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Indian women tie Rakhi on the hands of Pakistani jail inmates in Amritsar.

Byline: ANI

Amritsar / Wagah. Aug.5 (ANI): A group of women belonging to the BrahmaKumari Ashram here, tied Rakhis on the wrists of several jail inmates, including Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Nigerian nationals.

Bright Basit, a Nigerian national, felt so overwhelmed by this show of love and affection by Indian women, that his excitement was palpable.

Farhat Ali, a native of Faislabad in Pakistan, who has been in the Amritsar jail since March 2006 on charges of spying in India, was emotionally moved when a Rakhi was tied on his wrist by a BrahmaKumari.

Ali said he it wouldn't be possible for him to ever forget the love and affection he had received from his Indian sister. He said he was aware of the significance of Raksha Bandhan, as the festival is also celebrated in Pakistan.

On the occasion, G. S. Sidhu, Superintendent of the Amritsar Central Jail, said there were about 125 foreign nationals in the jail.

The celebration of Raksha Bandhanspreads brotherhood and harmony among inmates, he added.

Meanwhile, at the Wagah border, over a 100 young girls from different schools and colleges tied 'Rakhis' on the wrists of Border Security Force (BSF) personnel.

National Cadet Core (NCC) cadets also greeted the paramilitary personnel on the occasion.

Sweets and fruits were distributed. Some of them performed Gidda, a traditional Punjabi folk dance.

"We have come to the border to tie Rakhis to soldiers and to tell the soldiers that the country has not forgotten their acts of bravery and remember them on every occasion," said Kirandeep Kaur, a student.

Raksha Bandhan heralds the bond between a brother and a sister.

Appreciating the gesture, H.S.Dillon, Commandant, Border Security Force (BSF), said that majority of the soldiers were from far-flung places and by celebrating Raksha Bandhan here with local girls, their loneliness was reduced.

Hardeep Singh a BSF soldier, said: "It is a matter of immense pleasure for all of us here that sisters from various parts of the nation arrived to tie us Rakhi. It has made me emotional today."

Celebrated on the full moon day during Shravan month as per Hindu almanac, the festival is eagerly looked forward by all brothers and sisters.

In Circa 1303, when Alauddin Khilji, the Turk Afghan Delhi ruler invaded Chittorgarh (in Rajasthan), Rani Padmini, the King's wife sent out Rakhis to the Kings of neighbouring states. By doing so she implied their sister was in danger and they should rush their forces to protect her.

This festival is more popular in the North. Since most of India's battle with foreign invaders, be it Alexander or the Mughals, were fought in the North, Raksha or security of women folk was needed more in the North than else where. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Aug 5, 2009
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