Read the news item here: 'Nuclear families lead to rise in HIV/AIDS'. And please do not miss the Comments section.
So, Karnataka's honorable Medical Education Minister raises the following very poignant reasons, which he attributes to the increase in the number of HIV infected people. Please note that he imparted these pearls of wisdom as part of a literacy campaign.
1. "Living in a joint family eradicates the possibility of extra marital affairs."
Ofcourse, AIDS is caused not because of exchange of bodily fluids such as in the case of blood transfusions, use of contaminated needles, sexual intercourse, and breastfeeding. It is caused by extra marital affairs.
Second, only spouses in nuclear families are tempted to "look outside" because they do not have elders watching over them.
2. "Reading of the Ramayana will help in eradicating HIV/AIDS."
The Ramayana teaches us to be loyal, apparently. Take the example of Lord Rama. He had only one wife, Sita, who he abandoned during her pregnancy for fear of public rumor on her chastity. That is the kind of an ideal husband a woman looks for, and a man should strive to be. And then, there will be no extra marital affairs and hence no AIDS.
I am slightly confused, if I read the Ramayana, do I still need to be in a joint family, under the watchful eyes of the elders? Maybe, his honorable minster will condescend to clarify in his next address.
In principle, I am not against the joint family system. It is a matter of convenience. If you get along and the arrangement is convenient for all parties involved; why not? If it causes constant friction and anxiety to any one involved; why?
As for the Ramayana, I do have a lot of issues with the text (which you can read in my post here), but that is also not the issue here.
What concerns me about these remarks is that if the Medical Education Minister does not understand a diseases, it's medical causes, how on earth will he be able to educate or even launch educational and medical campaigns in an effort to spread awareness and promote treatment. With one speech, he has undermined the efforts of all the AIDS campaigns and NGOs who work tirelessly to remove the social stigma attached to the disease.