It is that time of the year. The crisp air holds the promise of festivities. And if Dassehra is past, can Karva Chauth be far behind?
There are many feminists who call this festival regressive. They think that to ask a woman to observe fast for her husband is akin to slavery.They fail to understand that most festivals in India are not the games of gender one-up-manship, but have more to do with celebrating relationships.
The worth of a civilization can be judged by the place given to women in the society. One of several factors that justify the greatness of India’s ancient culture is the honourable place granted to women.
Indian women today enjoy almost the similar status they used to have when they were considered an equal in ancient Vedic society.Women were educated in the early Vedic period,married at a mature age and were probably free to select their own husbands. According to ancient Hindu scriptures no important rite can be performed with perfection by a man without the participation of his wife. Wives are thus befittingly called ‘Ardhangani’ (better half). They were given not only important but equal position with men.The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past centuries. Today’s woman is empowered, equally educated, and capabale of taking care of herself and her family. We can see many examples where women are holding steady high profile jobs and man are running homes.
Karwa Chauth is often the punching bag of feminists who consider it feudal, unequal and regressive, and term it to be giving a higher status to men than women.
We think it is one of the most beautiful festivals, where even the story that is reverently read says what an empowered woman can do. The lore is the woman actually brought back her husband from the threshold of death. If that is not empowerment, what is?
On her flight to Singapore, I observed a very famous MD of India’s biggest financial conglomerate declining food and water. At precisely 9 pm, she peeped out her window, saw the moon, joined her hands, and asked for some water. When I looked questioningly- she smiled and said “ Karwa Chauth”. My admiration for her as a woman of steel only went up a notch higher. The one who could move thousands of crores of rupees with just an arched eyebrow could keep the fast even while on the go.It is just a matter of faith, that if it were in my power, I would do anything to keep my loved ones safe. So before calling this celebration of marriage and relationship anti-woman or regressive, acquire knowledge, empower yourself, celebrate karwa chauth for the festival it truly is.
Today’s woman knows that her fasting will not change her destiny, but she does it because she also knows that of all her priorities, well-being of her loved ones is also one of the important ones. This trait of a woman needs to be celebrated. She ,who can do anything in this world, is ready to do anything for her family too!
Because we believe that if women are empowered, they can move mountains.