Family and Community: A Socio- Legal Perspective
In this research paper, the researcher has tried to analyse the evolution of humans from being mere community oriented to a family specific orientation. It further is in context, specific to India. India is the last bastion of the four great ancient civilisations known to this world. and in this paper we see how this last bastion crumbles to the modern world we survive in.
India has long practiced a unique family system, where the edges between a community and a family gets blurred, that is the Hindu Joint Family System.
The concept of community precedes the concept of family by atleast a few centuries. Communities sybolised a symbiotic, mutualistic relation between homo- sapiens, which were created for greater hunting and gathering capabilities. These were duty based communities without the concept of rights. with passage of time, these communities became nomadic tribes, and then self- sustaining village communities.
Within the village community, existed the joint family, or several generations of people with a common ancestor, which is akin to a community. Hence, the boundaries between community and family is ill defined, which matches the all encompassing attitude of the Indian populace. These communities were governed by customary practices as it evolved from equity principles, as enumerated by Manu and Kautilya (ancient Indian law givers). As it had developed from community practice, it tried to ensure community peace.
However, inter- community conflicts continued, and to avoid them, the State interfered with legislated laws. Hence family laws evolved from Philosophical school of jurisprudence to socio- historical till it became analytical positivism and neo- positivism.
However, the legislated laws were influenced by the western rights oriented jurisprudence, which clashed with the duty oriented, eastern jurisprudence. In India, marriage was a 7 age sacrament or 'samskara', which was converted by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 into a dissoluble union, with introduction of the concept of divorce.
Hence, in this paper, the researcher tries to potray, the changing family- community equation, due to clashes of values and perspectives.
Iman Roy (India)
Student of Law
National Academy of Legal Studies and Research, India
I am a III year law student, in India. I have been working on concepts as regards family law in India, under the guidance of my professor, Dr. V. Kumar. I have also been active in child rights movement and have attended various conferences for the same, especially as regards proprietory rights of a girl child in India. My other interests include poetry and music. I am currently 21 years old.
(Virtual Presentation, English)