raksha bandhan


As per a notice issued by the University of Delhi (DU) Vice-Chancellor (VC), all the co-educational Colleges across different campuses have been asked to celebrate a Samuhik Raksha Bandhan in college premises on 16th August.

According to a notice released by the VC on 11th August, all the co-ed colleges in DU have been requested to celebrate a Samuhik Raksha Bandhan or a Community Rakhi Celebration in their Colleges on 16th August, a day after the festival of Raksha Bandhan. This celebration would include girls tying a Rakhi onto their male classmates and friend’s hands and make them Rakhi Brothers.

There has been an uproar in the student community against this decision. College Unions of Ramjas, Hans Raj and Kirori Mal Colleges have come forward with a consensus of refusing to comply with this decision. A member of the Hindu Parliament told DU Beat that she finds this decision absurd and unimaginable. She added “I fail to understand what the VC wishes to achieve with this decision? What good does it even promote in the varsity? This decision is just trying to take away our freedom in College.”

Another student from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies stated “I have a lot of friends who are girls. But, they are friends, not my sisters. I don’t have to get a Rakhi tied to prove that my relationship with them is platonic. So, I am not going to follow this order if my college celebrates this Samuhik Raksha Bandhan”

Not only co-ed colleges but students from different girl’s colleges also strongly oppose this decision. A student from Gargi College shared “I already feel that Raksha Bandhan is a deeply patriarchal festival that reinforces that girls are weak and need protection. Celebrating it in colleges where girls and boys study together, become friends, even lovers seems insane.”

The authorities defended this decision by stating that they want to promote the joy of Raksha Bandhan in colleges and it will be the choice of the girls, to whom they want to tie a Rakhi too. However, the VC was unavailable for comment.

Feature Image Credits: Hindustan

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Sakshi Arora

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This Rakshabandhan, we attempt to explore the fundamental principles of the sibling relationship.

Raksha Bandhan, the great annual affair where all brothers and sisters set their differences aside and attempt to celebrate their love-hate relationship. With long-awaited family reunions, nostalgic recollections of childhood shenanigans and The Godfather level negotiation regarding presents; a Rakhi is exchanged for gifts, chocolates, or (everyone’s favourite) cold hard cash. The brother-sister relationship is sacred, but it’s witnessed elsewhere too.

The University of Delhi has a number of all-girls colleges and in there, we see a different dynamic of sibling-like-relationships: sisterhood. These colleges have, time and again, challenged the myth of ‘girl rivalry’.  The students of these colleges have moved way past the stereotype of ‘is she smarter than me’ and ‘look at her attitude’’ and transcended to hanging out together in their own girl gangs. These comprise of future CEOs, mothers, defence personnel, artists, and politicians. Their views and ideas may not align, but keeping up with the spirit of sisterhood, they protect one another regardless.

The past decade was a little toxic, with women proudly proclaiming themselves as ‘anti-feminists’ and participating in the culture that pitted women against one another. Society had done a horrible thing to womankind by making them believe that they were lesser than men and in order to be acknowledged, they had to compete with other women.

However, with increased awareness and the advent of progressive pop culture, be it the feminist t-shirts or snazzy memes, the scenario changed. Girls have each other’s backs. They stand for and protect one another. Be it small things like fixing their hair, shaping bigger ideals that determine their lives, or drafting a perfect text to that one ex, our sisters have got us covered. They address real issues like education, equality, a secure future, and most importantly, self-love on our minds.

The state of affairs in my home was always slightly different. Growing up with a single mother, I, and my little sister shared a solicitous bond; I was more of a brother to her than a sister. Although this brotherly sentiment was never symbolically validated with an actual tangible rakhi, it was omnipresent. For her, I was, and still am, a warder of potential ‘boyfriends’ and amateur Batista Bomber. Perhaps the absence of a male figure in her life made me unconsciously morph into one, but in our household, that’s what I am now. Sometimes that absence is more severely felt; while scratching out ‘Father’s Name’ to write my mother’s in every official form filled or trying to deal with the people’s pitiful glances with dignity. Other times, it’s just a matter of being the makeshift electrician, the amateur chauffer, and the destructor of my mother’s favourite mason jars. It has its ups and downs, but the foundation of our relationship remains the same.

Dear men, I do not intend to take your thunder away. The celebration of Raksha Bandhan, albeit patriarchal, is fun. This Raksha Bandhan, let’s acknowledge and celebrate brotherhood in all its forms, as at its core brotherhood is a sentiment, a promise of unconditional love and support.

