Why Do Women Need To Worship Their Husbands To Be An Ideal Wife?

Pranitha Subhash, Who is Pranitha Subhash, Pranitha Subhash Controversy
A picture of Kannada actor Pranitha Subhash sitting at the feet of her husband performing a festival ritual has gone viral on social media, sparking a debate on expectations of subservience in a marriage. The picture has been shared with the caption, “marry a girl who can do this for you”.

Pranitha Subhash has predominantly works in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi films. She is known for her roles in films like Bheema Theeradalli, Hungama 2 and Bhuj: The Pride of India. The actor recently shared some pictures from Bheemana Amavasya festivities in one of which she is sitting on the floor next to her husband. This picture drew flak over the internet, especially when it was shared on Twitter by a user with the caption, “marry a girl who can do this for you”. Pranitha Subhash is married to Nitin Raju since 2021. See the post here.

The Twitter user who initially shared the photo with the problematic caption has been receiving criticism over his idea of an ideal wife ever since. A Twitter user mentioned, “Nahi chaiye aesi gulam. (Don’t want a slave like this)” while another said, “Women are just fooled in the name of culture and tradition which is deeply patriarchal and discriminatory. Any rational woman should stand upto her rights and respect. This rollicking with such revelry of things which are absolutely regressive is quite unsettling.”

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It is amusing how a section of society still expects women to worship their husbands in the name of preserving religious practices. The idea of an ideal wife revolves around a woman catering to the needs and wishes of her husband over her own desires and demands. An ideal woman will never cross her husband and blindly obey him. But is this what the foundation of marriage has been reduced to? Are women not entitled to an identity of their own?

Why is it always anonymous privilaged men who get to set the discourse of appropriate conduct of women? Why can’t we do it for ourselves? Time and again, rituals and customs are used by reinforcers of patriarchy to silence our protests and call for more equality in marriages.

The question is not whether or not Subhash is right to practice a ritual that might come across as sexist to many. Every woman has the right to decide for herself which customs she wants to retain and which she doesn’t. The question is, why does our patriarchal society get to decide which woman is ideal?

All women deserve to be celebrated. And as far as marriage goes, husbands and wives should adjust on an equal footing. No one should gain an upper hand or a place on a pedestal purely because of their gender.

Views expressed are the author’s own.