It speaks volumes for the state of affairs in Kathmandu Valley when young women feel “terrified” to step outside their homes. They are undoubtedly the people who suffer the most in the lead up to the festival of colours. Though scheduled for Saturday, Holi has already begun in earnest on the streets and alleyways of Kathmandu, with youngsters hurling water-filled balloons at the pedestrians at their whim. Those who have been at the wrong end of the lolas in the past are justifiably anxious. Some people have even lost their sights and hearing powers after being hit by the chemical-filled missiles.
Holi, celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil, provides a rare opportunity for the near and dear ones of a family (who otherwise might not have met due to their hectic schedules) to celebrate together. In this light, it is indeed very sad that this fun-filled festival has been given such a bad name. Nothing justifies trying to disrupt people’s lives by inconveniencing them with balloons
filled with harmful chemicals or dirty water. The feeling of danger is so pervasive that even schools and colleges are forced to close down to protect their students from being injured. The government, on its part, routinely vows to come down heavy on those who engage in activities that hinder with people’s normal lives but to no avail. Strict measures should be instituted against the people who look to have fun at the cost of others.