Holi 2017 had its dispute over dates in Guyana, which was really insignificant; whether it was the 12th or the 13th was irrelevant. New York celebrated Holi on the 12th, which fell on Sunday, and was convenient. Prior to the last two years, there were no issues in regard to the dates for Holi in Guyana. Other more important issues now take precedence over dates.
Holi, as we know it, is a pious and sacred festival created by the founding fathers of the Indian civilisation. These founders nurtured and preserved this tradition with high hopes and aspirations that one day their investments would pay rich dividends in the form of healthy, intelligent and cultured offsprings, creating an even more superior generation — one whose people would augment and foster rich Indian values and beliefs, and in so doing would reach the highest human goal.
Their hopes and sacrifices have not materialised; instead, a new and lawless culture has emerged among sections of the Hindu population. This year, Holi celebrations were the most lawless, especially in Guyana. Soca and chutney music, indecent dancing, vulgarity and alcohol etc. These took centre stage. What has happened to our chowtal singing? Where has our melodious Holi songs, which arouse the feeling and spirit of Holi, gone? How about the beauty and art associated with Indian classical dancing? During this year’s Holi, some people sang, danced and were merry; some looked on, while the hearts of cultured and noble people bled as they helplessly watched.
Many Hindus who fostered values that were passed down by their ancestors and took pride in their way of life had to leave the celebrations half way, not wanting their children to see such combined madness associated with Holi. This was disrespectful to the founding fathers of our greet civilisation and to many cultured people.
This year, Minister within the Education Ministry, with responsibility for culture, Nicolette Henry, in her Holi presentation, called Holi “the festival of lights”. This is inexcusable and creates a bad impression in the minds of the Hindu masses. Afro-Guyanese are joining Holi celebration’s now more than ever, and are certainly welcome to join. We all belong to one human family.
Finally, corrective action needs to be taken, and this can only start with the Pandits and Hindu leaders. What has happened to the Arya Samaj leaders? You take pride in being the learned/educators among the Hindus. What has happened to Sanaatan leaders? You no longer show your allegiance to Prahalad. You said Hoil signifies the triumph of good over evil. The evil behaviour has taken precedence over your sacred festival while you remain quiet. Wake up unconscious Hindus, the world is watching and preying on you. Do not let history repeat itself.