MEMBERS of the Armed Forces Hindu Network held events to celebrate the festival of Raksha Bandhan in London, Newcastle, Swindon and Liverpool earlier this month.
A symbol of Raksha Bandhan, or Rakhi as it is popularly known, is a sacred thread tied by a sister on her brother’s wrist, as a mark of her prayers to protect him. For Asians serving in the military it stands for the role the armed forces play in protecting society.
At a Ministry of Defence event in London, defence minister Earl Howe took part by having a rakhi tied to his wrist.
He said: “As we exchange our multicoloured bands, it’s a unique opportunity to remind ourselves of the multifaceted ties that bind our great Hindu community and our armed forces together.
“To defend ourselves we must unite: speaking up for those beliefs of tolerance, fairness and dignity that make us who we are.
“Knowing what our diverse communities bring, only makes us ambitious for more. Indeed, this government is committed to recruiting 10 per cent of personnel from minority communities, by 2020.”
Among those attending the festivities were chief of defence people, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee and the director of submarine capability, Rear Admiral Tim Hodgson.