Raksha Bandhan: Undefined Pledges…

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As always Kartavya celebrated this Raksha Bandhan joyfully with full vigour and ectasy. I was delighted to be a part of that celebration. Lovely children surrounding you to make a bond with you- a divine and spiritual bond. No word to express it. Few children were also asked to share what do they know about Raksha Bandhan and why do we celebrate it. Most of them had mentioned the same religo event between Sri Krishna and Draupadi from Mahabharat for remarking this day and the conventional purpose to ask the brothers to protect their sisters after tying the sacred thread, what we have known from childhood. But one girl in her teen had some other concerns. Instead of going for religo-conventional description of this holy event she made her point to realize Raksha Bandhan in contemporary world. Though she couldn’t expressed herself confidently but a mature person would perfectly understand her implications and concerns. She all wanted to say was Raksha Bandhan is not only a bond between brother and sister and a commitment from brother to protect a sister from all dangers in her life but also a vow to respect every girl and woman, which the society is forgetting. A girl wants her brother not only to respect her dignity but dignity of others also. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is losing its value and has become just a one day activity on the Full Moon day of Saavan Month every year. The space has been further occupied by commercial entities to exploit this emotional connection. Ever increasing crime rate against women make her sense very much true. Added to this is dilemna that most of the women are victim to crimes commited by their known ones. Infant/foetus femicide is on rise with making a very skewed child sex ratio. Doesn’t this infers that a Brother has failed to ensure life and liberty to her small infant/foetus sister.

The second thing which was very common was that every children mentioned that a brother pledge on this day to protect his sister. A thought ran in my mind. Is brother only capable to protect sister or is a sister so incapable that she can’t defend herself. Outright answer to this thought is never possible but tradition does show gender biasness. Even our constitution talks of ‘Brotherhood’ and not about ‘Sisterhood’. Right from childhood even before one can be concious of her/his environment our society defines gender role in a stereotypical way. A boy is projected strong and brave and a girl as soft at heart and emotional and physically weaker than boys. Any girls who break through the gender stigma is at once called a ‘Beta’ or ‘Son’ of the family making them proud. Isn’t a girl as a girl make a family proud and still be girl. This gender stereotypes manifests itself in the Raksha Bandhan.

There need to be a paradigm shift in defining gender roles. Instead of taking a pledge for protecting her sister, pledges shall be taken to ensure gender equality and empowering sister to do her protection herself. Pledges shall be taken to ensure respect and dignity to all females of our society. Pledges shall be taken to change our stereotypical mind and thoughts for female genders. A long way has to be covered before realizing gender parity and true spirit of this sacred Bandhan.

Happy Raksha Bandhan.

Couldn’t find where to put this para so penning it down as post script. Its all about feminine abusive words to which we are very common and seems to have become a word of routine communication. Sometimes used as for frustration, sometimes to abuse some one and sometime as part of our speech. Don’t know whether it denigrate the person to which it is targeted or not, but its for sure it does denigrate females of our society and unintentionally includes relationship terms which are our family members!!!


Posted on August 20, 2016, in Kartavya, Social issues. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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