Modern city, archaic family values

Lurking beyond the glitzy facade of glossy buildings, trendy malls and conspicuous consumption is the domestic family structure, intensely challenged by a highly fragmented and polarised urban society. The murders are but only the symptoms of a larger malaise.   
Rising episodes of domestic violence are indicative of an inability by family members to deal with these challenges. One contentious explanation for this strain of violence is the influx of people from different parts of the country to the City, triggering a subtle, cultural clash. Anger and intolerance is on the rise, say some social analysts. At the micro level, this social dynamic is reflected within the family.

"Not only has the city become crowded, it has also led to mental crowding. Bangaloreans are now referred to as aggressive people contrary to their calm and quiet nature. The external influence has changed the city," contends Pandurang Katti, ex-chairman and member, Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF).

Modern Bangalore’s value system might appear contemporary, but experts feel the mindset continues to be archaic and old-fashioned. The change in values is only at the surface level and has not trickled down to the root of the system. Most of the families have adopted the close-door system which has developed cracks in the strong family values.

Explains Dr. Manohar Yadav, Prof of Sociology, Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC): “There is a disparity between what we are and what we appear to be. We are progressive and modern in our appearance but in actual, we are old and traditional in our approach. This diversification has created a dilemma, and has increased violence due to pent up emotions.”

Economic factors:

The IT/BT boom increased the cost of living and triggered an economic compulsion,  forcing both the partners to earn. In this process, the women are burdened with more stress.  which has become unmanageable often leading to emotional outbursts. As economists point out, even working women suffer a gender bias and real economic freedom is still a mirage.

The society has not been able to break the stereotypical image of women as a home maker. Aggression has increased among working women because they have to fight for their rights even in the family.

"There is a need for contentment which is lacking in the society. There is always the want for more. This causes disturbance in the family and wrecks the family system,” says Dr Syed Ajmal Pasha, HOD (economics), Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC).
Family disputes, problems with in-laws or the inability of young couples to show patience in their married lives have resulted in tragic endings. Alarmingly, this is becoming common.

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