If I think as a feminist, every Hindu festival is repressive towards women, as is this Raksha Bandhan. As a child I was quite fascinated by the thought of my brother protecting me from every problems which lie ahead for me, it was also a happy time I mostly immersed myself in the joy of sweets and new clothes. But back to reality, do I really need my brother to protect myself? Aren’t women perfectly able to protect themselves?
We live in a patriarchal society which doesn’t let women speak for themselves, we need a man to protect us from everyone, but is it true? Are Hindu traditions really that repressive? Well if you talk from a point of view of a person who consider traditions as nothing, then yes, they are! Before declaring a tradition regressive, one should know the history about how the customs were started in first place. It’s not about a brother ‘Protecting’ sister, or a woman needs protection!
A Rakhi, or properly known as ‘Raksha Sutra’ is tied around any person’s hand is to protect them from any problem and not vice versa! When I tie a Raksha sutra around my brother’s wrist, it doesn’t mean I need his protection, it’s more for his ‘suraksha’. It’s a myth that Raksha Bandhan is just for brothers and sisters, we tend to tie Rakhi to all brothers, sisters, uncles and aunties. There are stories in our Sanatan history (not gonna call it Mythology, cuz its not myth), about Rani Sachi tying Raksha Sutra to Lord Indra, which protected him and he won war against the Daityas, other story is about Goddess Lakshmi tying Rakhi to King Bali so Lord Vishnu could return to Vaikunth.
There are stories which I can keep going, but here the issue is unawareness not just about history but also of their conscious. When we shout that something’s regressive or repressive without even knowing the concept or truth behind it, we are ignorant! Blaming bad deeds of a person on the ritual is just blatant.
Most common people complaining about this are pseudo feminist, to be clear I don’t deny feminism’, but we’ve lost the essence of feminism. It was never about being better than man, it was always about having equal opportunities as them. But back to the topic, the raise of women saying that Hindu or Sanatan culture treats women inferior and weak and they celebrate patriarchy is just foolish. Their main targets are always our festivals, so rather than countering them we should debunk their ill mentality!
Women never needed protection, not in our culture, instead we’ve nurtured and protected others at the same time. Rani Laxmibai, Rani Padmini and many such brave women have created history, and we still are creating one. Current times are weird, people driven through their demonic needs do whatever they want, anyone that says they don’t need a man to protect them should know how to protect themselves. Sweety you can’t sit sipping wine and wait for someone to protect you, so you can later blame them!
Remember, if we have Maa Lakshmi, then we have Maa Kali too! Happy Raksha Bandhan!!