Distinct features of indian society

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India-South Asian Adventure!:

India-South Asian Adventure! “Unity through diversity” is the theme of the approximately one billion people that live in a country that is so big, it’s called a subcontinent !

India’s People:

India’s People


FEATURES OF INDIAN SOCIETY Features of Indian Society include two ways- Major Features of Rural Society Major Features of urban Society

Major Features of Rural Society :

Major Features of Rural Society Among the earliest human groups, gathering was the main source of food. Gradually man acquired the skill and knowledge in agriculture. With the development of agriculture, people began to lead a settled life and human communities became more stationary. The emergence of village signified that man has passed from nomadic mode of collective life to the settled one. India is a land of villages. A great majority of villages are small with only around five hundred population each. Mahatma Gandhi’s view that India lives in villages still holds good, at least from the demographic point of view.


The village social life has its own peculiar characteristics. The village social life norms strengthen the authoritarian and hierarchical norms in administration. The village social life, which is based on the hierarchical exchange relations greatly influence the behavior of civil servants in public organizations. Sociologists think that for defining an Indian village, its population, physical structure, and modes of production are definitely important. Usually, a village has less than five thousand individuals. It is rightly said ‘India is a country of villages’. Agriculture is the main occupation of the Indians and majority of people in India live in the villages. Our villages help in strengthening our social bonds and bringing stability to our society in many ways. Our villages also help our society in another way namely that of preserving our culture. The Indian rural society has undergone considerable change in the recent past, particularly since the Independence as a result of a series of the land reform legislations that have accelerated the pace of this change. India has a rich cultural heritage and is a land of diversities. The diversity in social life is reflected in multi-social, multi-lingual, multi- religious and multi-caste nature of the society. The important features of the Indian social structure are- predominant rural habitation in small villages; multi-religious and multi-caste social identities and important role of family in the social life. In recent years, the communal organisations have become very active in social life resulting in communal clashes in different parts of the country. The villages form the units of the Rural Society. These rural societies have their own structure. The structure formed out of the following units:- 1) Family 2) Caste System 3) Internal Organisation 4) Religion 5) Economic System .

Major Features of URBAN Society:

Major Features of URBAN Society The village is the oldest permanent community of man. All early communities were basically rural in character. Bogardus says, “Human society has been cradled in the rural group”. The rural community is simply means a community that consists of people living in a limited physical area and who have common interests and common ways of satisfying them. Each society consists of different parts, such as individuals, groups, institutions, associations, and communities. The simplest analogy one can think of at this point is that of an organism that has different components working together as a whole. Society is a system like any other system, such as the solar system. According to A.W. Green, “A rural community is a cluster of people living within a narrow territorial radius who share a common way of life”.


The major features of rural society are given below: 1. Small size of village community, 2. Intimate relations, 3. Jajmani System, 4. Isolation, 5. Social homogeneity, 6. Informal Social Control, 7. Dominance of Joint Family, 8. Status of Rural Women, 9. Occupation, 10. Role of neighborhood, 11. Faith in religion, 12. Self Sufficiency, 13. Widespread caste system, 14. Simplicity, 15. Feelings, 16. Fellow feelings, 17. Conservatism, 18. Observance of moral norms, 19. Poverty, 20. Illiteracy, 21. Desire for Independence, 22. Dominance of primary relations, 23. Social Homogeneity, 24. Occupations, 25. Preservers of the Ancient culture of the society, 26. Legal Self Government, 27. Change in the Villages. In our social set-up an Indian village plays not only a prominent but also a predominant role because about 87% of our total population resides in villages. In the primitive village community there are two peculiar features first, the part played by kinship and seconds its collectivist basis. The bond of kinship and close ties of the inhabitants with the land developed a high sense of community feeling in the primitive village community. The nature of urban society as represented in thoughts of urban theorists of modern city greatly has contrasting indifferences in their views. Every place has its distinctive urban characteristic determined by variables as mix of power, space, market and cultural practices. As a result of development in science and technology, there has been industrial development. Due to industrial development there is urbanization as a result of which urban societies created. Every country has its own urban society. Every village possesses some elements of the city while every city carries some feature of the villages. Different criteria are used to decide a community as urban. Some of them are, for example, population, legal limits, types of occupations, social organizations. The city in the words of Louis wirth refers to “a relatively large, dense and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals.”


FORMS OF DIVERSITY IN INDIA Unity implies oneness or a sense of we-ness, it holds tightly together the various relationships of ethnic groups or institutions in a dovetailed manner through the bonds of contrived structures, norms and values. The sources of diversity in India may be traced through a variety of ways, the most obvious being the ethnic origins, religions, castes, tribes, languages, social customs, cultural and sub cultural beliefs, political philosophies and ideologies, geographical variations etc.






RELIGIOUS INFFLUENCE IN INDIA The overwhelming impact of Hinduism on the Indian minds can be considered as the single most important unifying factor. India is a land of diverse religious faiths. But the influence of Hinduism easily transcends that of any other religion. It is mainly due to the all-comprehensive and all-embracing pervasiveness of Hinduism. Like Christianity in Europe, Hinduism in India has provided an attitude and way of thinking, which is shared and cherished even by the people of other religions. Religious concepts like monotheism, immortality of the soul, re-incarnation, karma, nirvana, moksha etc. inspire people all over the country. Religious rites and rituals have uniformity throughout the country. Sages and saints, religious preachers and the pilgrims have never differentiated between the north and south. If Shankaracharya carried the message from the south to the north, Buddhism and Jainism spread from the north to the south. Chitanya , Kabir and Nanak formed the connecting link among various regions of the country.

