Short essay on the recent Social Changes in India

Change in family structure:

The impact of modern social forces is evident in the change of family structure. Basically joint family system is prevalent in India in which the head of the family exercised absolute power over its members.

He distributes work among family members. It is thus authoritarian which encourages collectivism rather than individualism. But due to modern forces, joint family system disintegrating. It is now exhibiting characteristics of urban family. Family authority and family ties are now gradually weakening. Now there is a trend towards the development of nuclear family.

Change of caste system:

Impact of modern forces is also evident in the institution of caste. Modern means of communication, growth of competitive economy and expansion of western education have shattered the traditional structure of caste. Thus is a transfor­mation of rigid caste into modern mobile classes. Certain castes have attained the privileges of upper classes while certain castes are losing their previous status.

Besides, there is secularization for the selection occupation. This type of change has been revealed in ever)' aspect of social life. Among high castes there is a trend towards modernization while among low classes is a trend towards sanskritization.

Changes in the social stratification:

The original stratification of Indian society is based on the caste system which gives exclusive importance to with rather than individual achievements. Now birth is no longer a criterion of role allocation. It is gradually being replaced by the achievement system.

Due to the impact of modern forces Indian society is being transformed from feudal system to capitalist system. Therefore, the stratification based on class system is gradually emerging. The main cause for the geneses of new classes is based on the disintegration of caste control.

Increasing mobility:

In India caste system prevents the mobility of the people from one occupation to another. But the new class system has encouraged social mobility. Further, legal compulsion has also encouraged social mobility and social change.

According to Prof. S.C. Dubey, "An excellent example of social change by legal compulsion is provided by the abolition of untouchability by law in India. In a favourable social climate legislation can be a potent instrument of social change."

Changes in the marriage institution: In India, the institution of marriage has undergone a tremendous change. Formerly people used to observe endogamy as regards. The 'caste' and exogamy as regards the gotra'. But due to the impact of modern races, the endogamous restrictions are gradually declining. Among educated people, there are number of instances of the inter- caste marriage.