Every year there comes this time where the social media would be flooded with “I love my husband” post, ladies decked up like heroines of Bollywood sagas, with mehendis and all, waiting eagerly for the moon to show up and a bunch of feminists tearing them apart with bunches of logics for following a regressive custom. For the uninformed, India is celebrating “Karva Chauth”, which is a one day festival celebrated by women in India in which married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. Sometimes, even unmarried women observe the fast for their desired husbands.
Now, now before terming the custom as sexist, misogynistic or regressive please read following point of view. Perhaps, the old Indian rituals like Karva Chauth have time and again proved the supremacy of women and has been a flag bearer of women empowerment. What!! You do not agree? Oh these so called feminists. A real pain in the ass. They find loopholes in all the customary habits and question them unnecessarily. Why should only the women fast during Karva Chauth? Why should the women only carry the symbol of weddings? Etc. etc.
Chill. Ancient Indians have been one of the most intelligent human race ever. They had deduced long back that women are much stronger than men. And men, the feeble, helpless creatures need continuous mercy of the superior being to extend their presence in this earth. Just check the power of women. Yearly once they need to go on a hunger strike and demand to the Almighty that no harm should befall their love. And merciful Almighty. Of course He would give in. Even the British subjugated to the demands, moved by Gandhiji’s hunger strike and here we are talking about crores of Indian women. What can a poor soul do?
For us Bengalis, we do not have “karva chauths” but we do have “sosthi” (quite a number of them) where women can place their demands not only for their better halves but for their off springs too. And can have bizarre twisting to it, like the fasting during Sarasvati puja called sitalsoshti. Here in the chilling days of January, before the rituals the mother/wife need to bathe in “ice cold” water at dawn!!! Do you find this shocking? Well, just relax. All these are nothing just preparing the brave soldiers to save the defenceless kins from upcoming dangers. Haven’t you heard about those training camps?
And those symbols you say? They are a constant reminder to the God about His promise (which is received unconditionally on practicing the rituals). All the protectors wear uniform. The police, army men, navy. So these bangles, mangalsutra, sindoor are nothing but a symbolic uniform that one wear to remind the weaker part of the society that who is the real “guardian”.
And then you complain life of an Indian woman is hard. Now who said life of a devoted soldier will be easy? Indian men are the most fragile, delicate creations of God. So much so that He has created one personal “bodyguard” for each such precious being. Remember the epic which confirmed in 90s “Kahin na kahin, koi na koi mere liye banaya gaya hai”. These “bodyguard” need to fast occasionally for the wellbeing of their “gifted” half. And everyone knows the hardship in life a bodyguard has to bear.
But all these are huge secret. For the greater good and better judgement of the society the real motive needs to be hushed. The country already fighting poverty, communalism, external threats would not fancy another ‘sepoy mutiny’, if the truth is out? The only movie who truthfully tried to depict the same last time was in “Drona” where the body guard Priyanka Chopra time and again saved the actual “hero” from his nemesis. No doubt “sach karva hota hai” and did not went down well with the audience. Coming back to the main issue feminists take a back seat. As per our dharma, “It is the duty of the stronger beings to take care of the weaker strata of the society”. And no one should criticise the brave soldiers as they fulfil the main duty for which they have taken birth in this holy earth. Saving the men.