Disintegration of Joint Family System in India

Disintegration of Joint Families

Silent changes have been taking place in the family life of India for the last few decades. The old joint family system have been disintegrating and in their places nuclear families, each with three or four members are coming into being. There have been several causes that have been provoking disintegration of our old extended families.

First, the spread of female education has been galvanizing the outlook of women about life. In most cases when an educated girl enters her husband’s family as a bride she can hardly reconcile herself to the old ideas of her domineering mother-in-law. Consequently she desires to set up her independent establishment of her own.

Secondly, disparity in the income of brothers provides an incentive for disintegration of big families. The brother or brothers who have decent income are tempted to have a separate establishment tastefully decorated and richly furnished with modern amenities and luxuries.

Thirdly, thanks to globalization and e-mail which have turned the world into a global village. European consumerism dazzles our life and it prompts the affluent members of a family to come out of the old way of life and indulge in rat race.

Fourthly, the girls who come to the same family as brides are brought up in their paternal homes in different social, cultural and sometimes political environments and consequently they cannot pull together. So they often like to live apart from each other to avoid bitter encounters.

Now as a result of the break-up of the joint family the people who suffer most are the old parents and the unemployed members. Sometimes the old parents are to fend for themselves or to opt to live in a home for the old. It is a fact that a nuclear family lives in economic solvency. But if any emergency crops up, the small family finds few helping hands to share their trouble. Besides, the child or the children of a nuclear family live isolated from the mainstream of society and so they often grow as strangers to fellow feeling.

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