Saturday, December 22, 2007

Are we taking a U-turn towards ‘Joint nuclear family’?

Indian society is taking a U-turn towards the traditional set up of family order. The benefits nuclear families offered have failed to outweigh troubles it created.The age-old family set up is always helpful to keep social and family values intact.

A NEW order is taking shape in our Indian society. A new approach to family and societal relations is gaining popularity now. And many are thinking aloud what if they go back to the roots of their traditional society and give them a new dimension so that several problems precipitated by the onslaught of modernism could be sorted out.

Nuclear family has been popular for long. However, the conveniences nuclear families offered have failed to outweigh the troubles it created. Now, several modern nuclear family supporters realized that there was something very important in our age-old system and our forefathers were not wrong in many of their convictions and conclusions to establish social and family values.

The conveniences that we enjoy today are fine and they are here to stay too. But several people have the opinion that these conveniences come with a price; at times we are forced to pay dearly for it. This lack of balance between the conveniences and inconveniences must be the reason behind the emergence of this new order called ‘joint nuclear family’ set up.

There was a time when we felt pride of being able to do things all by ourselves individually. Now the trend is changing and the ones, who set out to do their things all by themselves, are being looked at with suspicion and they are said to be following a culture called ‘use and throw’ whether it is product you buy and use or your parents you depend on and eventually disown.

It is the last proposition that makes sense to several new generation nuclear families to go to a new order called ‘joint nuclear family’. Unlike in the past, today’s new generation families happen to have two or three children and new nuclear families arise when these children grow and get married. But such nuclear families are now realizing that it is a good idea to stay back in their families and enjoy a blend of nuclear and joint family atmosphere.

Modern affluent parents are prepared to provide their newly wed children with houses and flats and they are very happy to find their dear ones accommodate themselves in a single set up or under a single roof or a building, or in their own modern palatial home itself. This is a new order that is taking shape slowly in Indian society. Several sociologists are of the opinion that Indian society is moving back to joint family. There are people who feel that they committed blunders when they got separated from their natal families. So there comes the new set up called ‘joint nuclear family’.

Here are some advantages of joint nuclear family set up-
# The problems with old age people could be solved.

# Working couples could comfortably go for jobs when parents are there at home.

# Children get better physical and spiritual care from their grandparents if their parents are working professionals.

# The society will absorb a new life into itself because many old age people participate in different social activities.

# Working parents will get a new social recognition on the grounds that they are ready to keep the traditional values intact and at the same time be abreast of the changes of the times.

# There will be limited room for child abuse, juvenile disorders, domestic violence, family break-ups, picking up of unhealthy habits.

# There will be enough room for discussions, dialogues, problem solving, decision-making, multi-tasking, mutual understanding and sharing.

# Every joint nuclear family will be a constructive society in microcosm. These microcosms will go into the making of a new social order, which will have all the ingredients of a traditional joint family.

Of course, this new social order will enjoy all the independence expected from a nuclear family, and these progressive nuclear mindsets together in turn constitute what I call the ‘joint nuclear family’. This is happening in the society and this is going to be the order of family in coming years. We can say it in other words that within ten years we will have a culture as Indian as it has always been.

Globalisation and its so-called implications on traditional societies will be eventually proved as insignificant in the coming years. The social values are something different than social changes. Social changes come and go but the social values stay forever. The tradition of nuclear family is something like this.

The signs of such attitudinal changes are very obvious in our society. Many youngsters these days prefer traditional arranged marriages over the so-called unconventional marital arrangements. Children love their grandparents. Old age homes and convenient dwellings have become so commercialised that they have reached their saturation points.

And it is good sign that our old social orders are increasingly being given front bench space in many major social environs, and there is small section in the society, which is very much interested to upkeep the fine fabrics of our conventional social orders. Young boys and girls themselves are really fascinated by the traditional functions and rituals. More and more people happen to witness such events more frequently in their surroundings than ever before.

Unfortunately, these kids haven’t been given a chance to experience the virtues of our traditional values for long, and now they understand that it is a good idea to be part of the roots and its strengths. It is this part of the society that makes many a one’s life meaningful even in today’s ultramodern world order. It is good to see things make their come back though a little later. ‘Better late than never’ holds true here.

By Vaatupura A. Jayaprakash


Forget yourself for others, and others will never forget you.

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