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The final authority in family matters is the grandfather, but the grandmother has authority over all the younger women in the family.There was extended kinship in the real sense of the word. There is a common kitchen and there is no question of even newly married couples having separate arrangements for cooking and eating food.
Personal choice in any matter was virtually ruled out. The women had hardly any liberty to move out of the house or dress as they pleased, or to establish friendship with other women of their age group.
The social inhibitions were many personal liberties few.
The caste system further imposed social restrictions.
Every member, male or female, was bound by the customs, traditions and culture to which the elders were habituated.
After marriage, I found that we had all to eat what was cooked in the common family kitchen, whether the food was according to our taste or not.
In fact in no aspect of life was there individual freedom.In the joint family one had to suffer silently; no voices were raised and no protests were made.Joint families are wholly unsuitable for modern social and economic conditions.In the midst of the flurry of such a fast paces life the modern man is racing against, there remains a wait for that rare to come in when a few moments could be snatched out of the busy schedules to be spent together with the near and dear ones forgetting the entire aggravations of life. This commentary stresses the festivals gives pleasure only when this is celebrated in togetherness and oneness.Importance of festivals is noticeable equally I each societies whether it is the twinkling night of Deepawali, the glitter is Eid, the exuberance of Vaishakhi or the running wild of Holi festival, everybody waits for the arrival of the big-small festivals through the year long one after the other.No member of the joint family, elder and youngster, had to bother about food and shelter—problems which cause a great deal of worry to people who are living separately and entirely on their own limited resources.Expenditure on illness also came from the common kitty. Each couple in olden times had a fairly large number of children, the belief being that there would be shelter and food for every additional pair of hands.But in modern times, women, both before and after marriage, take up employment in offices and factories to supplement the family income.In joint families there was no incentive for supplementing the parents’ or husband’s not income; nor was there any eagerness to maintain or enhance the standard of living.Living together under the same roof with grandparents, their sons and grandsons, with their wives and children, is indeed a unique experience, especially in Indian villages.The earnings of every adult member go into a common fund or pool out of which all expenditure is incurred.