The word sister evokes a variety of emotions across all ages. A sister could be anyone; it could be your actual sister, a boss, a colleague, your housemaid, or even a stranger as well. A sister’s bond seems to be the most enduring relationships of all time.
Raksha Bandhan is an auspicious festival where sisters tie ‘rakhi’ on the wrist of their brothers, praying for their long and happy life, and in turn the brother’s vow to protect their sisters from all odds. The concept of Raksha Bandhan is of protection. The ritual of tying a Rakhi to one’s brothers’ arms for protection is based on the presupposition that females are the weaker sex. The custom of Rakhi dates back to the Mughal era when Rani Karnavati – the Queen of Chittor sent a Rakhi and a letter to the ruling Mughal Emperor Humayun. In the letter, she described about her kingdom’s impending doom from the hands of the sultan of Gujarat. Rani Karnavati pleaded for protection to Humayun not as the queen of a neighboring kingdom but as his sister. This gesture from the queen touched Humayun, and thus the tradition of Rakhi was born.
In today’s world, gender roles are getting increasingly blurred. Women have stepped into every domain, improving the overall well-being of the society as a whole. At this juncture, Raksha Bandhan should not be limited to the celebration of only brother-sister relationship. It only seems logical when both the sexes are equally celebrated.
There are various Bollywood celebrities who don’t have a brother but still celebrate Raksha Bandhan. One such celebrity is Bollywood actress Kriti Sanon. Breaking the glass ceiling, she says “Every year I celebrate Raksha Bandhan with my sister. This festival is not about brother protecting sisters, it is about siblings protecting each other. No matter what I know my sister will always stand by me and I am happy to have a sister.”
Raksha Bandhan teaches us the values of family, prayer, relationships and love. There is no reason to limit the auspicious festival to only brothers and their sisters. Sisterhood is the most durable bond that can exist between two women, and it deserves to be celebrated too. So, this Raksha Bandhan let us add some twist to the existing traditions and celebrate the unique bond that exists between two sisters.