Let me start by saying to all those who have taken strong offence to my tweet -
The irony of the times we live in: farmers commit suicide due to drought and people waste water to 'play' #Holi.Go ahead call me anti-Hindu.— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) March 16, 2016
Go ahead call me 'anti-Hindu' - that as a citizen of India, I have an equal respect for all religions, festivals and customs that are celebrated in our country. It has never been my intention to hurt the sentiments of any individual or community. If, in the event, my tweet has done so, I apologise unequivocally.
That said, the fact remains that various parts of our country are experiencing a severe water shortage. According to a report I read in April last year, the drought in Maharashtra has hit more than 90 lakh farmers and counting.
In October last year, the Maharashtra government officially declared a 'drought-like condition' in 14,708 of the state's 43,000 villages. Water conservation is the absolute need of the hour and my request for us to indulge in a dry Holi was in keeping only with this sentiment of conservation and nothing else.
|Water conservation is the absolute need of the hour.|
In a far more innocent time, when the child in me was still playing Holi with water balloons and buckets full of gulal water, it was hard to foresee that one day drought would not be just a picture of cracked earth in a school notebook but a tragedy closer home.
As an individual who continues to live and learn, I concede that I may not have always benefited from an awareness that urged me to question the wastage of our resources at all occasions in the past. But I also know that with time, just like any one of us, I too have the continuous opportunity to grow and make more informed and responsible choices in all spheres of life.
We may not have all the solutions to the water scarcity problem or any other problem for that matter, but I believe that empathy for those most affected, acknowledging and understanding the challenges we face and taking the steps WE CAN as citizens, will only help.
Lastly, the exchange of opinions, thoughts and ideas is what makes interacting with people on Twitter and other platforms of social media as engaging as it is. Let's remain receptive to one another even when we choose to disagree.
Have a colourful, safe and happy Holi!!!
(This first appeared on the writer's Facebook page.)