Opinion By Syed Mustafa Ahmad on Family Values

November 9 issue,2020


By Syed Mustafa Ahmad

Now and then, I come across families that were happy once but now yearning for cooperation and love. In this way, family assumes importance in shaping the personality of an individual. Without family, it is  impossible that a true personality is made. Family has a long history. That is why its importance has never been underestimated. After wandering for thousands of years, a man settled at a particular place and began to live a social life. He began to recognize other persons like him. He made relations with different people and among themselves ( his father, mother, sister, brother). Slowly and steadily, they began to know the importance of living together. With this recognition, came the concept of family. Family totally was a new experience for him. He now began to feel secure among his family members. His emotional maturity began to develop. He began to love human beings. In this way, the glorious revolution came in the society when the foundation of family was laid. Now, all the fears were the things of the past. There was something to look at in the times of despair. There was no aloneness. There was sharing and caring. So, a different mindset was prepared for the future generations.      The man keep embarking on this path for quite a long time. But suddenly this journey came to halt. The family system lost its way somewhere. It was not like a bolt from the blue. It was the rot of many decades that came to the surface. There are many causes responsible for this. So, let us know some basic causes.      First is mad race for materialism that has made it possible. The lust for money has made it possible that a person only is about money. In the past, a single member used to earn while others used to be depended upon him or her. But in the present, when the conditions become awry, the members who don’t earn, are looked down. They are humiliated. They, if being intellectually efficient, are sidelined because they don’t have money in their pockets. In this way, the bond of love and affection becomes  the soft target of materialism. The result is that the happy-living families are  disintegrated into number of nuclear families.       Second is that imitation has become the order of the day. We look at others and follow them blindly. In movies and dramas,  we come across people abandoning the joint families and preferring to live in the nuclear families. In this way, the structure of the joint families crumbles everyday.        Third modern age. Modern age has provided us with every comfort. Diseases are cured but it has given rise to a different type of division of labor. Now both a father and a mother go to work. Children are sent to schools. New lifestyle has become common everywhere. In this way, a nuclear family is preferred over a joint family.       Fourth is that the old people are understood as a useless burden. They are only fed and washed. In this way, the joint family systems are broken into many nuclear families. The old parents, who have nurtured their children in the best possible manner, are thrown out to others’ hands. In our village, a mother has become a burden for two sons. She has been living with her daughter for two years. It is a collective shame for us. She says,” I did what I could for my children, particularly the two sons. Now, they don’t want me. They call me a useless burden. My basic needs are unfulfilled. I crave for my sons’ faces. They hardly come to me. They want me to die. I am fed up with this life. I want to die. I cannot tolerate this humiliation. “.      Fifth is is that we have no counsellors, who can teach those persons who always are ready to live in a nuclear family. If they had been here, I think the situation would not have come to such impasse. At the time of intense conflicts in a family, anger and revenge prevail. After some time, there only is regret. At this situation, expert counsellors can prove fruitful. They can advise them that it is bad to split into a number of families, for petty things.        Sixth and  last  is that we have lost touch with the actual world. As we have not been able to understand the real motive of life, we feel suffocated. We are misfits in a society. we don’t  want anyone to come near to us. We want to live in isolation. In this manner, the whole concept of family has come to standstill.       Let us hope that the family system in particular and the joint family system in general is revived. We are social human beings. We should live side by side. Living in a society is beneficial. Let us ponder over it.