Until recently, people lived in an agricultural economy. Families lived off their land and were well rooted. Large joint families were the norm of the day.
All the scriptures and the code of conduct prescribed and supported a harmonious development of a family.
Today, we are in an industrial age, moving from one place to another as the job opportunities take us. Large joint families have become obsolete and impossible. The nuclear family only consists of father, mother and one or two children or none at all.
Burden on women :-
The joint family protected the woman like a daughter. In the industrial world she has none to protect her or help her. Bringing up a child alone is a Himalayan task without the assistance of other children and support from in-laws.
Not only is she expected to look after herself by working outside her home, but she must do all the housework and bring up the child all by herself without any knowledge about the birth or the development of her child. Earlier, this guidance was usually provided by the grandmother.
Naturally women undergo tremendous stress after pregnancy and end up in depression. This has become a major health problem of the world.
A further question arises about her relationship with the husband who may be forced to move out for a job. She has to manage the entire house by herself along with her children, without even her husband’s support. This is a traumatic experience for any human being.
Religious leaders and lawmakers must consider the advent of industrialization while making laws for a stable family and healthy upbringing of children.
Americanization of underdeveloped countries: –
Many underdeveloped countries are moving from agricultural to industrial societies and facing problems of industrialization as discussed above. America and the western nations who have been industrialized for a long time have learnt to cope with its pressures by developing a new understanding of family, child upbringing, human rights. Similar values have to be adopted by the newly industrialized societies. They may call this westernization etc. But this will be an inevitable process for all societies.
Preparations for marriage in an industrial society:–
Women take the greatest beating and bear the burden of the family. They have to be prepared not only to take care of themselves but also of the children, independent of their husbands.
Marriage does not mean mere conjugal rights. Marriage really means the ability to bring up a child. A woman will need a certificate for begetting a child, and not for having a sexual partner in marriage. Now marriage means the license to have a child, not a sexual partner.
No child grows without the mother but it can without a father. So a mother’s strength is very, very crucial in raising a family.
Special training has to be imparted to the woman about children’s upbringing before she is allowed to have a child. The father also must undergo certain training in child upbringing and support of the mother. But many mothers in the Western world are single parents and have done their job reasonably well. Either the society must provide for a woman to raise a family or the woman must be made very strong to do it by herself. After the age of 3 or 4 the child has to be sent for schooling, which cannot be changed. This puts a further burden on the woman.
If a modern woman were to consider all these above facts she would opt for no marriage, no children. But many are getting into this mess without having any idea of what they are getting into.
Some more preparations for a mother to be:–
- The mother must first get a permanent home before thinking of raising a child.
- She must also get a grandmother’s commitment to look after her and the child for a period of at least one year, preferably three years and she must be able to compensate the grandmother for her services.
- She must be able to pay for the child’s education and look after the child up to 8 to 10 years. Afterwards, the child can be sent to a residential school.
- The society must prepare itself for taking care of children without parents, and the women must get permission to beget children from the society, if the society has to look after the child and its education. Or else the woman must show a lot of capacity to have a child and look after it by herself.
The above process is already being implemented in places like Sweden. Women are paid to bring up the child and it does not remain a family responsibility. In Sweden, women have opted not to have children resulting in decreased population. Now, the government is compensating mothers to have children.
Female controlled societies of the future:-
Looking at the above situations it is clear that men will have a very small role to play in the society. Major responsibility and power will shift to women.
Men will be under the control, of women serving their needs as and when called upon to do so. The percentage of men will be reduced to a bare minimum. Men’s rights will then have to be protected from being over exploited by women.
The days are not very far when women will pick out suitable men for particular jobs.
Women by nature are more patient, tidier, more conserving, more sensitive, have better memory and practically do everything better than men except for muscle power. With the advent of electrical machines, robots etc., muscle power too has become less important and so the superiority of women will reign in the world.
Men and Family:-
Men may also decide to have children brought up by them. They can get the help of a woman to bring up the child to the age of 3 or 4 years after which they will groom the child. For this also the men must get permission to have a child.