New Delhi: Holi is one of the main festivals in North India. This article is especially for those who are planning to travel India during month of March or those who want to take part in Holi celebration. Our main aim is to make the travelers aware of Indian culture and rituals and also to help them to take necessary precautions.
Holi is the “Festival of colors” and marks the victory of good over evil. It’s primarily a North Indian festival. North Indian cities such as Delhi and Jaipur celebrate Holi with much enthuthiasm. South Indians generally don’t celebrate Holi.
To make the experience of Holi memorable all those travelling to India can follow certain tips.
To make it easy for our readers we have planned a list of items that should be carried by the travelers to avoid any inconvenience. The packing list goes as follows:-
* Old clothes or white T-shirt and shorts to wear while playing Holi. You can easily discard them without worrying about spoiling your favourite attire.
* Some nail paints you can apply nail paint to protect your nails from getting coloured for long time.
* Some good quality hair oil. Oil your hair properly before going out to play colours to ensure no damage to your precious locks.
* A Hat to further protect your hair and to some extent your eyes too.
* Sun glasses to protect your eyes as colors may enter your eyes and damage them hence Sunglasses are required to protect them.
* Vasline rubbing it on face, hands and neck before going out to play colors will leave lesser impact on the skin.
* Good quality facial scrub and face packs for after cleaning.
* Good quality skin moisturizer to moisturize the skin nicely once the cleaning is done.
These are the things you should carry with you when leaving for India as there are certain other points that should be kept in mind like:-
* Hair should be covered properly (especially blonde people). If not then the blonds may get multi color in hair for a very long time. Also properly oil your hair to minimize the coloring effects. Hat can also be used to cover your head properly.
* Old Clothes are recommended to be worn during Holi to avoid getting your favourite clothes ruined. Holi stains can’t be removed and you have to bin them afterwards.
Here are few safety tips for travelers during Holi festival celebration in India
Travelling India during Holi, here are few tips to follow for safety:
* Dress properly and wear clothes covering full body. Avoid showing too much skin to avoid unwanted attention from frisky locals.
* Avoid getting the paint in your eyes or mouth chemicals are present in some of the cheaper paints and not only could it make your eyes very sore, but you might end up with green or purple teeth.
* No expensive items leave your expensive jewellery at home/room-safe, as there are chances of it getting lost or stolen during Holi celebrations.
* Carry your mobile phone and wallet in a plastic pouch while playing Holi always cover your Mobile phones and wallets in plastic pouches to avoid water and colors entering them and damaging them.
* Celebrate Holi with known people only do not mix with groups of strangers for Holi celebrations. Otherwise, you may be targeted by miscreants. Avoid walking alone on the streets. Be attentive to rooftops as miscreant boys tend to throw water balloons at the pedestrians.
* Avoid taking pictures with strangers there is no problem taking a picture with a family or group of ladies. But, you should refuse to take a photo with a group of guys or a solo guy. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Gujiyas and Bhaang:
* Gujiya is a special sweet cooked during holi. Bhaang is a recreational drug made from marijuana leaves and flowers mixed with Milk, dry fruits and cardamom. If you wish to taste Gujiya or Bhaang, take it from known hotels, families and friends.
* Don’t take Gujiya or Bhaang from complete strangers as they can mix something else in these items. You may also purchase Gujiya from sweet shop. Don’t over-do bhaang as it is intoxicating drink.
Flower Holi at Mathura Vrindavan:
* Mathura and Vrindavan are undoubtedly the best places in India to celebrate and witness Holi. They are also popular across the nation for the same reason. Other than these two, the small towns, districts, and villages nearby are also popular for Holi celebrations. Famous flower holi played using the petals and organic scented water is main attraction here.
* These are just precautionary tips and not to scare you. These tips are to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable Holi. If you follow these safety tips and rely on your instincts and common sense, you will have great fun at the festival.
* The police is always there to help you. ‘100’ is the helpline number of police in India. ‘1091’ is the special helpline number for ‘Women’.
Sadhvi Pragya makes controversial Karkare remark, apologises after outrage
Two days after joining the BJP and being fielded for Lok Sabha polls, Malegaon bomb blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur on Friday said then Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare had died during the 26/11 terror attack because of her “curse”, triggering a major outcry following which she apologized.
Thakur, who is out on bail after serving over nine years in jail in connection with the September 29, 2008 blast in Maharashtra’s Malegaon in which six people were killed and nearly 100 injured, recounted at a public meeting here the episode of her arrest and interrogation in the case.
The 48-year-old, who has a long association with the Sangh Parivar, claimed that when she was in a Mumbai jail, the head of the probe had called Karkare and said that she should be released as there was “no evidence” against her.
“Then Karkare asked me various questions and I replied ‘God knows’. At this, Karkare asked whether he would have to go to the God to get the answers. Then, I told him that he would be destroyed and he was cursed… within a month and a half, he fell victim to the terrorists’ bullets,” said Thakur who has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency against Congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Karkare was killed on the night of November 26, 2008 when 10 terrorists from Pakistan struck Mumbai at various places.
“Hindus believe that a period of one and a half month after anyone’s birth or death is of ritual impurity. When Karkare asked me these questions, this period started for him and ended with him being killed by the terrorists,” said Thakur, who was born in Bhind area of Madhya Pradesh.
The comments triggered a major outcry, with parties like the Congress, AAP and AIMIM, besides the Indian Police Service Association, condemning her remarks.
In the evening, Thakur said, “It was my personal pain. I take back my statement and apologise.”
She said she was taking back her remarks as she “felt that the enemies of the country are being benefited” from it.
She said Karkare was a “martyr” who died from the bullets of terrorists from the enemy country.
Earlier, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, condemning the comments, demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and action against her.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at Sadhvi Pragya for insulting a decorated dead police officer and accused her of dragging the current nationalism discourse to a new low.
In a hard-hitting reaction to the “sickening and repulsive” comment, he said: “That woman cannot be sane. No person in their sane mind can think or talk like that, and that too about a police officer who sacrificed his life for the nation.”
The AAP said BJP must apologize for insulting Karkare, with its chief Arvind Kejriwal calling the comments “disgraceful”.
AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi also slammed Thakur’s comment.
“Hemant Karkare died fighting people not very different from yourself. He didn’t die because a terror accused ‘felt bad’ and ‘cursed’ him. The man died fighting to protect our rights to vote and elect a government,” he said, adding: “How dare BJP insult our martyrs like this?”
In a tweet from its official handle, the IPS (Central) Association said: “Ashok Chakra awardee late Hemant Karkare, IPS, made the supreme sacrifice fighting terrorists. Those of us in uniform condemn the insulting statement made by a candidate and demand that sacrifices of all our martyrs be respected.”
Amid the outrage, the BJP distanced itself from Thakur’s comments.
BJP leader and former Union Minister Shahnawaz Hussain told media: “Those who died for the country, we consider them martyrs. We don’t raise questions on their martyrdom.”
BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli said that the remarks might be Thakur’s point of view.
“We respect every son and daughter of India who sacrificed their lives for motherland. What Pragyaji has said, that would evidently be her point of view perhaps because she herself underwent an investigation. We salute sacrifice of Karkareji and would not do politics on it,” he said.
Thakur was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. She was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in 2017.
Charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against her have been dropped and she is now being tried under the stringent anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
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