– By Pradeep Chandila
In the ancient period, particularly from the stone age to the later Vedic period, physical force played a dominant role in the very existence of human civilization. Even Darwin’s theory of ‘survival of the fittest’ indirectly or directly pinpointed towards ‘survival of physically potent and domination of muscle power’. In the circumstances where force functions as a wheel to run the society, even an articulate mind will barely pay attention to the rationale behind the concept of promising security to one gender by the other for peaceful coexistence, better cooperation and harmony in the society. Even in this case, we must understand that it was a moral obligation and a responsibility of one gender(males) towards the other. Females were not dependent on the support of their male counterparts for their own safety and security.
The moral and ethical obligation here needs to be sundered from the notion of dependency. In a civilized society, it is quite an innate attribute of everyone to express kindness and compassion towards fellow human beings which in return helps them to coexist peacefully. Even in tribal societies, individuals help each other by dividing the duties necessary for self-existence and tribe’s prosperity among themselves on the basis of their biological as well as other distinctive strengths and weaknesses.
As per the changing times and needs, the values and ideals of the pompous festival of Raksha Bandhan need to be restructured to make it more relevant in today’s modern society. In modern society, the concept of security still exists but now the rudiments of securing livelihood and other necessities of life are more dependent on intellect and other virtues rather than brute force. This fundamental change makes all the genders equally vulnerable and at the same time offers them equal opportunities to live an independent life. This automatically makes the concept of ‘Dependency of the sister over brother for security’ irrelevant and archaic.
This does not mean that the whole festival of ‘Rakhi’ has become purposeless, there are other significant notions behind this great festival which are veiled under the dominion of a single value point. There are so many positive expressions of this festival that it is neither possible nor justified to put them in a single piece of work, without giving distinctive space to each of them. Some of the most relevant purposes of the ‘Rakhi Purnima’ need to be highlighted after considering the current state of our society.
Strengthening the relationship between a brother and his sister and spreading positivity and pious thoughts about women in society are the primary objectives of this festival. Some other aspects that need to be further highlighted are boosting the concept of equality among all the genders, interfaith harmony through the celebration of this festival across different religions and iterating the importance of the interdependence of all genders.
Society is understanding the true aim and relevance of this festival at its own pace and busting the age-old myths and stereotypes. However, it is itself very unfortunate and ironic that in the nation whose culture is known for worshipping goddesses before male deities and where personalities like Manikarnika and Raziya al-Din are born, the state has to interfere to lead the campaign for women empowerment. We have to accept that a vast population is still bound with the fetter of archaic ideas. So all those analytical minds who comprehend the real significance of this festival need to understand that their job is only half done and they have to strategically spread the core ideas of this festival to other people so that its true essence by reviving the core ideas can be realized. This will go a long way in improving the state of women which will ultimately lead to prosperity and peace in society.
Edited by Khushi Koul