Before I start, I would like to say that we use the words brotherhood and sisterhood loosely here and they are in no way linked to the cults and their philosophies :). This post is a simple one dedicated to the meaning and essence of Raksha Bandhan, what it means to us, how it started, its purpose and of course a light bit of humour around it :).
History and its Meaning
History dates back to Mythology when Draupadi tied a piece of her saree as a bandage to his cut and Krishna would respond that she wrapped him in a debt which he would repay each thread when the time arrives. And we all know the story of Draupadi’s vastrapaharan and how Krishna came to the rescue. Well that is a part of history and Mythology- what we decide to call it. However the essence of the Rakshan Bandhan quite remains the same and simply translated it is a tie of protection where a brother plays the role of protector and in Sanskrit it means “The Knot of Protection”.
Current Day Meaning
It is interesting how each of these customs have stood the test of time. The festival usually is celebrated with a thread tied to the brother’s hand and a small ritual has been built around it. The symbolic meaning still remains the same and so does the sanctity in a lot of places. However a slight variation might be in the form of gifts which are exchanged. I am not really sure about the logic of that but it sure seems like a well driven business model where companies make the most of the festivals like Valentines Day! Well, we are no one to pass a judgement on that but we do find it a bit funny nevertheless :).
But we really like that the symbolic meaning has remained the same and on the outset it might seem like a good moral to follow as well to create a nicer fabric in the society. Nevertheless it sure is a nice festival to celebrate. We would like to share a video which has been circling around this Raksha Bandhan day and we really like the essence and the social message it is trying to deliver.
The last few days have been a little intense with the Jasleen Kaur case and sexual harassment meted out to women. The video sends out a clear message about this and the responsibility of the fellow men. Finally it doesn’t down to the man – woman segregation – it boils down to the good and bad, it boils down to the action or inaction of the good which either curbs the evil or bolsters it. It is said that the unfortunate thing of the society is not the lack of good men but their inaction. I am not really sure how many of us have made the effort to prevent harassment even in the smallest way when we see it around us.
The Inaction of Good Men or The Action of Bad Men!
I am not going to justify it, neither am I going to talk smack about that cos even I know that I have been guilty of the same and I don’t know how much courage I would muster to do such a necessary deed. But then again I wonder, the power of people is absolutely astounding and there is nothing that can stop them. Each time I think about a scene like this, there are usually 2-3 bad eggs which insensitively makes horrible comments and the others pretend to turn a deaf ear.
Are they afraid that these bad eggs are going to hurt them? Or do they think that it is none of their business cos it is someone they don’t know and hence find it easier to ignore (Please note, when I say they, it includes me as well. I am trying to figure out the reasons for inaction and why this entire crass behaviour prevails even though there are some really good people out there)? Or is it that the evil is way too strong compared to the will of good men or women?
Why does a Right become a Luxury?
What is it really? Why does it have to be a heroic event to stand for one’s own rights? Shouldn’t it be a given instead? Shouldn’t it be a responsibility of all of us around to clean up the dirt as and when we see it instead of thinking that the world has become a horrible place? If that is the case, what is our role in it? It looks like I am ranting here are blaming the people around, truth is I am blaming myself too. I am blaming the inaction and the fact that equality seems such a farfetched goal. I am blaming that it has become so easy that oppression has become a norm instead of an exception that needs to be beaten black and blue.
Apologies that the post sounds a bit negative around the end, but it simply is impossible not to ask these questions for ourselves. Maybe that will lead us somewhere. Atleast on the Raksha Bandhan day, if we can make a decision to stand up for what we think is right, make a promise to ourselves to stand up for what we believe in right, maybe we are headed towards a better social fabric.
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