have already been digesting the nice tips and tricks found on the blog and so quickly I got a terrible feeling I never thanked the blog owner for them. These guys became for this reason passionate to see all of them and have now seriously been making the most of these things. I appreciate you for being considerably kind and for opting for variety of smart useful guides most people are really eager to be aware of. My very own honest regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  8. My husband and i have been now fortunate that John managed to conclude his studies out of the ideas he came across from your own blog. It’s not at all simplistic to just possibly be giving freely instructions that other folks have been trying to sell. And we also understand we have got the blog owner to appreciate for that. All of the illustrations you have made, the straightforward web site menu, the relationships you will help to engender – it is mostly exceptional, and it is leading our son and us consider that this matter is exciting, which is certainly seriously mandatory. Many thanks for all!

  9. I just wanted to write down a simple note in order to thank you for all of the great tricks you are sharing on this site. My time-consuming internet look up has now been paid with beneficial tips to exchange with my family and friends. I would believe that we site visitors actually are unquestionably fortunate to be in a superb site with many outstanding individuals with very beneficial tricks. I feel somewhat happy to have seen your entire website and look forward to plenty of more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks a lot once again for everything.

  10. I’m also writing to let you know what a impressive discovery our child experienced browsing your web page. She even learned numerous issues, most notably what it’s like to have an incredible coaching nature to get many others easily fully grasp some grueling topics. You undoubtedly did more than her desires. Thank you for displaying such essential, healthy, informative and as well as cool tips on the topic to Mary.

  11. I enjoy you because of your own effort on this blog. My mom delights in going through investigations and it’s simple to grasp why. Almost all know all of the powerful form you offer simple strategies via this web site and even invigorate contribution from visitors on that subject while my princess has always been discovering a great deal. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You are performing a terrific job.

Leave a Reply