So, here comes the critical question again. Do the changing family patterns of Hindu families affect their lives in a negative way? And is it really changing at all or just seems so.
In ancient times, the Hindu families lived in a joint structure. Up to four generations of a family lived in the same house situated in villages. There were sometimes more than 20-25 people in the family. People were immensely engaged in their family business or agriculture and they did not find any need to go anywhere. When going to some ceremony, the family members could be seen traveling in the group. At house too, one person or the other always remained present so very fewer incidents of theft happened.
But at present, it is difficult to find more than 2 generations of people living in the same house. Younger generation parents have moved from big houses in villages to small flats in big towns and cities. The number of people in a family has now gone down to a maximum of 6 or 7. Parents can still be sometimes found to live with one of their children but brothers and sisters rarely live together, especially after marriage. Sisters go to their husband’s house after marriage and brothers generally get separated due to property issues or in search of jobs and other opportunities.
During earlier days when there was an emergency in the house, for example when someone was bitten by a snake, there were a lot of people in the house for their help. But now the scenery is different. If an emergency arises in the house, it takes much time to call out people for help. Sometimes, this extra time taken worsens things. If someone faces monetary problems too, then also they have to seek help from outsiders. Earlier they would have got help from the family members itself.
The changing joint family structure of the Hindu families has for sure brought some problems with it. But it can’t be considered good or bad. It is something which is changing with the needs of the time. A perfect example is the wearing of jeans and modern dresses of girls while earlier they used to wear sarees. We can’t say if it is good or bad. It is just changing with time. A similar case is of changing a family pattern. We can’t consider it good or bad. It is the need of time. The employment structure has changed along with time. Now people are not focusing only on agriculture. They have moved to jobs in cities.
That is the reason for the industrialization of India. We can’t expect a modern child to take admission to a nearby college for higher studies, and he has the full right to go outside his hometown and pursue his dream career. So, the changing joint family pattern is rather a need of time though it comes with specific disadvantages.