Feature Image Credits: Reuters

Maumil Mehraj ([email protected])

Nikita Bhatia ([email protected]

The Indian festive season has kicked off on Sunday with Raksha Bandhan.  Raksha Bandhan in Sanskrit literally means “the knot/bond of protection”. On this day brothers take a pledge to protect and take care of their sisters under all circumstances, and the sisters pray to God to protect their brothers from all evil. The rakhi signifies the bond or the knot that sisters tie on their brothers’ wrists.

Brothers usually give cash or other gifts to their sisters on this occasion. The biggest question for all brothers in such a situation is what to gift their sister. While girls are said to be more sensitive and thoughtful when it comes to buying gifts, boys are said to lack the essence in this department. To make life easier for those brothers who are running on a tight budget this festive season, here is a list of some budget-friendly gifts that are also easily accessible:

Power Bank

If your sibling already has a smartphone, you can get her something that will help keep the device fueled. A good power bank can go a long way and it would come in handy, especially if your sister is a college-going student.

Organic Tea Combinations with Detox Products

Organic tea and detox products are the new ‘health’ trend in India. If your sister is a fitness freak and likes taking care of her body, gifting her teas infused with diuretics, laxatives and stimulants would make her happy, besides keeping her energy boosted and strengthening her immune system.

Smartphone Case

A smartphone case is an accessory that would help keep your sister’s phone secure from drops and falls. You can even get the phone case customised with an aesthetic design or an assortment of images of your sister.

Movie DVDs, Posters, and Merchandise

If your sister is a cinephile, you can buy her a set of her favourite movie DVDs or maybe take her out for a movie night. Besides, you can also buy her posters of her favourite movie stars or merchandise of her favourite movies


If your sister has to commute often-especially in the metro-and loves listening to music or is a T.V. series fanatic, she would not like anything more than noise cancelling headphones to make her daily commute bearable. Out of all technology-related materials, this is comparatively cheap and easily available as well.

Running Shoes

If your sister trains in the gym or likes taking long walks, you can gift her a pair of cross-training sneakers. You can also buy them online, which will allow you to save quite a lot of money. But just ensure that you buy a pair of the right size.


From clutches to handbags, bags have always been a must-have possession for both college-going girls and working women. Make sure to do your research first before picking a bag for your sister.  If your sister is a college student, you can gift her an elegant tote bag that is both useful and beautiful at the same time. If she is a working woman, gift her a bag that is large enough to hold all her essentials.


Feature Image Credits: Times Now

Vaibhavi Sharma Pathak
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Since childhood, I have always been the type of child who would always get a little too excited about festivals – any festival, for that matter. I loved the idea of celebrations in life where close family and friends would find an excuse from their monotonous daily schedules and find time for one another to reunite, even if it only lasted for a few hours or a day. The concept of bringing together people with whom you’re associated, either by blood or close connections, always seemed to bring a smile on my face. The fact that they would have to forget their old grudges and forgive each other, all for an occasion which demanded an expression of love of their unbreakable bond despite everything, was inspiring.

Growing up, I heard many lovely stories about the festival of Raksha Bandhan. My mother used to tell me about the Indian King Peru, who refrained from causing any kind of harm to the great conqueror, King Alexander, only because of his wife who had earlier approached him and formed a bond with him like that of a sister. She also told me about the beautiful relation between Lord Krishna and Draupathi, and how, when the pandavas lost Draupathi in the game of dice and Kauravas were removing her saari, Krishna protected her in divinely elongating her saari so that it could not be removed.

At that time, she taught me that Rakhi meant a spiritual binding between a brother and a sister where they promised to protect each other for as long as they lived. Every year, seeing her and my aunts celebrate this festival at my nani’s house where they would tie a beautiful rakhi on their brother’s wrist and feed him a rasgulla or a barfi was heartwarming. Learning from our elders, me and my cousins would do the same. Funnily enough, my sisters and I developed our own little special ways of celebrating this festival. We would get excited at seeing each other’s rakhis and convince our brother on telling us whose rakhi he found the most appealing to wear, for which he would never give us one straight answer. As a kid, I still remember how slow I used to be in being able to tie a perfect rakhi, as I would either end up making a loose ribbon or a tight shoelace out of it. My brother would laugh ceaselessly at me, for which I’d deliberately stuff the whole sweet in his mouth and end up taking an extra gift of chocolates from him.

Today, with my cousin brothers being far away from me and having no brother of my own, I realised that I had no one to celebrate this festival with. However, this is the irony. Despite feeling lonesome about this fact, I discovered something meaningful. Why is it so necessary for us to have a brother to celebrate this festival? Where is it written that this festival cannot be celebrated among any siblings? After all, is there any difference between a brother’s protection and that of a sister’s? I have an elder sister and quite honestly, I have never felt the requirement of a brother in her presence. From taking care of me in the simplest ways, scolding me at my mistakes, teaching me the right things in her own ways, healing me with her comfort, protecting me from the people she didn’t approve of and defending me in front of my parents even when I didn’t deserve it, she has been there for me through everything and given me more love than anyone else in my life.

