Puran Chand Sharma
Joint family has been the hallmark and salient feature of Indian socio-cultural life since the times immemorial. It was a natural process of carrying forward the ethos, ethics and inclusive life values for a purposeful life on earth . It is heartening to note that owing to our culture’s abysmal depth it largely sustained and survived itself against the dangerous onslaughts of uncongenial and highly opposing conditions emanating from the dire challenges of modernisation and the westernisation. Indian culture is said to be SANATAN which means everlasting and indestructible. This status of our culture greatly owes to the Indian family system which is complete in itself. It is capable of fulfilling the materialistic and needs of the family. Everyone in the family acquires knowledge, experience and wisdom smoothly in a natural process. But at this critical juncture, Indian family unit has taken a worst hit and rendered ineffective.
Happy and Ideal Family
A happy family is a world famous Indian tradition and a long lasting desire of all Householders. Indian family system encompasses one and all without any categorization on caste or religious lines. In the prevalent times we need to concentrate on generating harmony between interrelations within the families for the purpose of addressing certain flaws which have cropped up in providing value education to the next generation, especially the tiny tots coupled with socio-national duties of families and their daily life schedules. In the traditional Indian context GRIHASTHA or householder, life is sacrosanct. It is beginning of the family life which entails huge responsibility of bringing up the next generation for the country and when householders perform their duties with care and caution, the society is well nurtured and sustained. It is a joint venture and accountability of both mother and the father. The Indian ideal is Shiva- Parvati marriage and their mutual relationship on an equal footing. There is equality and the promise of sustaining life together. The Ardhanarishwara form of Shiva- Parvati represents the state of complete compatibility in marriage and synthesis of man and women in the holy matrimony. Families are not meant to stay in isolation. They need to maintain harmonious relations with relatives, neighbours and the community as the society as a whole is a network of relationships. Primitive or conventional Indian families were happy owing to the specific Indian values, for example *Intra- family and Inter- family relations are glaring highlights of our social life. * Social work for helping and uplifting the needy and down trodden has been a salient feature of Indian families. The mother of the house will never allow visitors to her hearth to depart without serving them a meal. A dutiful mother is a formidable force on earth and the pivot of the Indian family system. *Family is also the basis of physical, emotional and financial security. People tide over difficult times with the family support. * Certainly our socio-economic system is predominantly family centric. Conversely in western countries families abdicate their role and the Govt / welfare state have to shoulder the responsibility of elderly and the children. Practically Indian family life is blissfully peaceful and happy.
Current challenges in the family set up
Post evolution of Indian joint family system into nuclear families drastically squeezing in size from Hum do Hamare do to Hum do Hamara Ek to Hum do Hamara Koi Nahi to Legalised Living relationship sans marriage, some social challenges have emerged such as burgeoning rate of divorce and separation of couples on very fragile grounds. Crime against women folk based on certain mindsets is graphically rising both in the rural and urban areas flouting our rich cultural values. Some other social issues like dysfunctional marriages, abandoned illegitimate children and lodging aged parents in the old age homes have also started happening. This is indicative of the briskly growing weaknesses and lethal decline in Indian family system. This unhealthy trend needs be ruthlessly checkmated.
A ray of hope
There is always a silver lining, a ray of hope to strengthen our family system by virtue of our active participation in the ongoing drive of awakening and enlightenment of the family. Rashtriya Swayam sevak Sangh popularly known as RSS is the largest organization having trained and committed workforce and huge number of whole timers called as Parcharaks who are working round the clock for character building of youth and ingraining patriotism in them in the tender age through the medium of series of their training programmes and interactions. Parivar Parbhodan or Enlightenment of family is one of their important activities. Their Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the highest decision making body of RSS passed a resolution in March, 2019 with regard to significance of family system, challenges and possible ways to secure a happy and fulfilling life. Kutumb Parbodhan or Enlightenment of family has become a key activity of the said organization and its impact is becoming visible and perceptible in the society. People are sharing their views together with family practices and adopting it as a Mantra for the 21st century. The noble concept is becoming viral day by day. Let us play our part with a positive mindset for the ultimate transformation.
It is well said,” The Idea whose time has come, no force on earth can stop it.”
Puran Chand Sharma