Gone are the days when people believe in the joint family system.Joint families exist only rarely in the rural areas.Even in the villages the joint families are only few and far between.A joint family is normally big consisting of atleast six to ten or more members that includes a grandfather, grandmother, their son or sons, daughters and if the sons are married, the married sons, their wives, their children, unmarried daughters and so on and so forth.But even in the villages the joint families rapidly decline.In fact joint families mostly exist in villages, when they are predominantly agricultural and when people consider union is their strength.When the agricultural family has a large land holdings, most of the joint family members being agricultural laborers prefer to remain joint considering the advantage of doing agriculture jointly and the entire income derived from agriculture goes to the coffers of joint agricultural family.Normally the eldest male member of the joint family remain kartha or head of the joint family and he manages the entire joint family system.With the arrival of new members into the joint family, by way of marriages, say when a son gets married, a new daughter-in-law arrives into the joint family.Because of generation gap, when the younger generation does not like the joint family system,partition takes place in the joint family, by which a joint family dismembers into a number of nuclear familes.Each nuclear family is small consisting of only a few members, say, a father, mother and their children.Each nuclear family having been born out of partition, has its own lands, a separate house and separate agricultural equipments, say ploughs and other agricultural equipments and their own share of cattles, consisting of cows, bulls, goats, sheeps etc and in a rich and modern family, each nuclear agricultural family has its own tractors, harvesting machines and other agricultural equipments.The lands of each nuclear family is subdivided into separate units whose patta and other revenue records are standing in the name of the heads of the respective nuclear families.
Apart from the partition of the land holdings, the joint families also get dismembered for some other reasons.A joint agricultural family gets dismembered when agriculture is no longer is profitable, due to low income from the agricultural products and low yield of agricultural products and difficulties in doing agriculture because of the water scarcity, either due to the failure of monsoons or due to the the failute of water bore wells etc.Hence, naturally, such nuclear families, who struggle much to eke out their livlihood, migrate to some other places, say towns or cities, in search of employments.Some nuclear families, simply leave their lands, some of them even sell their lands while migrating to towns or cities.
Education and employment are the two major reasons for the dismeberment of joint families and for the formation and we can rather say, for the proliferation of nuclear families.When the Government campaigns for the education of children, especially the girl children, naturally people flock to towns and cities, searching for good schools and colleges.Again, people are more conscious of the fact that education not only enhances their status in the society, but also serves as a passpost for seeking employment. Proliferation and establishment of the educational institutions in towns and cities naturally force the people to migrate there.After completing their education, for example after getting an engineering degree, only major cities where the industries and technical institutions are situate provide more scope for employment.
Even a nuclear family that has settled in a town or city , further dismembers into a number of nuclear families for the following reasons.When the children of a nuclear family on getting education get different types of employment, say one child becomes a doctor, another child into an engineer and another child becomes a government servant and another child is opting for agriculture and the net result being, though all the children are the offsprings of single parents, since their education and employment vary and so according to their variation of income and social status, each child when grows up settles separately,after getting married and each of them forming a separate nuclear family.
In the modern days, as already said, generation gap is a major factor that forces the older and younger members of a nuclear family to live separately.For example, the lack of understanding between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law forces them to live separately paving the way for the dismemberment of a joint family and the formation of a number of nuclear families.
It is also pathetic to note that the younger members of a joint family, say, the son or daughter-in-law, disown their responsibility of looking after the older members of the joint family.Hence, they either admit the aged members into Homes or simply leave them to their fate.
Again the mechanical life of a city, naturally forces the younger generation, perhaps out of exhaustion,lack of time and sufficient funds, to become more self centred and neglect the older members of a joint family and forming their own nuclear families.
Above all the ultra modern civilisation and the high income also force people to neglect everything and become single parents, virtually converting even a nuclear family a non-entity.
Thus, the agriculture having lost its importance and pre-eminence and having been steadily on the decay and with the evolution of ultra modern civilisation and culture, thanks to education and sopisticated employment, the joint family system has virtually become extinct, paving the way for the proliferation of the nuclear family system to unimaginable proportions.