Social Changes in India
Social Changes in India: All change is not progress, India has changed a lot in the last sixty years and it continues to change even today. But what is the direction of change? What is the logic of change? Who is being benefitted by this change? Violence, despite determined declarations, continues abated.
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Social Changes in IndiaCommunalism is on the upsurge. Poverty and unemployment despite the reassuring promises of the early Congress Government, National Front Government, Janta (S) Government and once again of present Congress Government continue to increase.
Atrocities against women, Harijans, and weaker sections are not on the decline.
Youth are becoming more and more frustrated and taking to agitations.
Politics has been-criminalized. Secessionism has been curbed but terrorism is becoming more and more strident, raucous. Corruption has not been curbed. It exists with different labels, Peasants, industrial workers and government employees are in distress.
Social values are fast deteriorating. More and more people are becoming the victims of mental illness. Crime, delinquency, drug abuse, and alcoholism are an increase. The country is facing innumerable social problems It is time to analyze and understand the nature and magnitude of these social problems.
It is time that social scientists try to use a theoretical perspective in their evaluation of these problems. It is a tune that the planners and power elites think of suitable remedial measures to streamline the existing sub-systems, structures, institutors and laws to contain them.
Social Changes in India: the democracy of status quo and non-planning may lure into a democracy of death and destruction. A humble attempt has been made to examine the current social problems in India with a sociological perspective.
Most of the chapters are based on the data collected through empirical studies Besides, the analysts are also based on the thinking and research of several scholars and academic professionals. Obviously, it is not possible to acknowledge individually every social thinker.
Social Problems: Concept and Approaches
Drug abuse, alcoholism, terrorism, poverty, unemployment, and crime, are not individual problems but affect the public at large. Individual problem is one which affects one individual or one group. Its resolution lies within the immediate milieu of the individual group. Against this, a public issue is one which affects the society as a whole or the larger structure of social life. The sociologists* aim is to understand how these problems crop up the functioning of different social structures, to study the operation of varied patterns of interrelationships in the society and how people are affected by them, and observe how social systems need to be reorganized and restructured in dealing with them. Relating theory to practice provides a scientific perspective to treat the problem.
The Concept of Social Problems
A social problem has been defined as a “deviation from the social ideal remediable by group effort (Walsh and Furfey, 1961:1). Two elements are important in this definition :
(i) a situation which is less than ideal, that is, which is undesirable or abnormal, and (ii) one which is remediable by collective effort Though it is not easy to determine which situation is ideal and which is not, and there is no definite standard which could be used to judge it, yet it is clear that a social ideal is not something arbitrary and the term 'social problem' is applied only to that 'issue' which social ethics (which describes human conduct as right and wrong in group relations), and society (which is concerned with the promotion of common good or the welfare of its member and the preservation of public order) consider as unfavorable.
Characteristics of Social Problems
On the basis of the definitions, we can identify the following characteristics of social problems:
* All social problems are deviations from the ‘ideal’ situation.
* All social problems have some common basis of origin.
* All social problems are social in origin.
* All social problems are interconnected.
* All social problems are social in their results, that is, they affect all sections of society.
* The responsibility for social problems is social, that is, they require a collective approach for their solution.
Social Problems and Social Changes in India
Societies often face problems because of social and cultural changes. Social change is change in the patterned roles models, or a huge or small change in the network of social relations, or a change in the structures and organization of a society. Social change is never complete, it is always partial. It can be minor or fundamental. Further, the change may be spontaneous or planned Planned change is to achieve some set definite collective ideals or goals. After Independence, India also had set some certain collective goals to achieve them.
Some of the important Social Changes in India that we find in our society in the last six decades are change from tradition to modernity in certain values and institutions, from an ascribed status to an achieved status, from predominance of primary groups to predominance of secondary groups, from informal means of control to formal means of control, from collectivity to individualism, from sacred profane values to secular values, from folklore to modern science and rationalism, from homogeneity to heterogeneity, and increasing processes of industrialization and urbanization, increasing awareness of rights among various sections of society due to the sparkle of education, weakening of the caste system takes place, weakening of traditional sources of security takes place in social life, an increase in the aspirations of minority groups, occupational mobility as a social change, enactment of several social laws, and linking religion with politics.
Thus, though India have achieved not only a set of goal but a verity of collective goals, many contradictions have also set into our system. For example, aspirations of the people have become high but the legitimate means for achieving these aspirations are either not available or not accessible.
We preach nationalism idealism but practice linguism, casteism, and parochialism Many laws have been enacted but either these laws are full of loopholes or they are not properly implemented. We talk of egalitarian Society but we enforce discrimination among them. We aspire for ideational culture but what is emerging is the sensate culture.
All of these contradictions have increased a vast discontentment and huge frustrations among people which in turn have resulted in many social problems. Youth unrest, tribal unrest, peasant unrest, industrial unrest, student unrest, violence against women, and so forth, have all led to agitations, nots, insurgency and terrorism.
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[NCERT] Social Change in India XII (Old Edition)