The D.I.N.K Syndrome

The advent of globalization, the spurious growth of the outsourcing sector and the incoming liberalization, apart from affecting all our trade policies and our economic structure, have affected yet another Indian policy – the great and ever-growing Indian family. Children, who were once seen as signs of prosperity and well-being of a family in general and a couple in particular, are today considered a major responsibility, and that too an added one. The 20-something young guns of India are busy earning money and shaping their career, they have time neither for family, nor for its planning. The “Marriage? Yes! Kids? Of course… within a year!” thinking is no more alive; it has been replaced by “Marriage? Ermm… OK, Kids? No way.. Not now at least!” policy.


Individual independence has finally come off age in India. The focus of the youth today is not on matrimonial commitment, but on financial settlement. They aren’t adolescent youngsters anymore; they are well-informed independent citizens of the country, who believe in making the most of everything. In the fast paced life of 21st century, family has taken a backseat. Job, income, career, lifestyle have become the topmost priority. Since the last decade, the youth has become greatly empowered in terms of access to education, job opportunities, exposure to different lifestyles and trends, and financial independence. An example of this change is the D.I.N.K syndrome. The “Double Income No Kids” syndrome is not a thing of the future, it is the contemporary reality.


With the supersonic growth of private sector and the gigantic leap taken by the IT industry in the last few years, there has been a plethora of options to choose from. Competition attains a new peak everyday, boosting the socio-economic status to new heights. Such development and the wide variety of choices has raised not just the ambitions, but also the hard work accounted for it. In trying to reach the pinnacle of success, it is the subject of family that becomes subjacent. Not that it is completely neglected, but yes, post-marriage, beginning a family is not one of the immediate goals. The young generation is aware of all the responsibilities associated with the genesis of a new life, and they are not willing to take them up unless and until they are ready for them. They are prepared for late marriage and/or late childbirth, but they do not want to compromise on their aspirations.


Here, it is important to note that they are not defying the societal norms, they are only deferring the usually followed customs for a certain period of time. A few decades ago, the ideal family consisted of parents and two children within five years of marriage. This, however, is not the case these days. Now a majority of the married couples are more focused towards achieving their economic and material goals, and beginning a family has taken a backseat. Today nobody wants to follow this practice of being a parent soon after settling into the wedlock, they want time for themselves and their careers, especially the girls. Empowered with education and information, a modern woman knows exactly what she wants, and the decisions of how and when automatically follow. She wants to contribute to her husband’s household not only in domestic ways, but also financially. More importantly, she does not want her caliber to go waste; and this is how the situation of double income arises. Both partners work, both of them earn, both of them are independent and are happy with each other and content with their married life.


This behaviour, however, becomes very alarming for the family members of the couple(s). The conception of a new inner family becomes menial for the couple; much to the criticism of their family. The reason behind this is simple; the development of country’s economy, coupled with generation gap. However, this little problem can be solved if both the parties reach a common decision and accept it heartily. It is important to understand that the young ones need their independence, their space and their own time to take on their responsibilities, and once they are ready, they will not shy away from transforming their family status to “Hum Do Hamara Ek” and the likes.


The D.I.N.K syndrome is nothing to be averse of, it is the modern truth; and as long as it doesn’t let the family life suffer for long, there’s no harm in letting the newly-weds build a shelter for the generation to come, even before they decide to move in it and bring a new being into this world.


Nidhi Gurnani

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