Karwa Chauth, Teej, Jitiya, Var-savitri…
I am sure every community and region is India has one or more of these festivals, where through some fastings and rituals married women are supposed to have ensured the long life of their husbands and children (sons?).
I don’t think that celebrating some festivals makes me a religious fanatic (or even religious). I don’t mind going to temples once in a while; or doing some pooja on Vijayadashmi and Diwali to refresh the memories of childhood or just to feel festive. But I don’t like these fast-for-the-life-of-your-loved-ones festivals meant for women. Not even when the deal is sweetened by making them romantic DDLJ style (men also fasting). Because to me the entire purpose of such festivals seems to make women feel important, when they don’t really have any importance. It tries to make them believe that “so what if men are the rulers of the world, we are the ones who decide how long they live”. Excuse me? No, we don’t! It’s just a bone thrown our way to keep us smug and satisfied, even when we don’t get much say in the world. In 21st century, please don’t try to make us believe that anyone’s life is tied to our jewelry, our costumes, our fastings and our singing and dancing!
I don’t see why we should seek smugness and satisfaction in these meaningless rituals, when it is possible to gain importance in real sense. By doing, by achieving, by being equal to men! And for someone really interested in saving and extending people’s lives, there is a very respectable profession of medicine.