02 August, 2012

Happy Raksha Bandhan

Festivals like Raksha Bandan (brother vowing to protect his sister) are another sexist attempt by the patriarchal Indian society to condition its men and women to believe that women are weaker elements of the society that need protection from men. Have you ever heard of a ceremony where a sister vows to protect her brother? If you think about it, the whole concept is fundamentally flawed. In a fair and equal society, why would women need men’s protection or vice-versa? Men love to think that women are beneath them; that they are vulnerable commodities that need protection. This also leads to the notion that any woman who is “unprotected” is everyone’s game. There is no need for Raksha (Protection). All we need from men is respect. Respect for women, whether straight or queer, cis or trans, regardless of community, class, caste or religion. Respect for women’s rights and freedom. Respect for women’s choices and decisions. Respect for women’s spaces and right to exist with dignity and as equals in life’s journey.

Bandhan means bondage. Raksha means protection. A bondage 
that protects you - I suggest have bondage to the knowledge, to the master, to the truth, to The Self. A rope can be tied to either protect or strangle you. The small mind and mundane things can strangle you. The big mind or knowledge saves you. Have your bondage to the master, to the truth, to the ancient knowledge of the rishis, and that is your savior. Bandhan is bonding and bonding is essential in life. Let the bonding be divine in a life free from bondage.