What is the Importance of Anthropology in Modern India?

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After the independence of the country, the study of social anthropology has gradually been on the increase in the Indian universities. It has many practical advantages, some of which are given below:

1. as a remedy for ethnocentrism:

According to Dr. M. N. Srinivas social anthropology removes ethnocentrism through a comparative study of different civilised and primitive societies.

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2. Scientific viewpoint towards social problems:

Social anthropology helps in comparative study of social reactions in different societies and of different events in one and the same society. It removes partiality in social problems and other preconceptions and imparts scientific viewpoint.

3. Help in solving problems:

It is clear that social anthropology will also prove helpful in solving social problems. For example, social anthropology can help in solving the problems arising from the relation between man and woman. As Raymond Firth has said that social anthropology aims at a reasoned comparative analysis of how people behave in social circumstances.

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4. Help in understanding the primitive societies:

As laid down in EncyclopediaBrittannica”Social anthropology is one of the social sciences engaged in the comparative study of human societies.” This comparative study is of special advantage in understanding primitive societies and in evaluating their institutions, art and literature, etc.

This knowledge can be of great help to us in understanding the problems of primitive societies and solutions, according to their cultural ideology, can be easily obtained.

5. As a remedy against all kinds of social prejudices:

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Social anthropology helps in removing all sorts of social prejudices. It removes prejudiced attitude of civilised society towards a primitive society and that of an individual of one society towards an individual of another society, because a comparative study of anthropology helps in understanding the difference caused among different cultures in relation to their institutions, customs and traditions, etc.

It goes to form an advanced and a liberal attitude towards domestic, economic and political institutions. It also removes vanity in relation to language.

The above mentioned discussion about the importance of social anthropology clearly proves the importance of its study in modern India. Modern India is a progressive country. Along with the progress of civilised people in India, attention has to be paid to the progress of primitive tribes. The study of social anthropology is very helpful in that respect.

It will help the workers in tribal areas in understanding the life, culture and society of the tribes and enable them to solve their problems. In the same manner, social anthropology will be helpful in understanding and solving the problems of civilised society. It will also help in ending the great struggle and animosity going on in India today on the question of language as well as in expanding the scientific outlook regarding the language question.

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To be brief, the study of social anthropology will be helpful in removing the various prejudices and in evolving a liberal and scientific viewpoint in all the social, cultural, economic and political fields in modern India.

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