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Mains Marathon

  • 08 Aug 2022 GS Paper 1 Indian Society

    Day 29: Discuss how technology, economy and politics brought changes in Indian society? (150 Words)

    Approach
    • Introduce the concept of social change and the forces of social change.
    • Discuss the social changes (positive and negative) by factors like technology, economy and politics.
    • Conclude suitably.

    Answer:

    Social changes are the changes which alter the underlying structure of an object or situation over a period of time.

    Change has to be both intrusive and extrusive and have a big impact spread over a large sector of society in order to qualify as social change.

    Ex. Abolition of sati System or Eradication of Devadasi system.

    There are several internal (force of change from society itself) and external (force of change from outside the society) factors that brought changes in Indian society.

    Number of technological, economic and political forces/factors brought changes in Indian society.

    Technology has influenced humans’ life to a great extent and has changed the notion from determinism to possibilism in terms of humans’ activity with nature and human society.

    Technology brought various social changes in society like:

    • The emergence of large coal powered ships with large marine transport capacity revolutionaries the trade between the societies and increases the demand for more production and consumption of the goods.
    • This spirit of greater trade brought concepts like mercantilism and capitalism and eventually resulted in colonialism which transformed the colonial societies in irreversible ways.
    • The technique of using fire and steam power brought the industrial revolution in European nations and later transformed the whole gamut of society.
    • The technology of today has transformed most of the things ranging from wars, transport to communication. And this leads to changes in the division of labour both in the family and society. Ex. It is no wonder that women’s crew are commanding a warship with tones of armament or men serving as a cook in the home, restaurant and hotels.
    • Take the example of social media, today it not only revolutionaries the way of communication, knowledge decentralisation but also brings more democratisation in the society because of its egalitarian nature and unrestricted liberty of communicating.

    Like technological improvement, the economy also changed society in number of ways like:

    • We travelled from past’s barter system to today’s crypto world and this revolutionary transformation not only has changed the economic world in terms of financial transactions and monetary management but also brought the changes in society like decentralisation money storage, egalitarianism in economic sphere which challenged the traditional institutions of India Society like Zamindars, jewelers, money lenders up to great extent.
    • The evolution of fordism in industrial production of modern economy challenged the system of caste-based division of labour agrarian and traditional Indian society due to recognition of skills and meritocracy of the corporate world.
    • At the family level in Indian society both the notion of patriarchy and granted status of male as breadwinner is challenged by the women’s participation in the labour force due to the changed economic globe and emergence of economic sectors like tertiary, quaternary and quinary.
    • Economic development has changed every sector of the economy ranging from agriculture Like food to cash crop, forest to plantation etc. which changed the rural economy in great ways. Ex. Emergence of Milk cooperatives in India led to economisation of cattles, milk in varied ways and created a new domain of rural-agri-economy. It provided proportionally equal value of Agri goods in both rural and urban areas.

    It is evident that both the contribution of the technological and the economic force is immense in changing the Indian Society. Let’s examine the role of political force in bringing changes in Indian society.

    • The reform in the religious practices like triple talaq, sati system and devadasi system are brought by the political force in India. It not only changed the contestation among the generations but also ended the suppressive institutions from society and brought great changes at the family level.
    • The emergence of the Panchayati raj institution due to political force brought direct liberal democracy in the Indian rural areas and challenged the caste based and hereditary power system of the Indian rural elites. It not only provided equal value to everyone but also provided equity in power enjoyment by affirmative actions in favor of SCs, STs and women. Its negative effect is that it changed the power concentration from the basis of caste hierarchy to the basis of dominant castes like Yadav in U.P., B.H. and Reddy in Andhra. etc.
    • Political forces like wars also brought changes to societies like:
      • The USA’s occupation of Japan had brought the liberal democracy in Japan and enabled it to become a great industrial power as well.
      • During World War 2 the women were forced to join the army, run industries and work with heavy machinery. Although it was forced, it led to raise the voices of women in European society for equal rights, representation and claim over the resources which eventually brought a momentum in all and every society.

    Today’s society is like a mosaic of different threads of varied colours. The change in either the thread of mosaic or the colour of the thread brought changes in the complete fabric of society sooner or later. So, here the economy, technology and politics are like the thread of society and all have a great potential to bring change in the social order of society as a whole.

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