Veteran actress Ratna Pathak Shah, who is the wife of Naseeruddin Shah is worried that how society is becoming increasingly conservative. In a recent interview, Ratna also said that India could become like Saudi Arabia as it’s ‘very very convenient’. The Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai actress spoke about how women in the 21st century are still observing age-old traditions like Karwa Chauth(a Hindu ritual in which a woman fasts and prays for her husband’s long life). She also said that she was asked for the first time last year if she will observe ‘Karwa Chauth’ fast for her husband. Ratna has been married to actor Naseeruddin Shah for 40 years and together they have two sons- Imaad Shah and Vivaan Shah.
Speaking with Pinkvilla, Ratna 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 one’s life. Suddenly everyone’s talking about, ‘Karva Chauth ka vrat nai kar rahe hai aap?’. Till today no one has asked me this, last year was the first time someone asked me about it. ” “I said, ‘Pagal hun main?’ Isn’t it appalling that modern educated women do Karva Chauth, praying for the lives of husbands so that they can have some validity in life? 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,” she added.
Further talking about how we are becoming conservation, she said, “So we are going conservative. Look at the number of ads for kundali dikhao, vaastu karao, apna astrologer ko dikhao. Look at the funny ones, like Nithyananda who has got an island somewhere.”
She also said, “We are moving towards an extremely conservative society. The first thing a conservative society does is clamp down on its women. Look at all the conservative societies in this world. Women are the ones who are most affected. What’s the scope of women in Saudi Arabia? Do we want to become like Saudi Arabia? And we will become because it’s very very convenient. Women provide a lot of unpaid labour within the home. If you have to pay for that labour, who will do it? Women are forced into that situation”, she concluded.