‘Spinning the narrative’ around Raksha Bandhan; another attack on Hindu festivals

11th September 2021 – Attacks on Hindu festivals is not new and is, in fact, becoming the norm. On Diwali, the ask is to not celebrate it with fireworks. On Holi, the ask is to not to celebrate with water. In fact, a certain section of the media spread the bogus news of girls being attacked by semen-filled balloons on Holi.

In the past of couple of years, a concerted effort is also being done to attack or rather cancel the festival of Raksha-bandhan or Rakhi. First, let us look at what does this festival symbolize?

1. It symbolizes the love and affection between brothers and sisters

2. It celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters

3. It nurtures the beautiful spiritual connection between brothers and sisters

When a sister ties a Rakhi to her brother, the brother commits that he would help her throughout his life. In the hour of need, he would provide her with assistance and protection.

Now, let us look at the spin of the narrative here. The attackers of this festival claim that this festival is sexist, generates inequality among genders as girls are not weak and they do not need protection from their brothers. Also, they ridicule by asking that the brother’s commitment is valid for only one year? Why is this not a life-long commitment? Hence, the girls must not tie Rakhis to their brothers.

Let us bust the second objection first. Do you not celebrate other festivals every year? Do you not celebrate wedding and death anniversaries, birthdays, other events annually? If you do, then celebrating Rakhi each year cannot be problem.

About the other objection to Rakhi, let us ask these questions. Could the brother not commit to protect her sister when she is in need? How does the brother’s commitment or promise to help her sister in need makes the sister a weak gender? Are the cancel culture specialists trying to say that the sister cannot or should not ask for help when she is in trouble for if she does that, she would be deemed a weaker sex? Are they trying to say that a brother should not protect her sister when she needs assistance (physically, financially, mentally or psychologically) for if he does that, the sister would be deemed feebler? Does the sister also not commit on supporting her brother when required? Broadly speaking, is this attack not to destroy the pious family structure, in general, and sincere bond of a brother and sister, in particular?

Unfortunately, such attacks are not limited to academia and media, they are now being promoted by political leaders as well. Tweets such as the below not only promote mis-information about Hindu culture and traditions, it also aggravates hatred towards Hindus.

For those who hate Hindus and their festival, they need to know that the US have also started celebrating a similar festival called National Brothers and Sisters Day each year. Yes, the customs are different, but the idea essentially remains the same as Rakhi; to rejoice the bond of a brother and sister.

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