It’s Modi vs Didi: Raksha Bandhan 2019 in Bengal laced with political overtones

This Raksha Bandhan we are going to witness something more than sibling rivalries. As India is gearing up for festivity of Raksha Bandhan, the markets are witnessing bizarre trends of rakhis. While usually, we see rakhis of cartoon figures, but this year rakhis with the face of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have taken markets by storm.

It is customary for sisters to tie 'rakhi' in the hands of the brothers as a symbol of goodwill and affection among siblings. The pictures of political leaders have taken precedence this season as political parties use this opportunity to advance their agenda.

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. A large number of rakhi manufacturers are based in West Bengal and orders for Modi rakhis have been flooding makers for the past four months. It's just not limited to Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee, the BJP has launched rakhis bearing “Jai Shri Ram” chant and to counter that Trinamool Congress leaders have launched rakhis bearing “Jai Hind Jai Bangla,” a newly coined slogan.

The Telegraph reports that Trinamool cadres are equipped with 6.5 lakh rakhis bearing “Jai Hind Jai Bangla” in Bengali to be distributed on Independence Day, which coincides with Raksha Bandhan date this year. BJP workers also are armed with their rakhis bearing “Jai Shri Ram” written in English and Hindi, Modi’s face and Lotus to be distributed among people on the same day. According to Telegraph, The rakhis, available in two varieties, are priced at Rs 10 and Rs 20.

According to vendors, many Rakhi makers, based in West Bengal, have been flooded with orders for Modi rakhis and Didi rakhis for about four months. The sale of politically-influenced rakhis have already run into crores and reports are suggesting that the Didi rakhis are in huge demand in Bengal while the Modi rakhis are trending pan India.

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