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Emerging twists and turns in celebration of Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan, the festival that celebrates the special bond between a brother and a sister, is round the corner with some new gimmicks.

Last year it was linked to 'Love for the Motherland' with sale and promotion of tri-colour rakhis and bands. This year, it has been linked to gifting toilets and driving safety equipment by the market forces. E-commerce platforms are also advertising electronic items as gifts on the occasion of rakhi.

The moral brigade is even advocating for events at workplaces wherein the female employees would tie rakhis to the male employees for developing 'healthy relationships'.

"Raksha Bandhan is no longer confined to family affairs but has become a tool to push commerce, social hegmony, campaigns and political ideologies. Swag, cartoon, box, message, music and other expensive designer rakhis are around along with gift and sweet packs in the market to lure celebrants for externalisation of the festival," said an elderly person in Jaipur. Even 'Sawacch Bharat' rakhis are being sold the market.

Raksha Bandhan literally means "bond of protection" provided by a brother to his sister as a part of affectionate bond between them. The festival is observed on the full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month of Shravana. This year, the festival falls on August 7.

Traditionally on this day, sisters tie rakhi, a sacred thread, on their brothers' wrists with a prayer for their prosperity and happiness and brothers give their sisters token gifts with a promise to protect them. Besides the Hindus, the Jains and Sikhs also celebrate the festival. In Nepal, besides the Hindus, Newar Buddhist communities also celebrate it as a thread ceremony. At many places the Jain priests give threads to their devotees.

The event is typically supposed to begin in front of a lighted lamp that signifies fire deity as a witness. The sister and brother face each other. The sister applies a tilak on her brother's forehead and ties the rakhi on his wrist.

Earlier, a Sanskrit mantra was often recited to bind the brother and his sister with the vow of truth. The popular belief is that the mantra reminds the bothers of their social responsibility and gives them the strength to protect their sisters. The mantra recitation tradition has almost disappeared.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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