Her mere existence has been the greatest proof that a sister’s protection is just as divine and powerful as that of a brother’s. In fact, I can proudly say that she has taken care of me and given me more love than any other brother in this world. Thus, for me, as the name suggests, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ does not stay restricted to the bond between a brother and a sister, but refers to a simple, beautiful relationship between any sibling who, irrespective of their age or gender, will continue to love, protect, laugh, tease, fight and stay with each other till the very end. So, if you’re a sister with no brother, go ahead and tie a rakhi to your sister and show her how much you mean to her!

Shagun Marwah
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Image Credits: www.wallpaperhd.pk

We all have spent the last few days witnessing the excitement brewing in people to celebrate the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan. The extended weekend that it has brought along has added to the excitement. Markets being filled with stalls displaying various colourful rakhis; the extensive planning to find the perfect gift for the sibling; the many promises to try not to fight on this day are few of the many indicators that this festival has arrived. We see in contemporary times, this festival has come to mean differently to different people of our society.

1. A chance to transcend distance

Not all of us are lucky enough to live with our family members in the same city, let alone in the same house. The need to settle in hostels, pursue jobs in different cities or marriage, often puts miles of distance between a person and their siblings.

Thus, we see tickets booked in advance, bags enthusiastically packed and everything else put on a hold as this occasion arrives. The festival often becomes an excuse for everyone to finally take out time from their busy yet monotonous schedules and spend time with their ever so precious family.


2. Acknowledging the heroism of the elder sister

The conventional understanding of the festival teaches us that the elder brother is asked to protect the younger sister always. For many, the need to have an elder brother never arises as their elder sister is enough. “I never really felt the lack of an elder brother. I saw my sister being a friend, a parent and a protector to me and that was more than enough. There are days when she makes me wish I was the only child, but in the end, I know that she’s got my back”, said Akanksha Verma, second year B.Tech student from Gautam Budhha University.


3. The bond with cousins and friends

There are many of us who might be the only child and do not have a brother or sister to associate the festival with, but then, what are cousins for? Raksha Bandhan becomes even more enjoyable when you meet your extended family, and numerous cousins and celebrate the festival with them. (Also, the number of gifts increases so it becomes a win-win situation). Luckily, if you’re one of the lucky few who’ve made friends that have practically become your family, this occasion becomes the ideal time to spend with them and make them realize their importance.


Nishita Agarwal

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Feature Image credits: http://s3.india.com/

When asked what is Raksha Bhandhan, most would say that it is about tying rakhis and receiving gifts, some would go into the significance of it and say that it is about protecting sisters and gaining their goodwill and blessings. And then there are those who might find this very premise unsettling.

A strand of feminists has found the idea of Raksha Bandhan problematic because of its original meaning. The word raksha means ‘protection, and Raksha Bandhan refers to the sacred thread that begets protection from brothers. Clearly, this idea of women needing protection has not gone down with many.

But, in today’s post-modern and capitalist world, is Raksha Bandhan still a sensitive festival in terms of gender equations. No doubts it has those roots, and always will. But I send my brother a rakhi every monsoon, and I definitely don’t demand any protection in exchange. However, I do make it a point to get him the nicest rakhi and the nicest card from an Archies or a Hallmark. (Sadly, I cannot afford the more embellished ‘designer’ ones.)

So, what does that tell you about Raksha Bandhan? As for me, it is that one time of the year when I think about sending something nice to my brother. And I do so only because I think that it is a nice gesture to make when you live miles apart.

Yes, I know that the premise of Raksha Bandhan is a patriarchal one, but I do not celebrate it for that. I celebrate it like it were a ‘Siblings Day’ of sorts. For the critics of Raksha Bandhan, I completely understand the validity of your argument and also the logic behind it, i.e., to uproot patriarchy one has to uproot all social practices associated with it. To those who celebrate the festival, make it about indulgent celebrations and gifts if you must, make it about remembering your sibling on that special day; but don’t make it about the brother protecting the sister.

Let it be about the relationship that siblings share, it can be about that one time when your brother told on you when you sneaked out of the house or that time when you took his phone and got mischievous to take revenge. As human beings, as especially those that share such strong connections, it is only natural that we will stand by each other and protect each other in times of adversity.

This Raksha Bandhan, make it about celebrating that mutual connection.

 Image credits: webneel.com