Hindu joint family

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A joint family or undivided family is an extended family arrangement prevalent throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, consisting of many generations living in the same household, all bound by the common relationship.[1][2]

Family structure[edit]

Historically, for generations India had a prevailing tradition of the joint family system or undivided family. The system is an extended family arrangement prevalent throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, consisting of many generations living in the same home, all bound by the common relationship.[3] A patrilineal joint family consists of an older man and his wife, his sons and daughters and his grandchildren from his sons and daughters.

The family is headed by a patriarch, usually the oldest male, who makes decisions on economic and social matters on behalf of the entire family. The patriarch's wife generally exerts control over the household and minor religious practices and often wields considerable influence in domestic matters. Family income flows into a common pool.from which resources are drawn to meet the needs of all members, which are regulated by the heads of the family.[4] However, with urbanisation and economic development, India has witnessed a break up of traditional joint family into more nuclear-like families, and the traditional joint family in India accounted for a small number of Indian households.[5][6]

A Hindu Undivided Family or HUF is a legal term related to the Hindu Marriage Act. The female members are also given the right of share to the property in the HUF. The term finds reference in the provisions of the Income Tax Act, but the expression is not defined in the act. There are various aspects of Hindu law relevant for the purpose assessment of income[7] and wealth in the status of HUF.as well as the impact of the provisions of Hindu Succession Act 1956 as amended by Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005 relevant for the purpose of assessment of income and wealth in the status of HUF under the Income Tax Act 1961.

In the case of Surjit lal Chhabra 101 ITR 776 SC, joint family and undivided family are synonymous: "A joint Hindu family consists of persons lineally descended from a common ancestor and includes their wives and unmarried daughters. The daughter, on marriage, ceases to be a member of her father's family and becomes a member of her husband’s family."

In 2016, a judgment of the Delhi High Court ruled that the eldest female member of a Hindu Undivided Family can be its "karta" (manager).[8]

Relationships[edit]

Different relationships are addressed via different names. The nature of relationship also varies. Relations can be of equivalence, mutual respect or teasing in nature.

In joint families in northern and central India between a bride or sister-in-law and her younger brother-in-law, a joking or teasing relationship is common, and the relationship towards an older brother-in-law is that of respectfulness.[9]

In a traditional joint Hindu family, there is a subservient relationship between the wives of the brothers: the patriarch's wife is addressed as "Badi Bhabhi (in Hindi)", meaning " eldest brother's wife." She is traditionally considered the mistress of the house and is in charge of running the household affairs and overseeing the servants (if any). The subsequent younger brothers' wives typically seek her advice and permission for any matters/decisions regarding the household and rearing of the children. In popular culture, Hindi dramas typically display these relationships as contentious, as the badi bhabhi frequently abuses her position of power.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Henry Orenstein and Michael Micklin. "The Hindu Joint Family: The Norms and the Numbers". Pacific Affairs 39 (3/4): 314–325. JSTOR 2754275. Autumn, 1966 
  2. ^ Talwar of HUF (Hindu Undivided Family). Taxpaisa.com http://taxpaisa.com/meaning-huf-hindu-undivided-family/. Retrieved June 29, 2014.  line feed character in |last1= at position 7 (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Talwar, Swati. "Meaning of HUF (Hindu Undivided Family)". Taxpaisa.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  4. ^ Henry Orenstein and Michael Micklin. "The Hindu Joint Family: The Norms and the Numbers". Pacific Affairs 39 (3/4): 314–325. JSTOR 2754275. Autumn, 1966 
  5. ^ Raghuvir Sinha (1993). Dynamics of Change in the Modern Hindu Family. South Asia Books. ISBN 978-81-7022-448-8. 
  6. ^ "Indian Families". Facts About India. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  7. ^ "Detailed Analysis of HUF with Hindu Succession Act 1956 and Income Tax Act 1961". TopCAfirms.com. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Woman can be ‘karta’of a family: Delhi high court". The Times of India. 
  9. ^ "Gender and Genre in the Folklore of Middle India - Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger". Books.google.com. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 

Further reading[edit]