2014-10-18

Womaniya, Moon and Karwa Chauth

Pati Vrata Patni..Mera Pati Parmeshwar. Women, decked in bright designer sarees and adorned with jewellery pray for the long life of the husband. Fasting till the evening and bowing to the Indian tradition, not a single morsel goes into their poor stomachs, till they get a dekkho at the moon.

O! Womaniya! What responsibilities you don’t fulfil on earth to toe the line of the patriarchy? In the name of tradition! A tale of subjugation subjected to the whim and fancy of dogmatic traditions and beliefs, espoused by Hindu society.
There is nothing wrong in observing social norms and one shouldn’t trample on freedom of choice. It is up to you whether you want to observe Karwa Chauth or any other ceremony for that matter.

What I am saying that it shouldn’t be forced down the throat of a woman that if she doesn’t observe Karwa Chauth, mayhem will strike. It doesn’t go without saying that Karwa Chauth is regressive where the freedom of women, as an individual, is put at stake. Why should a woman observe Karwa Chauth for the husband? Is it a condition to get married or respect the husband as a separate entity?

I wonder, what if the woman, who is equal to the husband, does not believe in the tradition of observing such rites. What is morally right or wrong depend on personal ideologies? Why impose something like that on a woman? One can also argue that the husband doesn’t fast, by forsaking water and food but, then, some modern men also observe the fast. But, this is not the issue. I want to shed light on the need for us as human beings to question rites such as Karwa Chauth which violates personal liberty. 
I am not trying to act like a ‘wanna be’ feminist by indulging in rhetoric about equality. Far from that! As human beings, we have the right to reject or question traditions that doesn’t pave the way for equality in a household. There are many blind practices that existed for ages in Hindu tradition that has reduced women as a piece of furniture in a house.

Somebody please tell me that not observing tradition will mean that your husband will die? Who wrote the Janam Kundli of human beings? Are the ones coining the tradition witnessed the facts regarding the whole Karwa Chauth issue? In rural areas, women, including, widows face social stigma by imposing ludicrous social customs on people. It’s a clear violation of basic human rights.

It’s not in my intention to declare war on Karwa Chauth or run down Hindu traditions. Of course, it’s a matter of personal choice. Ladies! If you feel comfortable doing Karwa Chauth fine but I also have the right to criticize it or point at loopholes in my religion.

 I refuse to bow to a system that perpetuate inequality between men and women, indulging in a culture of extreme patriarchy cum exploitation. A woman has the right to wear clothes she is comfortable with and it’s her entire prerogative to observe rites and traditions. One should avoid imposing society’s views on them. Regressive practices and culture of exploitation is an unfortunate social control imposed on human beings. Some are treated as second-class citizens. It’s the sad reality today. I, for one, would never insist that my-would be wife carry my family name or wear Mangal Sutra. Come on! We are married to each other and we don’t need society’s stamp for that.

The aim of the post is to ponder on matters rather than a scathing attack on religion. I humbly believe that we should discuss about traditions in a   healthy way to step up effort for an equal society based on mutual respect and understanding. Violating human rights is the biggest crime committed on earth.

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