Joint Family System in India

In: Social Issues

Submitted By Adeeb00
Words 824
Pages 4
The word "family" comes from the Latin word "familia", which means household. This was truly applicable to a joint family in India. Living together under the same roof with grandparents, their sons and grandsons, with their wives and children, is indeed a unique experience, especially in Indian villages. The earnings of every adult member go into a common fund or pool out of which all expenditure is incurred.

The final authority in family matters is the grandfather, but the grandmother has authority over all the younger women in the family. There was extended kinship in the real sense of the word. Family ties were close and highly commendable.

There is a common kitchen and there is no question of even newly married couples having separate arrangements for cooking and eating food. The parental hold on the children was remarkable; defiance of elders was unthinkable. There was total and genuine respect for all elders, and firm discipline was maintained.

Joint families, like the autonomous village community and the caste system, were distinctive features of the Indian social structure for centuries. Since all the members were joint sharers in the common property of the family, inheritance was by survivorship and the principle of primogeniture, the eldest son succeeding to the property of his father on the latter's demise.

Women seldom enjoyed equality of status. In fact, they were all too preoccupied with domestic duties and chores to think of rights and privileges.

But the joint family system has been rapidly breaking up in India as a result of the increasing individualistic and independent attitudes of grown-up children. In a joint family there is no scope for individual initiative or enterprise. My experience has been that there is far too much of suppression, implicit, blind obedience to the eldest member's dictates, even when these commands are…...

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