On are choosing to live in extended families.”

On 16th
July 2017 your newspaper published an article about ‘why joint families are
moving back in urban India’. In your article, it is portrayed that urbanization and modernization do not break up the
joint family, nor is the joint family the inevitable form everywhere and I really
liked your article and I believe it is an eye opener, however I would like to
add a few things to it.  

The first fact that
enlightens me the most is that “Recently released government data reveals that even as
families are increasingly fragmenting in rural areas, more people in cities are
choosing to live in extended families.” The fact that rural India is starting
to grow nuclear is claimed by many websites and articles and according
to the 2001 census, out of 19.31 crore rural households, 9.98 crore or 51.7%
were nuclear households. In the 2011 census, the share grew to 52.1% — 12.97
crore nuclear out of 24.88 crore households.

Secondly, the fact that “Between 2001 and 2011, joint
families in urban India grew 29%, whereas in rural areas they rose only 2%.” is
very eye opening and shows that urban people are starting to learn the
togetherness and happiness of living in a joint family. I
agree with you because between
2001 and 2011, the percentage of nuclear families as a percentage of all
families actually declined slightly, from 70.34% to 70.11%. The number of
nuclear families increased in absolute terms, from 135 million in 2001 to 172
million in 2011, but at a slower pace than the overall population.

Thirdly the fact that “support needs
for the elderly and for children, and the need to share resources, urban
families are stretching, joining and evolving.” is true because the love of
grandparents, the mischief’s done with uncles, the food of all aunts and the
best part, the culture you gain by living in a joint family is something which
you cannot gain from anywhere. Also, we have always learned many moral
values in our schools, like “sharing is caring”, “health is wealth” and “the
family that sits together, eats together and pray’s together is a happy
family”, however we never came to knew what there meaning is, but by living in
a joint family, people learn a lot of moral values and ethics.

The fourth fact that amuses me is “the fact that more women work outside the
home and children need looking after, the vulnerability of the elderly, the
mutual support offered by a big family are all reasons to stay together in the
city”. Working mothers are the ones who
go out of the house for the idea of earning income and also maintain household
errands. The trend of being a homemaker is now changing with the change and
need of the time. Every single woman at home prefers to work in order to
balance the financial and the other basic needs of the family. In these
situations, a joint family gives the most support to these mothers.

The final fact “many workers also
migrate in pairs, says Irudaya Rajan, demographer and associate professor at
the Centre for Development Studies.” is very interesting as internal migrants represented 30
percent of India’s population in 2001. But this number is misleadingly large:
two-thirds were migrants within districts, and more than half were women
migrating for marriage. This clearly means that more and more women are moving
from rural to urban to make families and livelihoods and therefore clearly
means marrying into families which are joint and turning them into much more
larger families and keep increasing the giant family tree.

However,
there are many drawbacks of a joint family, as you stated, “There are
disadvantages, like the greater need to adjust or the absence of freedom (like
just walking out to get dinner outside, without a stated reason),” .Very much
true, Some
family members don’t feel secure in a joint family as all members can
share all the resources & sometimes personal things, so here someone
doesn’t have the privacy to something. This may lead to separation from their
parents. Also, living in a joint family,
you may have lack of leadership and decision making qualities as head of
the family will decide and does all the important decisions. So there is very
less scope of development of individual leadership and decision making
qualities.

At the end I would like to share a quote, “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy
now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the
future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s
at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”- Earl
Nightingale.

BACK TO TOP