An article has appeared in informing about spurt in the DNA tests to establish paternity in recent past which was perceived as threat to the social fabric.
The issue here is not of sex determination test but biological doubt and question the loyalty of mother.
Majority of the men are proud to be father ( particularly of a son ) for more than one reason like establishing manhood to continuation of the family name or simply getting an heir to perform last rituals and thereby ensuring a birth in heaven and many more reasons thrown in between. People are anxious and waiting for arrival of baby and with it title of FATHER.
Few generation back men would marry again and again till some wife bears a son. We dont talk about the keeps and children born out of wedlock. Even the paternity of bastards was never questioned till their mothers remained loyal to one man. . I had six grand fathers but twelve grand mothers. Luckily my grand father and one of his sibling gave us only one grand mother each. One can imagine how many times others must have married.
Even if one is denied biological son, adoptions were rampant. More complicated procedure would follow to find heir to the King who did not have his own one. One can easily remember the story of Baroda Prince Gayakwad from recent history.
Again denying of fatherhood is also nothing new. Many examples are found in scriptures, the famous being that of Sage Vishamitra and Menka. Why Vishamitra has suddenly become an example to follow in recent past ?
We can find the answer in the role family plays as balancing instrument between an animal level individual and a civilized society. One must note that the existance of civilization is prior to the concept of family. Those of our forefathers who lived in caves and collected food from trees had a semblance of civilization but not family. They lived in commune but still we find their painting and sketching skills. The family concept began developing from aggregarian civilization to agricultural civilization . When the wealth started accumulating in the form of land or the herds of animals or precious metals etc. Inheritance may the first reason going for the concept of family.
Even in Epic times we find examples of one lady like Kunti giving birth of a son from the sun and still considered as virgin! What a lady who kept the secret ( except from notorious Lord Krishna ) till in the middle of epic war of Mahabharat. The forefathers of her husband and her mothers in law were no different. Just recall the names like Matsyagandha, Amba, Ambika who fathered sons with names like Vichitravirya , Vidura and you have story of how strong family values were at that time. All of them including the Author Maharshi Vyasa belonged to same family and played very important roles in Mahabharat. Perhaps that was the time when the concept of family was just being introduced as go between a man and the society. Remember Lord Rama or Lord Krishna had no surnames but just a KUL name like Raghukul or Yadukul. (a concept difficult to translate into English ). No character in Ramayana or Mahabharata is recognized by surname. Just names. There were no Gupta , Maurya Kennedy or Gandhi then.
We have passed through the stages of Commune living to family living. We reduced from commune to KUL and from Kul to family with a surname. It needed a man to carry the family heritage. Even now the southern part of India with Maternal inheritance system dont worry about family name. We could have S. Radhakrishnan as first Vice President of India. The S in his name was neither of his father or his mother but to his village " Sarvapalli " That was enough for his recognition.
We have moved from large families to nucleous families and from nucleous family to live in relationship. Live in relations dont want children so question of being Proud or being in Doubt does not arise from them. It is Family status that makes a man to undergo miseries of doubt. It manifests in the from of DNA test or more horrible forms like Honor killing.
Are we right in calling ourselves as belonging to civilized society ?