Last week I was reading the women special edition of Outlook. One of the articles in that discussed the radical social choices that women are making today. So there are ladies asking their parents to stay with them even after marriage, choosing to live separately for the sake of job, living alone even though their parents are in the same city and many more. There is no doubt that each of these decisions takes a lot of courage on part of a woman but what is alarming is that most of them relate to one common theme namely breaking down of the old concept of family.
Some of the feminists argue and rightfully so that family has been the biggest source of oppression for Indian women and so it is natural that in the new age, the old concept of family breaks down. The question is however how does it affect our society?
One particular example is of single mothers. All over India, there is an increasing trend of single mothers and the reasons are various. The one that stands out is that it is seen as the ultimate proof that today's women is strong and can support not only herself but a whole family (since "house-husband" still remains a largely taboo thing, family means mother and child).
But in this whole story, the child gets ignored. Consider the typical situation. Mother will most probably be working, so the child remains alone at home in the day time, may be with maid or in day care center. In most of the cases, he will have no siblings. He is solely dependent on his mother for all the emotional support who is bound to have her own tensions and problems considering the kind of work-life these days. The biggest thing that family provides is a feeling of belonging and sense of security. Wouldn't a child devoid of these grow into a rather insecure person? Infact these are the reasons why single people are not encouraged (allowed?) to adopt children. (I know sometimes this cannot be avoided and situation is not always bad but doing this by choice is what I am talking about.)
I think choice to become single a parent should be granted only when the support of a larger family is available. Women are blessed with the ability of bringing new life to this world and I think they should put a little more thought before using that.
[My apologies to any current and future single moms reading this. I am in no way questioning your abilities to raise a child but I think it is a right of every child to have a "house full" (of) family and your decision to stay single should not infringe on that.]