NEW DELHI: Veteran Bollywood actress Ratna Pathak Shah known how not to mince words. Be it political stance or current day Hindi film industry, the actress is known to not hold it back. In a recent interview with Pinkvilla, she expressed that that that India ‘is becoming extremely conservative’, ‘superstitious’ and might become ‘like Saudi Arabia’.
Calling out the age-old tradition of women observing fast on Karwa Chauth, Ratna stated that nothing seemed to have changed for women in India. Karwa Chauth is a traditional Hindu festival where married women observe day-long fasts and pray for the long life of their husbands. Ratna revealed that she had been asked for the first time last year if she too observed fast for her husband. The actress is married to veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah for the past 40 years and the couple has two sons – Imaad and Vivaan Shah, both actors by profession.
“Nothing has changed for women, or very little has changed in very crucial areas. Our society is becoming extremely conservative. We’re becoming superstitious, we’re being forced into accepting and making religion a very important part of one’s life. Someone asked me for the first time last year if I’m keeping ‘karwa chauth ka vrat (observing karwa chauth)’. I said, ‘Am I mad?'” Ratna told the entertainment portal during an interview.
“Isn’t it appalling that modern educated women do karwa chauth, praying for the lives of husbands so that they can have some validity in life? 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,” the actress pointed out.
The ‘Lipstick Under My Burqa’ actress stated that the country was moving towards a conservative society where the women are clamped down first. “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.”
The actress was last seen in Yash Raj Film’s ‘Jayeshbhai Jordaar’ alongside Ranveer Singh, Boman Irani and Shalini Pandey. A prolific actress, Ratna has featured in several films like ‘Khoobsurat’, ‘Kapoor and Sons’ and hit TV show ‘Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai’. She will next be seen in Tarun Dudeja’s ‘Dhak Dhak’ alongside Dia Mirza, Fatima Sana Shaikh, and Sanjana Sanghi.