Visa Balaji temple throws Rakhi Challenge to young men

Visa Balaji temple throws Rakhi Challenge to young men

Chilkur Balaji temple in Hyderabad

The famous Balaji temple in Hyderabad's Chilkur— also known as the Visa Balaji temple— has thrown a “Raksha Bandhan” challenge to young men, who flock the temple mostly wishing to seek visa to the USA.

The challenge is to accept Rakhi from any unknown female devotee at the temple on August 26.

“Chilkur temple often responds to the contemporary social issues. Now, this is our response to the concerns expressed over the safety of girls in the country in the wake of a recent survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation”, C S Rangarajan, the temple's chief priest, said.

The effort is to sensitize young boys on the need to behave like brothers when girls are around them, he said.

A large number of Rakhis will be kept in the temple on the day of Raksha Bandhan, which falls on August 26, so that female devotees can pick them up and tie them to any man they come across in the temple, he said.

Priests at the temple believe that when a girl ties a Rakhi to a boy it will create a ‘sense of true brother’ in him, regardless of the blood-ties between the two.

Explaining the need for Rakhi Challenge, Rangarajan says that at this hour, what girls need is not valentines but brothers.

“Our initiative aims at restoring the affection in calling one Anna (big brother) and Chellemma (younger sister) which will automatically bring protection to the girls”, Rangarajan said.

On August 26, all the male devotees coming to the temple will be first explained about the significance of the day with a fair dose of examples from the Mahabharata.

“Worshipping Subhadra and Lord Krishna (sister and brother) in Jagannadh Rath Yatra in Puri (Odisha) signifies the relation between brother and sister unlike other Hindu temples,” the chief priest said.