Raksha bandhan in Hindi means ‘The Bond of Protection’. It is a festival celebrated by the Hindus and Sikhs all over India. Rakhi is the sacred thread that sisters tie on the wrists of their brothers. The tying of the sacred thread gives the brother a lifelong responsibility to protect his sister. This also represents the sister’s love and prayers for the well being of her brother. This is a very important festival from a Hindu’s point of view as this lays the basis for a happy and sustainable bond in the family.
The modern life has its own consequences on any custom. This is very much observed in the different designs that rakhi becomes popular nowadays. The brother gives a gift to his sister when the sister ties the rakhi and makes a promise to her that he would protect her for his lifetime. The rakhi gifts ranges from money to clothing. Nowadays, sunglasses are hot trends in the rakhi gift market. The brother and sister usually feed each other with sweets.
A girl can tie a rakhi on anybody’s hand that she considers as her brother. In such cases, the boy is on a lifelong obligation of protecting the girl. A good example of this is the story of Rani Karnavati who was the temporary ruler of Chittor and the grand mother of the great king Rana Pratap. When king Bahadur Shah of Gujarat attacked Chittor, Rani Karnavati had no option of fighting back against the strong army of Bahadur Shah. So she sent a rakhi to Mughal Emperor Humayun, calling him Brother. Humayun proved to be a good rakhi brother by fighting Bahadur Shah and protecting Rani Karnavati, thereby saving Chittor.
This festival assumes its importance in the Indian society especially in the era of modernization where the family relations tend to break apart. Let us all celebrate this years Raksha Bandhan at Thursday, 2 August 2012. Let us make this a global festival and let us all take pledge to protect all our fellow human beings considering them as our brothers and sisters.