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Is Karvachauth wrong? (Page 13)

-Believe- IF-Stunnerz

Joined: 03 December 2005
Posts: 25723

Posted: 03 November 2013 at 7:24am | IP Logged

Edited by Vinzy - 03 November 2013 at 7:23am

krystal_watz IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 10 August 2009
Posts: 14491

Posted: 04 November 2013 at 12:27am | IP Logged
There's really no solution to this debate as both the sides are correct. On one hand, yes, this festival IS intrinsically sexist. That's a fact. Similarly, on the other hand, its ALSO a fact that most festivals in today's world are used as pretexts for get-togethers and having fun, and not observed with the EXACT same intentions or in the same context that they were first propagated. So, by the latter argument, Karva Chauth can be lessened of its "inequality" guilt IMO. As someone pointed out, its really about the women decking up and having gossip sessions while speculating about gifts. LOL Also, while ONLY the wife fasting for the husband is sexism in the 21st century, it was not so when this ritual was started with ONLY the wives of warriors fasting to pray for their mens' safety.

P.S. Freedom of a woman to choose is beside the point in this debate. As joie de vivre pointed out, not ALL the choices made by a woman are respectful/beneficial to women and womanhood as a whole.

Edited by krystal_watz - 04 November 2013 at 12:27am
BirdieNumNum Goldie

Joined: 07 October 2012
Posts: 1118

Posted: 11 November 2013 at 5:04am | IP Logged
Originally posted by return_to_hades

@K & Angie


I agree. It is not the festival, but scumbags to blame when things go wrong. I think it is the same with every religion and ritual. It can be made into a positive experience or a negative experience depending on who is practicing. That is why I don't say Karva chauth in itself is negative or a social evil. For many people it is a positive joyous experience. But at the same time there is a risk of it being turned negative.


I try to rationalize based on everyone's input.


Why succumb to misogyny and patriarchy.

It isn't misogyny or patriarchy, it is something a woman willingly does to make herself, her marriage and husband seem special.

But why have a one sided practice that can lead to misinterpretation and abuse.

Why blame the ritual, when it is the individual who is doing the wrong.
But why give even a single opportunity.

Scumbags don't need an opportunity. They will find other excuses to abuse.

Still, isn't it better to be safer and avoid the issue.

Isn't it unfair to deny women their freedom to choose simply because some people are abusive.

What about pressure that isn't as blatant. Social pressure to comply. The perception that women who don't follow ritual, don't care for their marriage.

Same thing, why deny freedom of choice because some people make things negative. Besides there is nothing that really exists without social pressures and assumptions.


While I tend to be apprehensive about it, I understand where people are coming from. As a libertarian myself, I completely empathize with the fact that it is never right or fair to take away a human's freedom of choice - unless there some grave harm or evil.


I'm neutral to Karva Chauth. I don't consider it as a social evil or wrong. It doesn't appeal to me simply because of my rigidly rationalist and egalitarian perceptions. Even though karva chauth isn't celebrated in my community, I've seen women in my family keep vata savitri fasts. So I understand the sentiment women have around such celebrations. I even have a couple friends for whom karva chauth is a special occasion every year and I truly respect those sentiments. At the same time I also empathize with those who are wary of karva chauth. Majority of my friends don't believe in most rituals and a few feel pressurized by in-laws that they ought to keep the fast.  On occasion there seems to be judgment that women who don't keep the ritual don't care about their marriages or relationships or are not good wives, which is unfair. That is where the idealism that the ritual must be done away or change comes from, but I realize that it isn't feasible or fair.


I don't expect women to stop keeping karva chauth or forcing men to partake in it. What I do expect is that participants be cognizant of the risks of negative interpretations, acknowledge it and make efforts to keep the ritual evolving in a positive direction. Also to avoid pressuring or judging those who may not believe in it. At the same time yes, those who don't keep karva chauth should perhaps avoid making their non participation a negative experience. They should also avoid pressuring or judging women who do choose to keep karva chauth.


My biggest frustration is that people seem unwilling to address the potential negatives. And yes, I get that women who keep kava chauth are also sick and tired of being judged negatively as well. That is why I guess good dialogue is important to see where both sides are coming from.

ok you guys made me reassess, so i'll grant this- i think karva chauth is at worst just a slight manifestation of bigger problems that exist in society today. At best, it is all the good things i'd stated earlier. If one really wants to tackle inequality and bias and patriarchal mindsets, one has to start with education + equal access to it... That in turn can lead to enlightened ways and to productive employment in the workplace, providing some degree of financial independence for the woman, further empowering her in real ways to make choices she wants to make... It would really create more problems for her if we ask her to do away with KC and the opportunity to develop closeness with her husband.

the other aspect with KC is that it cuts across all economic classes in north India. You've got rich independent women observing KC and you've got poor women doing it, for different reasons. My personal observation is women who dont want to keep it will find a way to not keep it. They are wired up that way. But then they are also wired up in ways where they generally don't seek to compromise on many of the things that make for a happy married life. That's not meant as criticism, but just as a way to state that one just needs to prioritize what's important to someone. If it's all about being able to make the choices we like, then perhaps we are not going to fit in well with culture around. Even in the workplace, there are written/ unwritten rules like that. It's as simple as that.  You can be a trail blazer but then you're going to also go down in that blaze...

that apart, again, i haven't met anyone who keeps KC out of pressure. But maybe i am just not privy to their inner thoughts. In my case, my mom even keeps fast 4 days after KC for her sons. Now that's another thing. My grandmother once told her that she's a good DIL in all ways but she has one gripe and that is she does not keep ghada (or something like that). Call it superstition or belief or just a simple way to make her MIL happy, but she started keeping that fast every year since. Do we like it? No. We'd rather not have mom go through that trouble, but she does. Is she financially independent and educated? Is she capable of making choices and has she ever? Yes, very much so! Enough to be able to tell dad off when he veers off. And he listens. Has no choice in the matter! LOLSo, you see, much of this talk about peer pressure etc might be just a red herring. To complete that ghada anecdote, quite selfishly, i've always enjoyed the goodies that are made with that fast but that's a separate topic.

now here's another anecdote. There's apparently a chath ceremony that women in Bihar observe for their husbands that is supposedly even more rigorous (they stand in water for hours etc for a few days). Even though this ceremony is primarily observed in Bihar, we know someone's maid who happens to be from UP taking off for a week because she supposedly wanted to observe that rite. How's that for smart choices and for learning from the customs from other states?LOL  
LeadNitrate IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 28 March 2007
Posts: 14666

Posted: 13 November 2013 at 10:46am | IP Logged
**Viewbie Note***
I would like to point out, since the main theme of the topic is socio-religious, the good and bad of religion will come into debate as well as comparison between religious and social customs. please keep an open mind, do not try to get too defensive, My saying your practice is bad won't make it bad. SO kindly stop getting too aggressive unnecessarily.

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LeadNitrate IF-Sizzlerz

Joined: 28 March 2007
Posts: 14666

Posted: 13 November 2013 at 11:05am | IP Logged
Originally posted by OyeChupKar

Its given in the holy book that a lady who observes the KC fast is doing so for her husband's long life. ( And many husband's observe this fast too). She may choose not to observe this fast (if she is a hindu) so that her husband dies ASAPTongue And the more you're devoted to your religion, the more rewards you get. Not just in this world, but in the hereafter too. For me, the rewards I will get in the other world hold more importance than the one's I'll get here.

It is such a unappropriate analogy u used here. there are plenty of women who faithfully observe there culture's KC's corresponding ritual, but still their husbands may not live long. On the other hand, those who do not observe KC , may also have long living husband. What of those who observe rituals for husband's long life yet make each day of the life miserable  through their actions? There is no dearth of religious women who are tyrants at home now, is it? This sentence that if a hindu woman chooses not to observe some fast , so that her husband dies ASAP is a reflection of the pressure you would want to exert upon any woman to force her to choose to do something she might not wish to.

From my limited understanding of spirituality and religion, when you do something  with the aim of getting some sort of reward, specially when it comes to  observing a ritual, you turn it into a business transaction with God. and That is the root cause of religious fanatism and its associated evil.  
The greatest way to achieve God is to have faith and love Him/Her. It should be your choice as to how you wish to represent that love, by observing rituals, fasting, donating to temple or feeding a needy person for a day etc. But you cannot claim your need to express your devotion /faith/ love as some sort of  ultimate way and it  will give you result as prescibed in written letter. if God is infinite, then his/her response to you should also be infinite. How can you limit something limitless into a list?

As for whether or not God exist, another debate. not here.

Edited by LeadNitrate - 13 November 2013 at 11:02am

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pakhara IF-Rockerz

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Joined: 13 October 2010
Posts: 6221

Posted: 13 November 2013 at 6:22pm | IP Logged
@Tani, I do agree with you on the point that praying/fasting/observing rituals shouldn't be about getting something from God as much as it should be about trying to be closer to God. But that being said, I won't label festivals such as Karvachauth and others in which people ask for things in exchange for good deeds as evil or fanatic as long as it's not the only connection they have with God. For example, it's okay if a little kid asks his mommy to buy him that toy he really wants. Who else is he supposed to turn to? As long as his relationship with her isn't just "gimme this, gimme that," and there's faith, love and understanding there, it isn't wrong of him to ask for something once in a while. In the same way, as long as people pray for the sake of praying and once in a while happen to ask for something such as they do in KC, the long life of their husbands, I think it's perfectly okay.

And like @charminggenie pointed out earlier, KC has evolved to the point where it just isn't about religion anymore. It's more of a way for a woman to socialize with other women over something they have in common.

skyforceguy IF-Dazzler

Joined: 04 January 2012
Posts: 2822

Posted: 13 November 2013 at 10:54pm | IP Logged
it's not WRONG, but in case of pregnancy or any other illness, i am against it.
skyforceguy IF-Dazzler

Joined: 04 January 2012
Posts: 2822

Posted: 13 November 2013 at 10:56pm | IP Logged
btw it's a religion specific festival. Even not all indian woman do it, i am bengali and we have only seen it on tv LOL

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