The great Indian joint family has been reincarnated in an e- avatar , now called Facebook. This alone accounts for the phenomenal growth. I am told that outside of US, India is the most intensive country as far as usage of Facebook is concerned. The user base in the world’s second most populous country is to swell to 136.3 million in 2015 and 211.2 million in 2018.
Once upon a time there was an institution called the great Indian joint family in which many people of different ages and occupations lived together, creating a human resources pool of knowledge.If a family member caught a cold, or had an upset stomach, or any other ailment, there was always a dadima, or a great aunt, who knew of just the right traditional home remedy which was a surefire cure for whatever was the problem, there was no need to go to doctors – who might well be quacks – and pay their exorbitant fees. You have a problem with a land, well second cousin’s brother in law is a secretary in West Bengal Government. Some hassle to do with a bank,, there was always a nephew, who was a sub-divisional manager of SBI who’d see to it that the job got done.
When the great Indian joint family splintered into the small Indian nuclear family for various reasons too numerous to go into here, this admirable system of shared know-how broke up. For two decades this nuclear family structure was coming to terms with the harsh realities of living. Divorces increased and so did isolation, some perks traded off with independence. We are just lost and grasped FB, our Noah’s Ark.
Actually, the great Indian joint family has been reincarnated in an avatar that, if anything, is even greater and more jointed than the GIJF ever was. The GIJF now calls itself Facebook and lives in a common home called cyberspace.
The e-version of the GIJF is no longer confined to India and Indians alone but extends across borders, and oceans, and continents to include virtual kith and kin from all over the world.Being a digital dummy who thinks that a mouse is a cartoon character called Mickey, i can’t do Facebook, or FB as its initiates call it.
Like the great Indian joint family of old, FB is a fountain of helpful information and practical advice. Want to know the best way to get to Purnalakshmi from Shyambazar by road? Or the best place to stay in Tadoba ? Or what brand of fablet to buy, and from which kart & at what discount? The quickest and easiest recipe to make shalgam-prawn achar?
Someone, somewhere in the cyber community of FB will be only too glad to provide a reliable answer to whatever question you have. Which is what FB is all about. And for helping us to discover a new theory of ‘relativity’ – as in relatives – FB should really call itself Family Book. Rather than yelling to cousins, we post our happenings with a single sentence. Makes us feel secured and liked. The joint family is not going anywhere.