By Dr Birbal Jha
India is a land of multiculturalism wherein human life is woven with the pearls of festivals in a very systematic series around the year for a smooth, recreational, pleasurable and healthy life. In that order, Holi is one of the festivals directly linked to environmental science, naturopathy and medication if the science behind it is taken into consideration, more particularly, during the Covid-19 pandemic and understood in its fullest sense.
Being a festival of colours and joys, it enters the cycle of seasons with winter fading and summer beginning to knock at the doors of the annual celebratory rotation of festivity and health management. It stands to reason that Holi is a science in itself given that such a celebration makes the environment clean and habitable and allows health-oriented exercises as anointing the body with natural colours to rinse the skin with certain natural material and resources.
In older times or even now, those people avoiding regular baths during winter often tend to develop some skin eruptions that lead to even dermatological complications and other infections. Such buildups on the skin need to be disinfected immediately for sound health and blissful life.
In this regard, cleansing the body skin with turmeric is medically advisable for which several such medical pieces of stuff are made available at both cosmetic and medical stores across the country and globe.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating if one wants to know the value of turmeric which is used for both the purposes of medical value and spicing dishes.
Allopathic treatment could be hard on the pocket besides being prone to side effects. So people prefer naturopathy involving mud or turmeric therapy for their derma care. Also, mud therapy is one of the best practices in yoga culture for curing diseases. Hence, it is flourishing now even in urban lifestyles with advantages galore.
Naturopathy is more encouraged now given that there are several side effects of allopathic medicines whereas Ayurveda has hardly any as such. Turmeric has natural healing power with medicinal values and more particularly for human skin. Holi is said to be a preventive approach that prepares the human body to be ready for exposure to harmful UV sun rays during summers.
However, being ignorant of the sensitivity and objective of Holi, many people use chemicals or chemically made colours to smear on the facial skin of their loved ones. It is harmful. It damages the spirit of the festival. It needs a check. Holi cannot be misused for sadistic pleasure.
We can’t afford to let our relatives being sadly affected by our ignorance while enjoying a vivid and colourful festival. What needs to be taken into account is the philosophy, reasoning, rationality and responsibility behind a fest like Holi. On the mythological note, Holika-Dahan is a replica of burning the devil. It is a celebration of the sanctity of Prahlad over the death of Holika, the devil.
Holi tends to ensure that there are cleanliness and sanitation all around the human habitation. Bonfire is held after the sanitation work. Then the day follows for cleansing body and a get-together for a bonding that society seeks.
Science cannot be linked to any religion but it is for the sake of mankind. Humanity is the best religion, a way of life. Holi is for all, seeing that what the objective it is for. Many foreigners throng India not only to see it but to actively participate in such a pious and scientific festival.
Society must have a sense of strong collectivism and democratic understanding, irrespective of caste, creed and religious faiths. Holi imports a lot in bringing people together as one cannot play and enjoy it alone. It has democratic values. It renews relationships. It gives scope of reunions.”Bura naa maano Holi hai”, is often echoed and chanted, suggesting a message to bury the differences of the past and looking forward to amity and cordiality. Thus, scientifically speaking, Holi is an environmental festival of naturopathy and sharing happiness with loved ones. Let’s maintain its piety and objectivity. You can’t play Holi at the cost of other’s health.
(Dr Birbal Jha is a noted author and the Managing Director of Lingua Multiservices Pvt Ltd having a popular trademark ‘British Lingua’. He is regarded as having created a revolution in English training In India with the slogan ï¿½English for all’.)