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Karva Chauth at the Times of #MeToo Movement and Hindu Family

We are in the midst of a long delayed #MeToo Movement in India. So how do we look at Karva Chauth (Hindu women fasting for the long life of their husbands) at the times of #MeToo Movement. Every year liberals feel that Karva Chauth fast in Hindu family is regressive and against modern values. They feel pity for the poor souls that go hungry for the long life of their husbands.

The feminist movement in India has always felt Karva Chauth is patriarchal and demeaning the status of women.

It is very true that many women fast for husbands who do not really deserve the respect, piety, sacrifice and attention. But the most important and vital fact all these critics miss is that in Hinduism nothing is forced. When millions of Hindu women are fasting there are other millions that don’t fast. To keep or not to keep Karva Chauth Vrat is a personal choice.

Hindu fasting like Karva Chauth is often a platform for women to come together. This important aspect of Hindu fasting is often ignored. Earlier women used to use such occasions to share, care and foster bonds. It also extols values like connectedness, cooperation and kindness among women.

#MeToo movement has not touched the millions of Hindu women who are silently suffering numerous abuses at home and at workplace. The #MeToo movement in India is so far limited to Bollywood, journalists and to a miniscule section of Indian society.

#MeToo Movement has not broke open the doors of traditional homes where women suffer maximum abuse. Majority of these women are insecure and without economic freedom. Their voices are never heard.

The sad part is that majority of women who are abused, denied rights and sexual freedom has not even heard about the #MeToo Movement. It is these women who will be widely observing Karva Chauth.

#MeToo Movement has awesome potential and power to give voice to these voiceless women. Providing rights and dignity to all women should be the aim of #MeToo Movement. Sadly, this movement is so far restricted to a miniscule section of society. And this miniscule section is not seen in a good light by the traditional households. The movement has so far only achieved media trial of few men.

The courage of the few women who have come out with startling revelations needed to be given more support. 

#MeToo Movement needs to do more towards the equality of women and girls. It needs to talk about emotional and economic freedom. It needs to talk about sexual freedom.
The #MeToo movement needs to go beyond rape and sexual assault. It needs to talk about dignity, respect and equality.

The movement should not be about breaking families but making families more inclusive. 

The movement should be about making each member of the family respect women and not to see her as sexual object. The movement also needs to awaken those women who are under the illusion that the sole objective of life is to look fashionable and get married.

The #MeToo movement to be successful the silent sufferers in families need to be heard and given a voice.

Karva Chauth provides an excellent platform to a vast majority of women who have been holding on to the codes of silence to break it. It is an opportunity for Hindu women to take #MeToo Movement to a logical conclusion. The aim should be equality and dignity in all spheres of life.