"...the essential government of mankind remains in that most deep-rooted of all historical institutions, the family."
in the Story of Civilization
The Ganga flows. At an awkward bend it changes course, at another it becomes a thin trickle. And where it runs dry, new life springs from the fertile river-bed, lush and green. Like the Indian family, which has survived countless generations, at times unchanged, basking in a common heritage, sometimes flowing in different directions, at times shattered and then, like tender, new saplings in springtime, clustered together again. To write new history on the vast canvas that is our social fabric, weave new patterns on its colourful tapestry. Has anything changed as we stand on the threshold of a new millennium? The joint family to which we trace our roots may be a fading institution but it hasn’t been completely obliterated from the annals of Indian family history yet. Its ideals of support and sharing live on, manifesting themselves in the smaller units which the pressures of modern society have spawned. A land of inexplicable contradictions, it is but natural that India has no single pattern that has emerged. Socio-economic compulsions have forced some families to separate into nuclear units, some have remained timelessly bound together by age-old traditions, driven by the same compulsions. Every family seeking its own space, own identity. Some well-ensconced, some still building on the ties that bind. Within the parameters of a society which has welcomed and absorbed change with the same ease. The Indian family, like the many faces of Eve, is embodied in a single entity - togetherness. It is interpretation, though multi-hued, is but the same. The story of the Indian Family.