Stressing on the need for “unity in diversity” this rakhi amidst the communal violence and fever of intolerance that has gripped the nation with the BJP-RSS coming to power.
Let me trace back a few instances from history and why communal hatred should not be nurtured in a country that has long been known for its unity in diversity. India is a secular nation and should continue to remain so.
This story dates back to the time when Alexander invaded India and had a fierce battle with the mighty King Porus. Alexander’s wife heard of the Rakhi festival and approached King Porus with a rakhi. King Porus accepted her as his sister. During the war when Porus got the opportunity of winning the battle by killing Alexander, he refrained from doing so.
The next story is of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun which is one the most significant evidences in the Indian history telling us not to fall into the trap of communalism. Rani Karnawati, the widowed queen of the king of Chittor realised that she could in no way defend her own empire from the invasion of the Sultan of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah. She therefore sent a rakhi to Emperor Humayun. The Emperor was so touched by her gesture that he started off with his troops without wasting any time to protect his sister but unfortunately by the time he reached Chittor all the Hindu women along with Rani Karnavati had committed mass suicide (sati) by leaping into the holy pyre thereby safeguarding their honour.
Emperor Alamgir II was murdered by his wazir Ghazi-ud-Din Imad-ul-Mulk and his mutilated body was thrown into the Yamuna river. A Brahmin lady Ram Kumari found the body of the emperor floating in the Yamuna river. She had come for the early morning worship of the Yamuna river and immediately recognised the emperor. She went over to the emperor’s body, kept his head on her lap and began crying profusely, all this while waiting for other people to arrive. At dawn, she was joined by other worshippers of the Yamuna. They all sat with their dead emperor, till help arrived. The royal retinue which had been searching for the emperor finally arrived and found the Brahmin women guarding the body of the dead Muslim emperor.
The next emperor Shah Alam II called Ram Kumari and accepted her as his sister. From then on till the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was exiled from the Red fort this tradition of trying rakhis continued with the women of Ram Kumari’s family coming to tie rakhis on the wrist of the Mughal emperors.
We are Indians first, irrespective of our caste, colour, religion or creed.During the partition of Bengal, Rabindranath Tagore fostered unity and brotherhood by celebrating Raksha-Bandhan to strengthen the bond of love and togetherness between the Hindus and the Muslims of Bengal. Both the Hindus and Muslims then decided to fight together as one against the British empire.
Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, do not let any scoundrel question your patriotism nor build walls of caste or religion thereby separating you from your brothers with different religious beliefs. We are one, we are Indians, we are a secular nation. Let me end this article by quoting Rabindranath Tagore
“ Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”