response to Karva Chauth comment

This blog received a lengthy comment on the post Karva Chauth – for which I thank the commentator, Prabhat Sinha. I will answer every point of his in this new blog post. .

PSinha”Hi Kalpana, the questions you have asked are very obvious questions – and many have raised / asked or thought about these questions at some point of time in their life. You have asked why husbands do not fast for their wives (in other words then why wives fast for their husbands) ?”

My response

Correction – my question about why husbands don’t fast for their wives does not mean that wives should not fast for their husbands. I am talking about equality here and about that little old saying – what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Double standards for men and women.

PSinha “If you look at Hindus (this festival is among hindus only) – you will find them worshipping rivers (rivers are gods – because the earlier civilization could flourish on the river banks), many worship their tools (as it provides them livelyhood), many worship cows for the similar reason, many s/w professional start their work only after worshiping their computer. Wives started worshiping (for) husbands simply because once married – it is the husband only who has all the responsibility of his wife.”

My response  – I am afraid that this is not true. This is a moot point. The point is, if a husband ‘takes care’ of his wife it is because the husband, his mother and extended family and society in general WANT the wife to be dependent. They ensure in every possible way that she cannot earn her own keep (despite, often, being as educated as the husband himself. Our society is afraid of independent women so the myth of dependency is spread far and wide and used like a net to catch women and ‘keep her safe’.  What safety is this when you are locked into the cage with the tiger himself?

PSinha “A woman’s life is “still” identified with her husband – (that is a social reality – you may not like it – but it is a fact). Husbands earn for their wives (or the family), (even after divorce the husband has to provide the maintenance to his ex-wife), has to take care of all the need of the family – the main responsibility lies with the husband – if a husband is not fulfiling his responsibility – he is not a man (then what he is – you know it better).”

My response – Excuse me, this part of the comment is not clear to me. How would I know what you mean about a man who thinks he is the only one qualified to earn a living. I don’t know if that makes him a ‘man’ or a ‘mard’ or a victim who likes to feel sorry for himself while not permitting his wife to work. THIS is the social reality – as I know from hundreds of women who have shared with me personally.

PSinha “Another important point is – married woman are not just fasting for their husband – they are celebrating their marital status, they are getting gifts from their husbands; they are reminding their husband that how pious is their relationship.”

My response – Good point – celebrating marriage is lovely. Wonder why only the woman celebrates with fasting?

PSinha “Man and woman are not equal – they are different.”

My response – I would like to point out to you that this is feminist blog for educated people who do not believe in thoughts like – men are women are not equal. You are entitled to your opinions, whatever they may be and however erroneous the premise on which they are based. This is a blog that is a supportive blog for people who have undergone divorce so these opinions of yours cannot be aired here without being contested.

PSinha “Fasting is not human right violation – Hindus (men & women ) both fast on varios occassions and festivals. Muslims fast for the entire month during Ramzan.”

My response – If you are forced to fast, it is a human rights violation, whether you are Hindu or Muslim (can’t quite understand the point you are making here) or Catholic or Protestant or Jew.

PSinha “But I can understand your frustration – since you are a divorcee.”

My response – The only reason why I have not deleted your condescending comment is for people to see the kind of attitude we divorcees have to deal with. This assumption that we are anti marriage, anti establishment, anti relationships. And the use of this word ‘frustration’. Verrrrrry subtle. This comment about my being a divorcee is just not on. However, as I said before, it illustrates my point beautifully – the lack of understanding for the divorcee, the stereotypical attitude that you have just demonstrated, the sexual innuendo…I could go on and on.

PSinha “You should look for some other reason to celebrate (instead of frustrating on others’ celebration).

My response – Don’t worry about Karva Chauth – your ‘enjoyment’ of it will continue as its patriarchal roots are far too deeply ingrained in our social fabric – nothing to fear. As for my celebrating – that comment is a little too personal to be published on the web, on a blog where you do not even know the blogger. Perhaps you would like to learn a little web etiquette to supplement your fevered support of outdated pointless customs that emphasise the so called superiority of men over women.

PSinha “Why are you being judgemental?”

My response As for why I am being ‘judgemental’ if you understand what that means – this is my blog. I write about women’s freedom and oppressive social customs that keep women in marriages they don’t want to be in. This blog is about questioning those things.


About Kalpana

Trying to change the world one blog post at a time. I write. It's the best thing I can do. I am the Hanged Man, the Fool, the sometime Magician. Whether I travel in my imagination or in real life I write about it and show you pictures either through my photography or through the pictures I paint with my words. I read books and write fiction. During working hours I teach English as an Additional Language. I edit.

