New Delhi: Muslim wing of RSS, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch celebrated Raksha Bandhan on August 7 to promote brotherhood. The campaign ran in 12 states. From lynching madness to saving the holy cow, could a festival celebrated by both communities spread communal harmony?
Rakhi Campaign- A celebration?
The RSS’ plan is for Muslim girls to tie rakhi on Hindu boys and vice versa. While sibling love is fine romantic love is not. The rakhi as a symbol of protection among brothers and sisters is yet another weapon aimed at vilifying romantic love across religious lines.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan has always been important to the RSS. In 2014, the RSS presided over BJP MPs tying rakhi to each other in order to promote unity. Last year, the RSS organized the first-of-its-kind International Raksha Bandhan in New Delhi with intellectuals and representatives participating from nearly 40 countries.
But this year’s campaign perhaps has its genesis in RSS leader Indresh Kumar’s rakhi celebrations in Bhopal in 2015. Kumar smiled benignly as shutterbugs clicked several burqa-clad Muslim women tying rakhi on their newly acquired brother. Kumar then placed his hands, palms down, on his sisters’ heads blessing them.
Love Jihad or Raksha Bandhan –
This year the Raksha Bandhan celebrations was the RSS’ fight against Love Jihad, which they believe is a planned campaign to convert Hindus girls to Islam. The RSS and the BJP say that young Muslim boys entrap Hindu girls in their net of love and convert them against their will.
With a 300 per cent rise in number of inter-community, inter-caste and inter-religion marriages in India, RSS’s Raksha Bandhan campaign once again came up with its own narrow agenda. The rakhi, or “raksha sutra” as it is called by the RSS, in this case becomes an insurance preventing romantic liaisons among young Muslims and Hindus. Only a fool would think it as a move to promote brotherhood.