Family in Indian Society:

Family in Indian Society The family is the basic unit of society. It is the first and the most immediate social environment to which a child is exposed. It is in the family a child learns language, the behavioral Patterns and social norms in his childhood. In some way or the other the family is a universal group. It exists in tribal, rural and urban communities and among the followers of all religious and cultures. It provides the most enduring relationship in one form or other. From the moment of birth to the moment of death the family exerts a constant influence. In spite of the universal and permanent nature of the family one can also see vast difference in its structure in different societies. In tribal and agrarian societies people of several generations live together. These societies have large and ‘joint families’. In the industrial society the family is limited to husband, wife and their children. Sociologist calls it a ‘nuclear family’. The family is formed with number of members. These members live together. They have a home. They have definite purposes in living together. In this sense the family in a group. There is certain rules and procedures at the roots of the family. In this sense the family in an institution.


RELIGIONS , CASTE AND CLASS IN INDIA There are two main forms of social stratification-caste and class. Both are the agencies of social mobility and selection. They decide largely the position that a man occupies in society. The range of one's social contracts is almost fixed by one's status in society. Caste is associated above all the cultures of the Indian subcontinent. The term ‘Caste’ itself is not an Indian one, coming from the Portuguese ‘Caste’ meaning, ‘race’ or ‘pure stock’. Indians themselves have no single term for describing the caste system as a whole but a variety of words referring to different aspects of it, the two main ones being varna and Jati . The Varna consists of four categories, each ranked differently in terms of social honour . Below these four groupings are the 'untouchables', those in the lowest position of all. The Jati are locally defined groups within which the caste ranks are organized. The caste system is extremely elaborate and varies in its structure from area to area-so much so that it does not really constitute one 'system' at all, but a loosely connected diversity of varying beliefs and practices. But certain principles are widely shared. Those in the highest vama , the Brahmins, represent the most elevated condition of purity, the untouchables the lowest. The Brahmins must avoid certain types of contact with the untouchables,


CHARACTERISTICS OF CASTE SYSTEM 1. Caste is Innate 2. Restriction on Food Habits 3. Caste is Endogamous 4. Hierarchical Social Structure 5. Occupation is Fixed 6.Increase in the Organisational Power of Caste 7. Political Role of Caste 8. Protection for Scheduled Castes and other Backward C lasses


CAUSES OF MODERNISATION 1. Education 2.Mass Communication 3. Ideology Based on Nationalism 4. Charismatic Leadership 5. Coercive Governmental Authority 6. Urbanisation and Industrialisation 7. Universal Legal System

Religions and indian society :

Religions and indian society History of mankind proved that man is not only a social animal but also a spiritual being. From time immemorial religion is a major concern of human thought. Religion is one of the oldest universal permanent and perennial interests of man. Beside Biological economic and social needs man has religious needs. He has religious quest which makes him to become restless even beyond the satisfaction of his basic physical needs. It is worth to note the Biblical saying “Man cannot live by bread alone”. It is also that man from the earliest times has been “incurably religious”.


SECULARISM IN INDIA We will begin with an attempting to understand the meaning of secularism. In the west, secularism was part of a whole range of new ideas and institutions that marked the end of the feudal order and the emergence of a sovereign modem nation-state with new forms of economic organisation . It is clearly western, and more specifically Christian origin, need not however limit its application to other cultures. Modem western secularism was the consequence of the search for a way out of religious wars (often between Christians of various persuasions) and the need to separate the domain of the state from that of the Church. Secularism has become essential for modem democratic nation-states to ensure a strong sense of identification with the polity based on a common sense of identity, where being a citizen takes precedence over all other identities like family, race, class and religion. The word secularism was coined by George Jacob Holyoak e in the middle of the nineteenth century based on the Latin word seculum .


CONSTITUTION AND SECULARISM The practice of secularism in India is often denounced on the grounds that, a strict separation of the religious and non-religious practices is not possible. However, instead of arguing for such an untenable position, it might be better to define secularism as the separation of some religious and non-religious institutions as Rajeev Bhargava does. In his discussion on Indian secularism he argues that while an overall commitment to the principles of social- democracy guided the Indian Constitution makers to the adoption of the principles of secularism, the immediate context of deteriorating Hindu-Muslim relations and the Partition were the major factors that influenced our adoption of secular principles.

The History of Constitution of India:

The History of Constitution of India ) The Edicts of Ashoka (324 BC - 185 BC ) established constitutional principles for the 3rd century BC Maurya king's rule in Ancient India. The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka , as well as boulders and cave walls, made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty .


THE FRAMING OF CONSTITUTION OF INDIA The Constituent Assembly of India was elected to write the Constitution of India. Following India's independence from Great Britain, its members served as the nation's first Parliament. This body was formed in 1946 for the purpose of making independent India's constitution. The assembly passed a resolution in 1947 January defining the objectives of the constitution :- To set up a Union of India comprising British India and the princely states. To set up a federal form of government with separate state and central governments. To set up a democracy in which all power is derived from the people: I) where all people are guaranteed justice , equality and freedom; II) where minorities, depressed classes and the tribal's rights are protected;

The Preamble to Constitution of India:

The Preamble to Constitution of India


Made By- Anurag Verma



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