Most of the time we celebrate a festival and try to recall the folklore to tell the origin of the festival. It is the festival of Spring. The harvest is over and the red flowers bloom in the trees to signal the end of winter and the onset of Spring. People may recall the story of Prahlad , Holika and so on.
In my view, all these may be incidental but the real thing to celebrate is the “Spirit of Holi”. I have never seen a festival which brings people of all religions, caste, creed and strata of society as one community to celebrate together.
It has become fashionable to use toxic chemicals as Holi colours and spray on one another. It is best celebrated with organic spices and may be sprinkling the same on one another may add to health and well being rather than the toxic colours used today, which could cause skin infections.
I have lived and grown in the north, south, east and west of India. I have never seen a festival, which is more cosmopolitan than Holi. It is a festival of colours. But, more than that it is a festival of togetherness. It’s a festival of families and friends congregating together. It’s a festival of sharing.
Instead of debating tolerance and intolerance, let us celebrate the “Spirit of Holi” in our daily lives. We can be proud of this tradition of celebrating together. India is rich in its diversity and culture. It is festivals like Holi, which binds us together as Indians.
Let us create the Holi spirit everyday in our lives by celebrating joy together. Let us continue to celebrate the “Spirit of Holi”, which in my view is the spirit of India.
S Ramesh Shankar