of the enduring and defining features of our social and cultural life for thousands of centuries is family. The sublime family values and the almost unbreakable aspect of family has contributed to the strength of Indian society and culture.
Every living and lively unit of family or the extended family be it father, mother, brother or sister, aunt or uncle has a living presence throughout our life and some of them, particularly father and mother, acquire an exalted and reverential position equal in importance to the divine figures in our religions.
They are so permanent and so profound in terms of their immeasurable contributions to build and sustain family that they are all the time there in our mind, memory and soul.
It stands in sharp contrast to the western world where family is disintegrating or rather has disintegrated and, therefore, in that culture a day is dedicated to remind them the role and relevance of father or mother or any other important person in the family.
May be because of advent and widespread use of information technology that a marketing strategy is adopted by many business stake holders to earmark a day for father, mother, brother or sister so that people would be actuated to use the technology to send all kinds of good wishes and eventually the business stake holders would profit out of it.
The western culture in spite of its many brighter sides falls short in terms of a weak family bond. Children in western families are not supposed to live in family after they attain 17 or 18 years.
Fathers and mothers in that culture do not know what the children do after that age as much as parents in Indian society or eastern culture do about their children.
So in our life the presence of our parents is so deep and pervasive that we revere them and celebrate their presence till they are physically with us and even after they are no more physically with us.
With such permanent presence of theirs in every aspect of life how can we just remember specially on a day? It is a continuous and enduring aspect of our life.
In Indian cultural and spiritual ethos where the depth and content of relationships are so integral to our day to day life we celebrate such relationship every day.
In western culture father or mother or for that matter brother or sister are considered as a distant aspects of life after certain age.
I asked a Facebook friend Sydney Smith as to what her brother is doing. And the answer was "I do not know". Can we say that? We know at every stage of life what all our brothers and sisters are doing.
I am not romanticising our culture which has got many other unacceptable aspects. But in terms of family values we are probably one of the best in the world. And in such a family the father or mother is integral to our consciousness all the time beyond a particular day.
# Mr Satya Narayan Sahu was OSD and Press Secretary to the late President of India Shri K.R. Narayanan and served as Director in the Prime Minister's Office. He is currently Joint Secretary in the Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The views expressed by him are personal and not that of Rajya Sabha Secretariat.