The joint family system is under serious threat of extinction due to some misconceptions. The economic growth, professionalism and the privacy were such major misconceptions. The sweet and pleasing sight of joint family is now confined to the family photograph comprising of huge number of family members, that adore the walls of dilapidated buildings called Hawelis. The modern day youth just cant imagine the practical existence of such families because to him its not possible to fulfill the desires of all members of the family. It came as a surprise to me as well until I decided to ponder over it and scratch the limited grey cells available with me. . I had to resort to mathematics to find an answer to this. On deeper probing, it enlightened me with the multiplication and division of Happiness and Sorrows. If all was well with the joint system of families then why is it under threat of extinction. It needs to be pondered over minutely.
The switching over from the magical words of “WE” and “OUR” to “I” and “ME” initiated the separation. The attitude of personal growth instead of the growth of the family as a whole,dealt it the next serious blow. Like in a tug war, the various participants apply different magnitude of force, however in the present scenario, the person who has greater force is asking for the major share of pie. The belief of success of family as a whole took a back seat with it because I and ME started mattering more. As a result we started telling the present kids that the particular toy or room belongs to him. This sowed the seeds of separation in little minds and later went on to form the major characteristic of his personality. He or she even failed to share the parental love with the other siblings and the parents started glorifying the love a particular child had for them. Rather than taking it as a serious alert for the things to come they started enjoying it.
The misconception of economic growth, materialism and privacy gave an another blow to the joint family system. I personally am not willing to buy the concept of PRIVACY which is a strong advocating factor in disintegration of family system. I feel the term privacy needs to be redefined. Privacy to me, is when I am in the bathroom,when I am changing clothes, when I am in the midst of a good book,when I am in bed with my wife. I would not be liked to be disturbed during all these activities. However,apart from this I don’t need privacy because I have nothing else to conceal. Going by the present scenario of families comprising of parents,2 kids, can anyone guarantee that their door keyholes have never been misused. Whereas during the earlier joint family system one could never take the risk of standing along the wall as one never knew who could pop in when and from where. Thus it was more privacy earlier than now and don’t be surprised if your MMS is distributed all over.
The hardest hit due to breaking up of joint family system are the kids and the Old aged people. The kids are confined to computers, video games or watching the undesirable content when alone. The old people on the other hand had to seek relief in “OLD AGE HOMES” or the so called Gardens which are on the verge of extinction due to professional and practical attitude of us. They don’t even get ears to listen their tales of woes at the hands of their children whom they had brought up so lovingly in the hope that they would stand by them, during this stage of their life. This segment of people do realise what they have lost however, in the present scenario their children would not listen because they will realize it only when they find themselves in their position. Through this article, I would however like to say a big THANK YOU to my grandmother and maternal grandfather who ushered my childhood with so much love and affection. Believe me, I am willing to pay my last penny to get the feel of the warmth they generated.
Thus to sum up, we realise that there has been less gains than losses. If the happiness got multiplied in joint family system then remember the tensions too were divided. We need to put our thinking caps to do some rethinking and help the old family system to nourish and flourish. Remember, the joint family system is like a sprawling BANGALOW which is close to the ground and gives us wonderful gifts of nature to enjoy whereas the modern day isolated family system is like a FLAT which looks bright from a distance but remember you are away from the ground and basic gifts of nature. Decide for yourself what would you prefer? I am sure majority of us would say -Give us BANGALOW any day. Lets make a beginning and others shall follow. This would help all the family members comprising of parents,kids and old people, to smile and smile meaningfully.