Karva Chauth is coming to an end, and again I see a line of women outside my colony gates, just waiting to get a glimpse of that elusive moon and finally, finally end their fast.
Well, I don’t think I need to say how regressive and frankly outdated I find this ritual.
Don’t get me wrong, if someone is doing it of their own violation and actually wants to follow through with it, without any brainwashing from the outside society and simply for the faith and meaning behind, then kudos to them.
But the problem comes in when women are looked down and frowned upon for not following through with Karva Chauth.
With this article, I want to list out a few reasons as to why I believe that Karva Chauth is outdated and need not be mandatory for women to follow:
1. The History Behind It No Longer Applies In This Time
Alright so, there are two pieces of story behind how Karva Chauth came to be. One was that north Indian women, whose husbands were soldiers would choose to fast for one day as a way of praying for the safety of their partners.
That one is fair enough, however it is the other one that I believe does not relate to the modern society. So basically, back when there were no telephones or any way of easy communication, it was quite difficult for women who were married in far off villages to stay in touch with their family.
In lue of that, this custom was born where the bride would befriend another female of that village and that relationship was sanctioned through the ceremony of Karva Chauth.
Now I don’t think I need to point out that this custom is no longer relevant in today’s time where you can instantly connect with anyone you want to.
Sure the sentiment behind it is fine, but the meaning behind it has been twisted and molded into meaning something entirely different and instead of being something that brings joy, Karva Chauth has almost become a punishment to many.
2. Regressive Story Behind It
There are many mythical stories behind Karva Chauth, one says that this ceremony originated from Savitri, others say that Karva Chauth was important because according to lore, a princess who did not keep her fast and eat something before the moon rose, was punished with the death of her husband.
Another one is one that I have heard through my childhood, it was of a girl with 7 brothers and she came back to her house after her marriage, her brothers tricked her into thinking that the moon had come up and break her fast. Can you all guess what the punishment to this was?
Ding ding ding…. The answer is that her husband died.
Sigh, these stories are so regressive and backward in thought that it is almost painful.
Also, till date there has been no scientific proof of the fact that such a fast even really helps in a long life for the husband.
Then on what basis are women actually forced to follow through with this ignorant and frankly unnecessary ritual.
3. Modern Lifestyle Is Not Compatible
Coming on to the last point, you all have to keep in mind that maybe, and this is a big maybe it was fine was women to keep such a fast till some time back. Back when they were not allowed to work outside of home and had to stay at home all the time.
But in today’s time, when women and men both are leading extremely hectic and stressful lives, it is quite idiotic to expect of women to keep a fast all day and still go on with their work. And since there is no official off for this festival, many women come to work on an empty stomach, and I don’t think I need to explain how dangerous it all can be.
Also, in present time there are many cases of diabetes, high blood pressure and more due to the modern lifestyle. Due to which, people have to follow a certain routine, either take medicine at certain times of the day, or consume something sugary or salty in order to maintain normal health.
All in all I would say this that, it is slightly good to see that the modern Indian men are progressing and giving their wives company in this fast. It has been in effect since the past 4-5 years, where the husbands too take the fast for the long life of their wives.
Some of the husbands have even come forward and told their wives that it is no longer mandatory for them to observe this fast.
That if they don’t want to or if it affects their health in any way, then society be damned and that one should just not follow it. This kind of forward thinking is truly commendable.
Signing off I would just like to say that, if and only if you, yes you the woman wants to observe this fast, just because of the faith behind it then sure, celebrate Karva Chauth as much as you want.
But I am strictly against the social pressure on women who choose not to and believe it should be left to the woman on whether she wants to do it or not.
Image Credits: Google Images