UPSC SOCIOLOGY Syllabus – Paper 2 – Chapter 1 – Introducing Indian Society
(a) Indology (GS. Ghurye).
(b) Structural functionalism (M N Srinivas).
(c) Marxist sociology ( A R Desai).
- A R Desai was a pioneer of the use of Marxist perspective in Indian society.
- His most important work is “Social background of Indian nationalism”.
- He used dialectical historical approach in understanding Indian society.
- He used field view.
- Gave lower importance to culture and religion in understanding the tradition of Indian society.
- He traced the traditions in terms of material traditions.
- He also conducted village studies.
VIEWS ON STATE
- Studied it from a Marxist perspective.
- Questioned the notion of welfare state for its many shortcomings.
- According to him, welfare States have not been able to remove poverty, reduce income gaps, eliminate social discrimination, check the capitalist greed and provide employment for all.
VIEWS ON INDIAN SOCIETY
- He understood the Indian society in terms of process of historical development in terms of dialectical materialist basis.
- Indian society and its traditions are seen as influenced by economic infrastructure.
- He highlights the failure of planned growth in India.
- His main focus areas was state, nationalism, village, peasant struggles, caste, etc.
- British rule destroyed the pre-capitalist forms of production relations and introduced modern capitalist property relations.
- She was anti-bureaucratic and anti-imperialist.
VIEWS ON VILLAGES
- Villages in India history want to watch before pre-British era.
- It was a relatively self-sufficient unit in economic relations.
- Relations within the village were feudal in nature.
- Jajmani system was exploitative in nature.
- Land revenue system of the British lead to formation of new classes and a capitalist mode of production was introduced in India.
VIEWS ON NATIONALISM
- Nationalism as a result of materialistic conditions created by the British.
- Old feudal mode of production was replaced by the new mode and new class structures lead to exploitation and oppression.
- Exploitation led to unification in society.
- New means of communication like railways, press and post office brought people together.
- Thus unification of Indian society led to nationalism.
- Refused to accept an alternative reality beyond the one visible through the Marxist lens.
- Many of his propositions are not backed by empirical evidences.
- He downplayed the value of culture and religion in Indian society.