Family Structure and Coronavirus
Today is the International Day of Families. There are a host of such observations and celebrations for almost everything conceivable. But there is a reason, it is worth it as they stand as a reminder of our past, awareness in the present and chalks the hope for future. Family is a basic unit of congregation of human beings bound by blood connection and its extension. It is the foundation of living, growing and learning. The familial bonds of unity hold people together with certain values and principles and creates a synergy with other families leading to the formation and functioning of societies. No one can deny the importance of family. Family members are the most important humans in a person’s life and nothing else matters or nothing comes before family love. This pristine institution primarily based on marriage is the fundamental basis of all civilisation. Indian joint family has been a unique feature of Indian society and a food for thought. The joint family system has empowered children with peer learning, womenfolk to get together and gossip and solidarity in happiness and crisis. However, this structure is nearly becoming nuclear with the individualistic turn of the society. The smaller the family, the better it is is what the generation believes now.
We are adopting the western style of family system. I definitely appreciate the gender equality and youth’s responsibility that comes in a nuclear family. But we as a country, in most of the situations miss the positives of a joint family. In our normal days, we are so busy with achieving something and racing towards the delusion that we often compromise with the family time. We often miss the nuances of when the child grows to a teenager or when the parents who seemed so young suddenly show the signs of old age. Everyone is busy in their routines. Everyone is occupied with their life, profession and prospect of future growth. Sometimes, dinner being the only time when family gathers together are sprinkled with some argumentative fights or everyone indifferent to the taste of food and people sitting, eyes buried in the telephone screen. However, Corona has brought families together. Many important people who are otherwise busy with their schedules are getting to spend time with their family. The bonds of love are becoming stronger as everyone navigates through the crisis together. One also understands the importance of family when one sees horrid pictures and videos of millions of migrant workers who are walking back just to eternity to reach their families braving hardships and even ready to risk lives. And beyond bonds of blood, there are families, in the literal sense of organisations, clubs and other affiliations and in larger sense quite aptly summarised as vasudhaiva kutumbakam without which united efforts to fight an invisible enemy would not only be difficult, but impossible.