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How Bollywood Celebrated Karwa Chauth

After two years of lull, all the festivities are back in full swing for the Hindi film industry. Karwa Chauth, which is a major festival for married Hindus, was celebrated with loads of excitement and enthusiasm this year. This can be seen through how all of Bollywood posted about their celebrations on Instagram. With Sonam Kapoor saying she doesn’t fast because “my husband is isn’t a fan of Karwa Chauth as he thinks fasting should only be intermittent”, or with Shilpa Shetty Kundra posing with many ladies from Bollywood, everyone had their own style of celebrating the festival. But when living life in the public eye, everything you do is scrutinized as the line between just celebrating something and glorifying it often seems blurry. Everyone had a lot of opinions about Bollywood celebrating Karwa Chauth, so let’s go through them.

Twitter

The twitter user @VED_hana posted a video wherein veteran actress Ratna Pathak Shah can be seen criticizing the festival by recalling an experience where someone asked her if she fasted for Karwa Chauth. She continues to say “Isn’t it appalling that modern, educated women do Karwa Chauth, praying for lives of husbands, so they can have some virility in life.” Here’s the tweet:

Shefali Vaidya, who is a writer and speaker, and on twitter as @ShefVaidya tweeted after seemingly looking at the debate online, about how celebrating or not celebrating Karwa Chauth is a personal choice and for people to “Just shut up and don’t give liberal gyan!” Here’s the tweet:

Instagram

Instagram user @otherwarya, or Aishwarya Subramanyam, a journalist who is infamous for her controversial stories was seen feuding with Shibani Dandekar over Karwa Chauth. She posted a bunch of stories critiquing Karwa Chauth, one of which was a screenshot of one of her followers replying to her stories by saying they were “very surprised Shibani Dandekar got on the KC bandwagon.” Below this, Subramanyam had stated that all celebrities are the same.

@otherwarya’s initial story | Image taken from Instagram

Shibani did not take well to this comment and posted the screenshot of that story and called Subramanyam “nasty” among other things, after which Subramanyam replied by posting Shibani’s story’s screenshot and saying “One day I’ll have to talk about what spreading hate actually is and how it’s different from laughing at or commenting on famous people in the public eye especially when they market patriarchy.”

Shibani Dandekar’s reply and @otherwarya’s reply to Shibani | Image taken from Instagram

These interactions are examples as to how whatever a celebrity does, is up for debate online. While celebrating Karwa Chauth is a personal choice, everything a celebrity does is looked up to by people, so by just celebrating, they have to power to turn the patriarchal festival into a trend to be followed. But that also doesn’t mean that they can’t celebrate it or post about it. Like everything else, the onus to be mindful about their choices is on the one being influenced and not the influencer. One can say that Karwa Chauth perpetuates patriarchy, but at the end of the day, it’s just another festival from a long list of festivals, many of which are patriarchal. But they have been celebrated for a long time, bringing together families, and are not going away any time soon.

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