Posted on January 27, 2011, in Divorce, Feminist, oppressive customs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. These comments have been an interesting read, and they remind me of a conversation I had with my grandfather when I was fifteen. My grandfather was a scholar of Hindu Scriptures apart from being a historian and a writer. He had objected to my cousin forcing his wife to observe Karva Chauth when she was in her eighth month of pregnancy. As per him, observing Karva Chauth was entirely the preference and prerogative of the woman. Further on, he said that this was perhaps a practice invented by some chauvinistic brahmins, and could not have been an integral part of the practice of Hinduism. As he would often say: The Priests have made people slaves of dogmatic practices in the name of the religion, and the actual religion seems to have completely vanished. To him, the biggest tragedy of Hinduism and several other religions was that they weren’t in tune with the times, and there was a need for a group of informed, progressive and learned people to come together and dig up the actual religion and its practice and get people to embrace the true religious tenets. As per him, Karva Chauth was a woman’s way of saying – I am willing to take the trouble for you and our family; what trouble will you take? Will you be true to me and our family?

    For a man who was close to eighty in the late 70’s, it was quite a revelation to me when he took the lead in getting his friend’s grand daughter out of an abusive marriage, helped her get a divorce, and arranged a job for her so that she could take care of herself and her two daughters.

    He taught me the correct way of looking at religious practices. I wish there were more like him, and less like some of the people who comment here.

  2. Mystic ..u can’t fight with people who grew up to believe karvachauth is the best festival of the year and when they will be dressed in red and gold with see their husbands in sieve ..

    Fasting for the long life of husband .. the quality of husbands i see around are worth giving poison .:)

  3. Peace! This blog is beyond your understanding. Accept it and move on.

  4. So you still blame non-cooperative husbands for employing 24X7 maids (creating slaves ). – I pity on your thought – it is just a lame exposes your–many single working women also employ such maids.

    But in no way I made any personal remarks on your status – it was just the context in which I was making a point..please do not take it personally..
    Isn’t it that it is your own personal experience which is driving you to talk/ blog about divorce (I initially thought you blog about many other things apart from divorce).

    If a person who has not been through divorce is NOT qualified to comment or conjecture – how come you are qualified to comment / conjecture on Karva Chauth…? Your irritation with Karva Chauth is very well understandable (anyone can understand that) – your irritation with me is also obvious now – but can you throw a baby with the bath water? Your attitude towards others celebrating their marital status is equally aghast.

    My sincere apologies – if any of my coment has hurt you. It was not at all meant to hurt you – it was just a bit of provocation to open you up..Since we do not know each other – in this blog world – I am not representing myself or men – I am simply stating – what I have seen/ felt/ observed – and presenting a set of arguments – it is your wish not to respond to it..Who am I to support (or oppose..) outdated pointless customs – we may question it and subsequently we may get answers (my not be of our liking..).
    Again – “irritation” does not have to have any explanation – but questioning will have many answers…

  5. Hi Prabhat! Thanks for all the effort you put into the comments. As a matter of fact you do jump to a lot of conclusions and you make personal remarks about my married/divorced state which are unacceptable. That is the reason I deleted your comment. You have done it again in the above comment by implying that I ran away from my marriage. That’s a little tasteless considering you do not know me or the situation.
    Not really interested in accepting anyone’s challenges, I’m not writing a blog to be baited by people or to defend myself against judgmental thinking.
    Yes, your point about 24×7 underage maids is well taken. I agree with you. Educated and working women should employ other grown up women and ensure they have proper working hours. They would possibly not need household help if their husbands were real partners and shared the household chores and the bringing up of the kids.
    You have great ideas – do start your own blog. This blog is about divorce. And actually nobody who has not been through a divorce is qualified to conjecture or comment.

  6. Hi Kalpana – it “seems” you do not like diverse opinion ( I am still not jumping to this conclusion). In order to further your cause, you need to pay attention to the opinions which counter/ contest/ challenge your thought process. You should have accepted the challenge thrown by me. And initially you indeed demonstrated the courage by dedicating an entire post countering my comment..but you did not last long.. may be you have this attitude of runing away from…

    Though you have choosen to delete my original comment as well as the comment of this post which I posted yesterday..I still would like to know your opinion on the slavery system being driven by eduacted and working women of this country..the 24X7 maids..being employed..working and educated woment exploiting poor girls of “other” India..and enjoying their financial independence and advocating women’s freedom – how contradictory it is…
    Anyway I wish you the best…

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