It seems that this Raksha Bandhan will see more dogmatic rivalries than sibling rivalries. As the festivity of Raksha Bandhan approaches, the markets have been witnessing a bizarre trend – rakhis with the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee are a rage.
The sales are especially brisk in Bengal, and it has almost transcended into a battle between Mamata’s Trinamool and Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.
In fact, it is not just “Didi” and “Modi” rakhis. Makeshift kiosks that have sprung up in Malda, Purulia and other small towns of Bengal, also have a huge cache of rakhis bearing Mamata’s “Jai Hind Jai Bangla” slogan, which was coined to counter BJP’s “Jai Shri Ram”.
According to a report by The Telegraph, Trinamool leaders and cadre plan to distribute nearly 6.5 lakh rakhis with “Jai Hind Jai Bangla” written on them in Bengali on Independence Day, which coincides with Raksha Bandhan date in 2019. The BJP workers, too, have hoarded rakhis bearing “Jai Shri Ram” written in English and Hindi, Lotus symbol, Modi’s face, etc to be distributed among people on D-Day.
Dhrupad Pramanik, a retailer based in Malda, confirmed that Modi and Didi rakhis are selling like hotcake this time. While the sale of Narendra Modi rakhis has doubled in 2019, the sale of Didi rakhis is also on the rise. The TMC rakhis come in various forms, ranging from the party symbol to didikebolo.com (TMC’s anti-corruption initiative).
He added: “The idea struck me as Modiji and Mamata Didi are the most charismatic personalities of India and Bengal these days. They have innumerable followers. Several people, particularly youths, are flocking to my stall to buy these,” Pramanik said.
The sale of politically-influenced rakhis have already run into crores and India Today reports that the Didi rakhis are in huge demand in Bengal while the Modi rakhis are trending pan India.
Pramod Singh, who owns a rakhi store, confirmed the same and said: “Didi rakhis are only for Bengal while Modi rakhis are sold all over India. Orders for Modi rakhis this year have doubled as compared to demand last year. And since the festivity falls on the same day as our Independence Day, August 15 themed rakhis are huge too this time.”