[Assam] Aziz Ul-Haque
dilipdeka at yahoo.com
Fri May 16 07:10:43 IST 2008
Have you been following this gentleman's writings? He seems to make a lot of sense beyond religion. Any opinion?
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Making healthy family relationships
Aziz-ul Haque1The UN General Assembly resolved in 1993 that May 15 of every year would be observed as the International Day of Families. This annual observance is to reflect the importance of families as basic units of society as well as to focus concern regarding their situation around the world. It also provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families and to promote appropriate action. This day can become a powerful mobilising factor on behalf of families in all countries which avail themselves of this opportunity, and demonstrate support to family issues appropriate to each society.
The family is the basic and most ancient unit of human society. A persons life is greatly influenced by the family. The family plays the most important role in transmission of culture from one generation to another. It is an axiomatic and universally accepted concept that the family is the nerve centre of all social activities. The essence of the family group is the husband-wife and parents-children relationships whose outlines vary widely among cultures. It is the basic structure of nations and no country can rise higher than the families they establish. The family acts as an educative unit in which children get their earliest instruction and fundamental lessons in socialisation. A sense of responsibility among its members in relation to one another is an important aspect of the family. The integrative bonds in a family are blood ties and mutual affection. The biological, emotional and economic needs are the foundation of a family. The Indian family has been predominantly
a joint or extended family. However, the joint family structure is undergoing change and transforming to smaller units, comprising parents and children, called nuclear families, each representing a single household.
Healthy communities are built on strong family relationships. Good family relationships are increasingly hard to come by these days. Furthermore, pressures of society, socio-economic problems, life-style demands or just the burden of every day living can be overwhelming. Moreover, the influence of materialism and individualism, culture change, effects of modernization, marital disruption and divorce, broken family relationships, juvenile delinquency, and other similar factors are increasingly evident in our society. These factors lead to domestic violence, particularly against women, manifesting in broken homes, divorce, molestation, wife-beating, torture, dowry, dowry death and female foeticide. Approximately one quarter of the worlds women are violently abused in their homes. One out of every four murders occurs within the family, and one of every two of these is between the husband and wife. Even in the US, domestic violence is the biggest cause of injury to women. In
India, according to the National Crimes Report Bureau,
1, 50,000 crimes against women are registered annually, out of which nearly 50,000 relate to domestic violence. Much of such domestic violence goes unnoticed or is not reported due to fear or shame, and atrocities against women continue unabated. Our patriarchal system of male dominance is such that women are often treated as slaves for maintenance of the family and they are expected to docilely accept any violence. Therefore all of society needs to be sensitized to bring about an awareness where mens attitude towards women undergoes change and both men and women are considered as having equal rights and privileges.
The eternal plan for the family begins with a commitment between husband and wife, undergirded by absolute loyalty and fidelity to one another. The husband pledges himself to the best interests of his wife, providing for her needs and protecting her even to the point of death if necessary. The wife also promises to honour her husband, devotes herself to him, and respects his leadership in the family. Genuine love, concern and mutual understanding between the husband and wife are important ingredients in maintaining the marital relationship. The most intimate and precious human relationship is the relationship of husband and wife. The marriage relationship is so sacred; the relationship of husband and wife is so intimate, that marriage ought to last until death alone breaks it. However, many times family problems are directly or indirectly related to in-laws: the mother-in law and daughter- in-laws relationship is of particular relevance in this context. The concerned
members of the family should be sensitive to this area and maintain healthy relationship among the in-laws.
Procreation is the biological point of marriage and children are considered in all social and religious traditions as blessings to the family. Indeed, they are the most precious gifts to the parents. Investigations and surveys have shown that homes without children are more likely to be broken by divorce than homes with children. Children bring joy and happiness to homes. However, it is also important to limit the number of children for making a small and happy family.
Sadly, in a shocking revelation, a government commissioned survey has found that more than 53% of children in India are subjected to physical and sexual abuse that takes place at home: parents and relatives are mostly found to be perpetrators of this abuse. The most common error made by parents in disciplining their children is the inappropriate use of anger. Children are to be loved and they are to be taught how to honour their parents and other members of the family. They need to be cared for and disciplined and the parents should set a good example at home. Special care for their health and education need to be given. Juvenile delinquency is a major problem in our society. To a great extent it is due to lack of parental care. Since the family is the central unit responsible for the primary socialisation of children, governmental and social efforts to preserve the integrity of the family should be pursued. Society has a responsibility to assist the family in providing
care and protection and in ensuring the physical and mental well-being of children.
The family unit is the backbone of the nation and the salt of civilization. It is the locus where members of the family enjoy rest, privacy, a sense of security; and learn to work, play, pray and plan together. It is the home in which the members learn to regard one another as having equal rights where loyalty, honesty and co-operation are practised and learn by each member of the family team. It is an ideal home that radiates happiness, welcomes guests and dispenses hospitality. Such an ideal home consists of loving parents, obedient children and all others in the family governed by love and respect for each other. Only then, as we say, Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home; Theres no place like home! can become a reality in the family.
(The writer is pastor of Guwahati Baptist Church)
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