“All Indians are my brothers and sisters…” read the pledge we took every morning at school. Little did we know that it will indulge us in practicing the festival of Raksha Bandhan at school.
Children being encouraged by the parents and the school teachers to tie Rakhis to the boys at school to promote those brotherly – sisterly feelings.
We grew up, and the same environment was encouraged at our office places where our colleagues started tying Rakhis to promote a “healthy work environment” for women.
Of course, there always are exceptions to such schools and offices but you’ll be lying if you said you haven’t heard stories of it from your peers.
The trend for these Rakhi tying practices can be seen in various colours at School and Offices all over India.
Mandatory Orders to celebrate
The Administration of the Union Territory of Daman and Diu had issued circulars on August 1st to make Rakhi celebration mandatory by making the Lady Staff tie Rakhis to the Male Staff at a suitable time. This move was done “to foster the brotherhood and sisterhood” among the government employees. However, due to an obvious uproar, the orders were revoked after a day.
Surely, it wasn’t appreciated by the government employees or the higher authorities.
A similar circular has been passed recently by the Manipur government to come to work in traditional attires on the day and asked female staff members to tie Rakhis to their male colleagues.
Encouraging a positive atmosphere for women and men both is an absolute necessity at offices. But tackling the issues with such religious enforcement gives away the essence of the festivals as well as the core of the issues themselves. Though, it had been clearly stated by the authorities that there is no enforcement of ideologies but it cannot be seen otherwise, as many people of various religious groups belong to these work places.
Innovative ways of Celebration at schools
Schools in India have taken some innovative steps to give a unique direction to this festival. The students have been seen to tie Rakhis to the “Kakas” and security guards at school. The eco club students have been tying Rakhis to the trees to promote tree conservation and protection.
Every year students tie Rakhi to BSF Jawans as a way to thank them for their service.
Schools and children have taken a major step forward to modernise the values derive from such festivals and instill in children the true meaning of such festivals. But it is only a few schools from thousands of schools all around India who have been performing such duty to educate. It should be present for all the major festivals of our diverse country with a strong sense of liberty to the institutes in providing this education.
Promotion of brotherhood by RSS and HSS
In 2014, Mohan Bhagwat said that “Raksha Bandhan has national significance and it is a way to protect Hindu culture and live the values enshrined in it”.
This year, RSS Muslim Wing has planned to tie Rakhis to Hindu boys and Hindu girls to Muslim boys to promise each other’s protection in Uttar Pradesh. They have even planned to tie Rakhis to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh has taken it overseas to tie Rakhis to people of different cultures to promote communal harmony.
When it comes to promoting the Hindu culture, RSS and the other Hindu Sanghs have always played a vital role. Well, they don’t support inter religion marriages and this is a perfect way to make those incestuous. But that’s a whole another debate to its extreme.
No spur of romance
Through these various Raksha Bandha practices the brotherly – sisterly bond would surely be promoted and messages to be sent are generous but if you are the ones who day dream of finding a partner at school or offices, this might be a trouble for you. In a way, they sure are going to hinder your interests further.
If you truly have those sisterly and brotherly feelings for each other, it shouldn’t bother you. A spouse would rather feel safe for it would be hard for his or her partner to cheat at such places. But a poor thing for a poor person looking for love.
The festival of Rakhi is a wonderful way to express and celebrate a bond. Rather than a religious festival, it has become more of a cultural thing for most of the Indians. Enforcing such culture on the ones who haven’t been following it, just brings a certain rebel out. After all, it’s just a human nature.
Image Credits: Google Images
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