Most people defied astrological ‘predictions’ about ‘inauspicious’ timings as girls and women tied ‘rakhis’ throughout the day on the wrist of their brothers to celebrate the traditional festival of sibling bondage.
Despite a sustained campaign by rationalists that there is no ‘auspicious’ or ‘inauspicious’ timing for tying a ‘rakhi’, at least one major vernacular newspaper has printed ‘Rakshabandhan Muhurta’ on the front pages of all its editions this morning.
The Jan Vigyan Jatha, a Rajkot-based organisation dedicated to promoting scientific temper, is campaigning for the last few years against superstitions associated with many festivals like Deewali, Rakshabandhan and other events.
But self-styled astrologers too continue to ‘predict’ appropriate timings for tying the threads signifying sibling bondage. Vernacular newspapers routinely publish these ‘Muhurta’ timings to inform their readers.
For the last few days, the Jan Vigyan Jatha campaigned that the entire day on Wednesday is appropriate for ‘Raksha Bandhan’.
In contrast, the newspaper announcement said that the ‘auspicious’ timing for tying ‘rakhi’ this year begins only at 9.01 pm. It specifically said that tying ‘rakhi’ before that is not considered ‘Subh’.
The Jan Vigyan Jatha conducted a day-long ‘rakhi’ tying session since morning at Raiya Road in Rajkot to counter the superstition being spread about the timings.
About 150 pairs of siblings have come forward to attend the mass ‘rakhi’-tying session since morning, Jan Vigyan Jatha convenor Jayant Pandya told The Statesman this afternoon.
Since Jan Vigyan Jatha’s earlier campaigns against superstitious beliefs and ‘tantrik’ rituals had faced physical attacks, they have received police protection this time.
“The police have also understood that we are only spreading awareness against superstitions,” he added.
During the last few years, Pandya had faced attacks for calling the bluff of some self-styled astrologers and ‘tantriks’ duping people of lakhs on the pretext of ushering in good fortunes.