““It’s a very sexualised thing. You get touched or hit on your buttocks or your breasts,” said Devangana Kalita, an activist and researcher at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
“There’s a particular targeting of women’s genital parts,” added Shristi Satyawati, who on Saturday tried to lodge a police case against a group of young men who pelted her with water balloons “on my breasts and bum”.
“I was deeply agitated, but the police said they couldn’t lodge a case. They said it was Holi – they couldn’t do anything about it,” she said.
For many Indians, who celebrate Holi with their families or close friends, the festival is harmless fun. Those who complain about being coated in colour are met with a Hindi catchphrase roughly translated: “Don’t be offended, it’s Holi.”
“The idea of consent does not exist during Holi,””