Bollywood Actor Ratna Shah Says India Is Turning ‘Extremely’ Conservative When Asked If She Fasts On Karwa ChauthRatna Pathak Shah

Actor Ratna Pathak Shah, who has been active in the film and television industry for close to four decades, said in a recent interview that the Indian society is becoming “extremely conservative” because for the first time last year, she was asked if she observed Karwa Chauth.

The Kapoor and Sons actor, who is married to another Bollywood actor, Naseeruddin Shah, said, “Our society is becoming extremely conservative. I feel that very strongly. We are becoming superstitious. We are being forced into accepting and making religion a very important part of our lives. Suddenly, everyone is talking about…Karwa Chauth ka vrat nahi kar rahe? [Are you not observing Karwa Chauth?]”. Aaj tak kisi ne mujhse nai poochcha [nobody asked me this ever].”

She said she was asked this for the first time last year. When the interviewer from Pinkvilla website asked her how she reacted, she replied, “I said, am I mad?”

She continued, “Isn’t it appalling that modern educated women do Karwa Chauth, praying for lives of husbands so that they can have some validity in life? Because a widow in the Indian context is a horrible situation. Isn’t it? So, anything that keeps me away from widowhood. Really? In the 21st century? We are talking like this? Educated women are doing this?”.

Shah has been trolled and criticised for this and other statements made in the interview, where she also compared India with Saudi Arabia. Many social media users asked her why a harmless custom like Karwa Chauth angered her and serious violations of women’s dignity through Islamic practices of teen talaq, halala and mutah did not.

Throughout the interview, Shah made no mention of the spate of recent murders by zealous Islamists over ‘blasphemous’ social media posts including Kanhaiya Lal in Rajasthan and Umesh Kolhe in Maharashtra. She also entirely skipped commenting on the recent movement to introduce hijab in government-owned schools and colleges in Karnataka.


An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber