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Flipside: Raksha Bandhan, sacred thread of patriarchy around a woman

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By Atul Mishra

Raksha Bandhan, which literally translates to ‘a sacred knot of protection’, is no doubt sacred to the highest degree right down to its core. But ‘sacred’ just in the sense that its string is attached to some ‘divine’ scriptures and that the overtly obvious love and duty that a brother has for his sister is to remain eternally intact.

From this string to the string that a sister buys for her brother, the echelon of sexual hierarchy shapes itself sharply to prove that that the sacred thread is nothing but a symbol of patriarchy. The vow taken by brothers to protect their sisters is a patronizing and protectionist approach towards women.

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Raksha Bandhan is a manifestation of the fact that society views women as the weaker agent, incapable of confronting the various challenges of life, constantly in need of being encircled by a Laxman-Rekha. Why do sisters need brothers to protect them? Shouldn’t we as humans protect each other, irrespective of the sex?

Also, if having a phallus means machismo, giving men liberty to subjugate women, then this sacred thread can be seen as phallogocentric ( masculine privilege). The Indian male over thousands of years of civilization has convinced women that bad men (who have their own sisters to take care of) are out there for them, and they need good men (presumably themselves) for their protection.

The male dominance i.e. patriarchy is so clearly symbolized by this thread, that it undoubtedly becomes phallocentric. They tie sacred knots on their brothers’ wrists and the brothers promise to protect them for lifetime. After the sweets, hugs and gifts, everything comes down to the need of women to be protected by menNew-Rakhi-Designs-2014-Facebook-Pictures

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Apart from the patriarchy which is so evident, it’s also about the Marxist-feminism here. The sacred thread that is so biological in a way (it being phallocentric), is also a symbol of transaction. As the Belgian-born French feminist Luce Irigaray once said that all sexuality is meant for transaction and is a profit-loss statement, Rakhsha Bandhan is a mere form of transaction.

 

 

Going beyond just the brother-sister relationship, hundreds and hundreds of sacred threads are sold for profit. It seems as if patriarchy is sold in the market rather than the sacred threads actually. 

This capitalist notion of transaction of sexuality is very much in relation and synthesis with the biology of the sacred thread and the patriarchy of the raksha bandhan.

At a domestic level, is rakhi more about sisters than brothers or is it the other way round? Is it just about ‘rakhi’, the sacred thread itself? Is it a hidden right of a brother over his sister in the name of protection or a subtle underscoring of the weakness of the fairer sex? These are some of the pertinent questions that the society needs to address as a small step towards gender equality.    

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Best Ideas to Send Raksha Bandhan Wishes with Meaningful Gifts to Sister

Here are some unique ideas to dedicate meaningful gifts for sisters

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Raksha Bandhan represents the bond of protection among siblings.
Raksha Bandhan represents the bond of protection among siblings.

Festivals come with new hopes and dreams every year. Indian festivals are famous for bringing the family together which calls for a celebration. It is the festival of the pious relationship of brothers and sisters. Raksha Bandhan is a religious occasion for strengthening the bond love and care among siblings. It is a day when they pray for each other’s well being and wish for happiness in life. Raksha Bandhan also gives them a chance to spend some memorable moments together.

Raksha Bandhan represents the bond of protection among siblings. Sisters tie beautiful Rakhis on the wrists of their brothers. The pious thread of Rakhi means a lot for the religious festival of Raksha Bandhan. Sisters also wish for the good health and long life of their brothers. In return for tying Rakhis, brothers also promise to protect their sisters from different troubles of life. Brothers also dedicate some Rakhi gifts to sisters on this day as a token of love and care.

Here are some unique ideas to dedicate meaningful gifts for sisters.

Gerberas with chocolates:

Gerberas are also helpful to spread positivity and happiness.
Gerberas are also helpful to spread positivity and happiness.

The daisy gerberas are known for the happy moments. These blooms are a symbol of sunny beauties which are perfect to dedicate sisters on this memorable day of Raksha Bandhan. Gerberas are also helpful to spread positivity and happiness. You can also attach some yummy chocolates in a beautiful packing to surprise your lovely sister. It will be a perfect Rakhi gift for your dearest sister from your side on the Raksha Bandhan.

Roses with a teddy bear:

You can make a beautiful bunch of mixed colors roses to surprise your sister.
You can make a beautiful bunch of mixed colors roses to surprise your sister.

Roses are the symbol of true love and passions in life. Girls always show great affection to the colorful roses. You can make a beautiful bunch of mixed colors roses to surprise your sister. You can also make a unique floral arrangement of roses to give them special feelings of the day. Add a teddy bear with roses bouquet to send Rakhi to your sister on the Raksha Bandhan. She will feel awesome to have beautiful gifts on this day.

Lilies with greeting cards:

lilies
You can make a lovely gift of lilies to surprise your sister.

Lilies are the symbol of renewal, remembrance, passion, promise, and purity in life. These
beautiful blooms are present in the different colors like red, yellow and white in nature. You can make a lovely gift of lilies to surprise your sister on the Raksha Bandhan 2018. Try to attach a Rakhi greeting card to dedicate your best wishes to your sister. She will feel fantastic with such a thoughtful gift on this day.

Orchids with a delicious cake:

cake
Make it memorable by choosing her favorite flavours for the celebration.

Orchids are famous flowers for their exotic charm and beauty. The orchids are used to show some regard and gratitude to the recipients. You can make a beautiful bouquet of colorful orchids to surprise your sister on the Raksha Bandhan. You can also prepare a delicious birthday cake to spread the sweetness of the festival with sister, because it might be the situation that it’s her birthday also. Make it memorable by choosing her favorite flavours for the celebration. She will feel enjoy the tasty bites of the cake on this day.

All of these are the best thoughtful Rakhi gifts to surprise your sisters on the Raksha Bandhan.