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With home, worked and got education. at

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With the Industrial Revolution came a sea change. The traditional roles of the family members began to be mixed up. The spread of literacy, equal opportunity and similar education for women in colleges and universities put women on par with men. But this brought’ about a kind of equality, which in reality brought to the fore glaring inequality between the sexes.

Women went out of the home, worked and got education. At home however they continued to be drudges. The male attitude remained unchanged. It was marked by conspicuous double standards. The burden of the household, rearing children, mothering them and looking after the family and working outside the home put tremendous pressure on the working woman.

The strain was bound to be felt on the family, which started to evolve in a different direction. Human relationship is like water. If it cannot flow straight, it will find its own direction. Hence began the disintegration of the family and the concept of the family as single unit started catching up.

The family is passing through a twilight existence the joint family has not really been consigned to the dustbin of discarded ideas. The family as a single unit is yet to take roots in a society where filial ties are hard to break and elders are rather possessive of the younger generation. Marriage is fast losing its traditional hold. It is no longer a noose round the neck of the woman.

She is not supposed to suffer life-long torment and humiliation if the going is no longer pink. Women in our society are heartrendingly shedding the dictum ‘ marriages are made in heaven’. They know that it is the partners who make or mar the marriage. It is a partnership of equals, not a three legged race. The single unit family necessarily throws the problem of the aged to the fore. What do the aged do? Where do they go? What if the younger generation looks upon them as useless fossils? The questions are hard to answer. The fact is that there is some awareness of the problem of the aged in the family. The very fact that Homes for the Aged are coming up in our country shows two things: that the single unit family is taking root.

Two, the aged have to be funded by the community. The latter tends to show that family is dying. The problem arising out of this affect the younger generation the most. The fledglings fed on the most independent are keen to try their wings too soon, too much. As a result, there is widespread promiscuity, which is weakening the moral fibre of the community as a whole.

Delinquency and poverty were once considered twins. The fact is that affluence is as much responsible for delinquency. The only difference being that in the former, it is the economic frustration born out of poverty and deprivation. In the latter, it is done for the mere “ kick” of it. Values evolve slowly.

No society can adopt a set of values at random taken from another society. They must stem from its own cultural roots. The family is in transition. It is not dying.

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