The family can be nuclear or joint, male-headed or female-headed. The lineage can be matrilineal or Patrilineal. This is the structure of the family which is basically related to the other structures of the society such as political, economic and cultural. This happens due to the migration of the male member of the family in search of the job like from Himalayan villages left the family with being headed by the female member of the family or sometimes working couples wanted the other elder members of their families to come and stay so that they can take care of the children.
Matriarchy is a theoretical concept rather than an experimental one. Also, there is no historical or anthropological example of matriarchy where women dominated the family but matrilineal families do exist where women inherited the property from their mothers but didn’t exercised authority or became the decision-maker of the family.
The various structural tensions faced by men and women in matriarchal societies are as follows:
• In different societies, different forms of family are found. In terms of residence, there are societies which are matrilocal, i.e., it is a custom of marriage where the husband stay in the wife’s community rather than his while there are some societies which are patrilocal where after marriage couple settles at husband’s home or community.
• In terms of inheritance, there are two types of societies – Matrilineal – in this type of society property is transferred from mother to daughter; Patrilineal – in this type of society property is transferred from father to son.
• In a Patriarchal family, the male who is the eldest member of the family or who take care of the expenses of the home, exercise authority and dominance; whereas in the matriarchal family, women dominate the family and exercise authority.
The example of Khasi Matriliny clears the difference between the matriliny and matriarchy. Today it shows the structural tensions faced by men and women in Khasi society today. In 1986, the Meghalaya Succession Act was received president’s consent which was mainly applied to the Khasi and Jaintia tribe of Meghalaya. The men had this feeling that this society is biased towards female and also too strict. Such examples clearly define the gender relation and gender roles that was common.
‘Tribe’ is referred to the communities which are old, ancient, and includes the oldest inhabitants of the sub-continent. They didn’t follow any religion that is written, didn’t have any political body or state, no class divisions and no caste system.
The various factors behind the assertion of tribal identities today are as follows:
• Tribal communities are forced to get absorbed into the mainstream processes that affected the tribal culture, society and also its economy. Through the interactive processes, tribal identities are formed today rather on the basis of ancient characteristics which is unusual for the tribes.
• It has been forced incorporation of the tribes into the mainstream culture which remained unfavourable for them. It is because of tribal identities today are associated with the idea of resistance and opposed to the world of non-tribal people.
• After the achievement of the statehood for Jharkhand and Chattisgarh, it is facing a lot of problems. For example – the people of the North-East states are still under the restriction of the special laws that limited the civil liberties of the citizens. The states like Manipur and Nagaland are declared as ‘disturbed areas’ because of which the people didn’t have the same rights as other citizens of India. The continuous rebel against the state led to the loss in terms of economy, culture and society of North-Eastern states. Also, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh still have to make use of their identity of being statehood and have to create the autonomous political system otherwise they tribals are still powerless under these democratic structures.
• Another factor is the increase in the number of educated middle-class people in the tribal communities. They are now visible in the rest of the countries as well.
• The policy of reservation helped to create an educated urbanised professional class.
• As there is a creation of class and division within the tribal societies, this is causing different base for the assertion of tribal identities today.
Due to the rise of the middle-class section within the tribal community, the issue of culture, tradition, livelihood, control over land and resources and the demand of the share from the benefits of the project of modernity became an integral part for the tribal identity today. The middle class has emerged as a result of modern education and modern occupation.
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