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Essay on “The Concept of Modernisation in Indian Society” Complete Essay for Class 9, Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

The Concept of Modernisation in Indian Society

Outlines : The modernisation of a country implies the modernisation of both its material and spiritual civilisations. It is not only economic but also social, not only quantitative but also qualitative. No country is truly modernised until all its productive and social capacities have attained the highest existing world standard. Have we, in India, attained this world standard? The answer is an emphatic ‘No’.

Today’s concept of modernisation takes informatisation as its standard—a standard that aims at a high-level exploitation and use of sophisticated information resources, not only for science and technology applications but for every branch of the economy and society. Problems start when an aerarian society skins the intervening phase of industrialisation and tries to jump straight into the Information Age.

While giving more and more concessions to the peddlers of communication technology, a thought should be spared for the villagers to whom the communication technology is a messiah. With almost 35 per cent of Indians belonging to the extremely poor category, resources should be diverted to make their lot better, rather than increasing the division between the haves and have-nots.

Freedom of information, and more specifically, the right to seek, receive and impart information, is a fundamental human right; indeed, a pre-requisite for many others. Imbalances in national in-formation and communication systems are as disturbing and un-acceptable as social, economic, cultural and technological disparities. On an elementary level, take students. The rich amongst them can have access to all the information they need by going on-line with their personal computers. But what about the poor student who lives in a one room tenement shared by the whole family? Is it fair to grade their work on par with that produced by better-placed classmates?

The decision-making process for the adoption of these technologies has to involve social participation at all levels. This calls for new attitudes for overcoming stereotyped thinking and to promote more understanding of diversity and plurality, with full respect for the dignity and equality of people living in different conditions.

Communication can be an instrument of power, a revolutionary weapon, a commercial product or a means of education. It can serve the ends of either liberation or of oppression, of either the growth of the individual personality or of drilling human beings into uniformity.

In the coming communication fission, institutions like schools, libraries and cinema houses may disintegrate and a paradoxical

human being, called individualized individual, may emerge. Instead of being wedded to old values in terms of his approach to human relationships, family ties, religious beliefs and rituals, the modern Indian may eventually be chained to a stage of wirelessness. With the machine taking over, everything will be hitched. Being on line would bring offices into homes; laptops and video games would steal away the sweetness of fairy tales, the touch of the keyboard would make you forget the touch of your family. The East, based on a different set of values, is not yet completely capable of a cold profit and loss, cost and benefit analysis of the communication revolution.

The efficiency with which BBC and other networks operate, largely depends on the telecom infrastructure. The question technologists need to address is : Can the Indian telephone system be relied upon when it can’t even provide a clear voice line? The bigger threat is posed by the complicated fee structure and fixed tariffs imposed by DOT on vendors of value added services, to the tune of Rs. 50 lakh by the fifth year of operation. These will have to be relaxed if on line services are to survive.

It is crucial to devise policy instruments at the national level, in order to evaluate the positive and negative social implications of the introduction of powerful new communication technologies. The preparation of technological impact surveys can be a useful tool to assess the consequences for life styles, relevant for under-privileged sectors of society, cultural influence, effects on employment patterns and similar factors. This is particularly important when making choices with respect to the development of communication infrastructures. For a developing country like India, which is still only partly industrialised, whatever steps are taken should be from the perspective of social upliftment. Our greatest resource is our manpower. Induction of technology has to be related to it.

The notion of progress is abstract in the sense that it can mean differently for different social classes. This creates the greatest paradoxes of the problem of social development. The state control- led development formulae have different intensities for different social classes. The progress of one may be retrogressive for the other. The road to modernisation for most states, therefore, results in the marginalisation of the majority of social classes.

Over the last few years the fall in the commodity prices, in-creasing debt burden and the ensuing structural adjustment programmes have reduced the real incomes of approximately 800 million people in some 40 developing nations. The worst affected are the poor people since the poorest fifth now share in average of around five percent of national income, while the richest claim between 40 per cent and 60 per cent. This is the main reason behind frustrated aspirations manifested in organised crimes for drugs and weapons, for law and religion.

In India, the sprightful proponents of liberalised economy fail to see that the fiscal adjustment has immensely affected the public investment in infrastructures like rural development, primary health, mass literacy and education, including the outlays in social sectors. A few years ago, many small production units, primary schools and basic health centres had to cut down their staff, and even close down, due to lack of finance.

The already strained village economy suffered when agricultural production fell by 2 per cent. The resource transfer has ag-gravated the financial troubles of states and the axe finally falls on the grass roots developmental activities, especially what may come as the new Panchayat Raj design. Since the early days of independence, developmental polices have put too much emphasis on monetary growth, which has reduced the process of development into pompous statistics. This emphasis of growth in pure market terms does not signify that people are better off. Real wealth is never created through debt. It only devours the meagre resources of poor people in a subsistence economy and marginalises them further.

 The presence of TNCs creates material abundance in a poor country without creating more jobs. A group of Green Economists in Europe lament that through this freedom banks can earn a pot of gold in Third World or East European credit. But millions of people are not part of this freedom, those who can barely eke out an existence at starvation level because their countries are burdened by interests and loan repayments, or those, who in order to survive, are forced to destroy their natural environment. Development can-not ignore this emerging aspect.

 This concept of development has disguised violence against women. The fight against population has allowed government to treat a woman’s womb as a laboratory for all exotic and less-tried family planning technologies. Women in backward areas are the worst affected owing to their inaccessibility to proper health care

centres. Most governments have fallen into a ‘sterilisation trap’, little realising that population is not the real problem. The real challenge for social development needs broad invest-ments in people. Some faster growing developing economies are showing that by investing in education and technologies one can leapfrog several decades of progress. This was the greatest challenge at the Copenhagen Summit for Social Development held recently.




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