There are several historical mentions of the rakhi-bond; as a kid, I read about Krishna-Draupadi, Karnavati, the queen of Chitor and Humayun, the Mughal emperor. There was a time when it meant something. But I have become a cynic over the years.
A psychoanalysis session might yield the following as a causal event of my attitude:
A boy (A) in my class had a crush on a girl(B), everyone knew about it - including the
girl. On Rakhi, the greatest fear of a boy was to get a rakhi from someone for whom he had a romantic predisposition. Many skipped school on that particular day for the same. However, A was not so fortunate. When classes got over, B got hold of A and tied a rakhi round his wrist. I saw his face. He waited until she turned her back, took it off, threw it in the ground and stomped on it like a maniac, with anger so real that it hurt me even to watch him.
Many girls have resorted to this technique. When a certain undesirable wooer tries to seek affection, the girl waits till rakhi to crush all his dreams. I am a woman but I feel it is foul play. I can understand the fear can be real for some who know the havoc unrequited love can create, but trying to extinguish feelings by spray painting a pseudo-relation? You can't force anyone to love or unlove. This age old ceremony became an arrangement for emotional castration. Worse still, I saw a rakhi brother and sister date- something equivalent to incest- at east in my books.
I am not a syngenesophobic, but I hardly ever call anyone my 'brother' until I really mean it. I have tried calling one of my very old friends,'Dada'( elder brother in Bangla) on several occasions, because I see him that way. But I have noticed he feels offended by it and protests vehemently. I will never know if he dislikes it because of the age connotation or because he thinks it makes him feel like a asexual being. It is the tragedy of a generation that has seen sex appeal being overrated in media and probably thinks sex is the only way to connect.
Whatever the reason- my only supplication is - girls, please don't use a rakhi as a protection from the one you are tying it to- it disrespects the sentiments associated with it. And boys (not men- they know)- don't try too hard to capitalize on your sex appeal- there are a lot of relations worth more than that.