Disintegration of joint family does not necessarily mean its elimination or disappear rather it means that prevalence of joint families is decreasing or declining. The factors cause disintegration of Indian joint family are: rapid industrialization, urbanisation, rapid growth population and communication, impact of the western civilization, decline of agriculture village industries, role of new social legislations, modern education, enlightenment of women etc. These factors are detailed below:
1. Rapid Industrialization:
The joint family system worked well in a rural -agrarian society. But when India chose the path of rapid industrialization, many new factories and industries were setup at distant places. The rural ties started migrating to those distant places in search of employment in industry. The migrants left their own villages and families. The joint families suffered set back.
The urban centers provide people with various amentias of life concerning transport and communication, sanitation and health, education and employment, etc. People are attracted by the urban civilization and there is rural to urban type of migration. As it becomes difficult to maintain an extended family or joint family in the cities or towns due to high cost of urban living and problems of accommodation, people afford to life in the nuclear type of families
3. Rapid growth of population:
India is an overpopulated country. Rapid growth of population has brought increasing pressure on land. The rural youths have been compelled to move to distant places in search of employment opportunities. This has caused the breakdown of joint families.
4. Rapid development of Transport and Communication:
Due to lack of developed transport and communication the rural ties were forced to live together in the joint families in the villages. They could not move easily from one place to another during those days. But now-a-days there has been rapid development of transport and communication facilities along with expansion of the network. People can move from one place to another quickly and easily. This has enabled them to change their traditional ancestral occupation and choose occupations according to their caliber and competence. Such factors have caused the disruption of the joint family system.
5. Impact of the western civilization:
Due to the impact of the west, the living and thinking of the Indians have been changed. British rule in India presented before the Indians the western type of small family based on freedom, equality and love between man and woman. The members who lived in the joint family became conscious of the positive aspects of the single family system. At the same time, they also become aware of the disadvantages of the joint family system based on that concept of sacrifice, responsibility and devotion. Finally, individualism as a gift of w culture, gave rise to a separatist tendency within the joint family which resulted in its decline.
6. Decline of Agriculture and Village Industries:
In the past the rural people were engaged in agriculture, agro-industry and co industries. Such occupations by the rural ties boosted the joint family system. But under changed circumstances, the commodities produced by the rural people fail to compete the factory products in respect of both quality and cost. As a result, the agro-industries cottage industries have been closed down. Furthermore, the heavy pressure on the agriculture land caused surplus of laborers who preferred to move to cities and industrial centers! Search of employment.
7. Attraction of the entertainment and other opportunities of the urban communities:
Lack of entertainment, inadequate educational facility for children, and lack of opportunity for employment for the educated rural youths in the rural setting induce the aspirants of rural community to leave their place of origin. First of all, these youths move to cities after being settled there they take their family of procreation. This brings about the disintegrate of the joint family in the village.
8. Role of New Social Legislations:
Some social legislation which has been enacted by the state legislature and the Parliament, particularly after achievement of independence, has adversely affected the joint family system in India. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, has enabled women to seek divorce depending upon certain circumstances. The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 enabled the women to claim a share of their father’s property. The Civil Marriage Act, 1954 made it possible for the adult boys and girls to marry on their own. All these social legislations have some negative effects on the features of joint family such as holding property in common, taking food cooked in a common kitchen, staying under one roof, etc.
9. Modern Education:
Modern education changes the attitude of people and enables them to get into jobs. After getting jobs they settle down in their place of work and made the family of procreation there. As a result, their joint family in village breaks down.
10. Enlightenment of women:
Modern Indian women are no more prepared to put up with the oppression of the joint family. They have become conscious of their equal rights and status. They are resented against staying within four walls of household in the traditional subordinate position and to serve their in-laws. All these factors affected the patriarchal authority of the joint family system and the in- laws failed to adjust with the educated and conscious women. As a result, the process of disintegration started in the joint family.