Understanding Social Structure – India

Understanding Social structure

The Importance of Society

The society is an indispensable part of the human life which helps in moulding and developing an individual. A society enables the formation of social groups and shapes cultures. And most importantly, it brings people of different origins together. The society provides support to the individuals and provides an order of expected behaviour or code of conduct for its members. The quality of the society determines the quality of the members.

Features of Indian society

The Indian society is predominantly a Hindu society, whose origins can be traced as far as the ancient times. It is an open-minded society, which accepts diversity. The ancient Indian society was lauded by poets and writers as the richest and the most developed society. But it was completely destroyed with the commencement of the British Empire to India. As a result, today, about 70% of the Indian people live in villages. Illiteracy and ignorance among the people of India is another important feature of the social system in India. About 60% of the population continues to be illiterate in India. Illiteracy creates many social problems. It is characterized as a pluralistic society because it possesses complex social order. The caste system is a unique but ugly feature of the Indian society which discriminates people on the basis of their birth.

Social Institution of Indian society

· Family and marriage

For generations, India has a prevailing tradition of the joint family system. The oldest male member is the head in the joint Indian family system who makes all important decisions and rules. The Indians strongly believe in family relationships, unlike the western culture. Due to the high religiosity of the people, Indians believe that marriage is a divine and strong relationship and separation is a sin. Hence, divorces are less prevalent in India.

· Religion

Indians are mostly Hindus and are very religious. Hinduism is an open-minded religion and hence India has many other religions too. Religious tolerance is another salient feature of the Indian society.

· Economy

The Indian economy is in fact an agriculture-centred economy. However, recently it has experienced a shift from agriculture to fields like manufacturing and IT. It is a fast growing economy, with growth rate of about 7%. India has recently become a software giant in the IT field.

· Politics

India is the first democracy in the world. It is a country which grants freedom to its citizens in all respects. India has a multi-party govt. and currently is formed by the political party- BJP. The Indian laws are lenient and depend on various stages of discussions and deliberations.

Unity in Diversity

India is often adjudged as a country with the ideal ‘Unity in Diversity’. This is because the Indian society has large diversities on all grounds, be it religion, language, culture, caste, creed, and so on, but there is an element of pride and respect to the motherland-India which binds each of these groups together. Discrimination based on caste is a fact but it has reduced significantly as compared to earlier times.

Continuity and Change

Every society undergoes the natural process of change as the passage of time. The attraction to the western culture is a recent trend affecting the new Indian society. It is ignoring its traditional culture of living. The Indian society, especially the youth is losing the religiosity factor of the society. Yet the Indian family values and strong marital relationships are still preserved in its pristine form.

India was a country with a good social structure and is being polluted by some elements of negativity which has to be overcome. Hence, we should change and bring about the positive in us to make the country progress. As William Ellery Channing says-

“The great hope of society is in individual character”

Source by Noel Tom

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