Appalling That Modern Educated Women Do Karwa Chauth: Ratna Pathak Shah

Shah added that it was “appalling” that modern education women in India were observing Karwa Chauth.

Ritika Joshi
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Veteran actor Ratna Pathak Shah called out the tradition of Karwa Chauth and said that India was becoming extremely conservative and superstitious. She added that very little had changed for women “in very crucial areas”.

Shah expressed that India was becoming increasingly conservative and superstitious. She revealed that last year, she had been asked if she had observed the Karwa Chauth fast for her husband of 40 years, actor Naseeruddin Shah and that this was the first time she had faced such a question.

In the traditional Hindu festival of Karwa Chauth, married women observe a day-long fast and pray for the long life of their husbands.

Ratna Pathak Shah On Karwa Chauth

In the interview with Pinkvilla, Shah mentioned that after being asked whether she was observing Karwa Chauth, she replied “Am I mad?” Shah added that it was “appalling” that modern education women in India were observing Karwa Chauth. She further said that the women were “praying for the lives of husbands so they can have some validity in life”.

Shah also expressed her concern over India becoming conservative and superstitious and that it didn't bode well for women. She said that in conservative societies, women are oppressed. “Look at all the conservative societies in this world. Women are the ones who are most affected,” said Shah. She gave the example of Saudi Arabia and asked, “What’s the scope of women in Saudi Arabia?”

Shah referred to how women in India provide unpaid labour in homes and asked if families had to pay for that labour, who would do it? She also noted that women are forced into the situation of providing unpaid labour in their homes.


As expected, the statement has led to outrage on social media. One user claimed that while Shah had compared India to Saudi Arabia, she had been silent on the hijab issue. "What else can we expect from a typical elite Bollywood Secularist".

Another tweet said, "Will Ratna Pathak Shah also enlighten us with her views on many Muslim males who insist on their women, even infants, wearing a hijab/ burqa in India and assault them if they don’t? Is that not Saudi Arabian for her? Or is that her idea of just being liberal?"

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