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The Government and the citizenry need to work in tandem in order to eradicate the inconsistencies of our society and cleanse the society of all the mischiefs.

India society traces its origin to the earliest time going back to more than 4000 years.  History has proved beyond doubt that Indian civilization was highly developed and technically more advanced than its counterparts.  The Greeks, Huns, Turks, Afghans, Mughals and others not only left an impact on our culture but were also influenced by our culture.  The real dilemma however cropped up with the arrival of the British who came to rule over India with the primary objective of economic exploitation.  Since then what has emerged today is a society, complex and contradictory.  Rooted in spirituality yet giving way to materialistic attitudes that are downright unethical, voicing its commitment to scientific temper, yet faith in miracles and mystical continuing to be ardently nourished; equality among the various groups of people being vouch saved by the constitution and yet with the political set up itself exploiting the caste hierarchy.

Social change in any society is a gradual process and is inevitable.  When these changes creep in gradually the society has the inbuilt mechanism to assimilate them, without any whisper of conflicts.  But when the changes are rapid, their pace uncontrolled and their direction unregulated, these changes attempt to blow the very roots of the society.  Indian society faces a similar situation today.

In a general way, social conflict and growth of knowledge given rise to social change.  However there have been diverse factors for social change in India.  These inter alia include demography, urbanization, industrialization, scientific progress, sanskritisation, laws and political factors.

Family, the backbone of the society, has undergone profound changes.  Nuclear families have been replacing joint families in urban and semi-urban centres.  The modern youth today is perplexed and directionless.  In an attempt to imitate the West, he has drifted away from familial ties.  They wish for independence, privacy and space.  Generation gap between two successive generation has widened.  There has been a rapid increase in consumerism resulting in cash crunch which has compelled the youth towards committing petty crimes like theft, robbery, dacoit etc.  Increase in unemployment, particularly educated unemployment, has led to shimmering discontent and therefore juvenile delinquency.

Social inequality and abolition of caste discrimination looks better in books and speeches than in reality.  Untouchability Prohibition Acts were brought but still the Dalits in the country are paraded naked for marrying an upper caste.  Social inequalities seem to fade with urbanization and mobility and mass transport system.  This has however not yielded the intended result possibly because the politicization of caste for election and other political interests is leading to a stronger demarcation between people of various castes.
The Scheme and structure of education has also changed.  From the Ashram system of education during Vedic times, we have entered in the era of public school and mushrooming of private professional institutions of higher education, whose doors are opened only for the few privileged, born with a silver spoon in their month.  The literacy rate has gone up.  There is a much increased number of graduates and post graduates but what could be worse that the fact that even they have to struggle to earn a square meal.  In the era of liberalization there is an abundance of job for the youth who have acquired English education.  A simple intermediate employed in call centre is earning more than a post graduate or even a doctorate degree holder devoid of fluent English with polished accent.

Accompanying changes in family structure, there has been a change in the attitude to work and a revamping of the traditional male-female role.  The view that women as a class are inferior to men is slowly changing.  Women have stepped out of the walls to give a matching contribution in the society.  We have women like Indra Nooyi, Vidya Chhabria, Susmita Sen etc.,  Yet the face of the rural woman is dark and gloomy. Brides are still burnt and the permission to the married women to work is considered as a privilege and not a right.  In the name of nurturing their family, women at the highest position like doctor, engineer etc. are confined within the four walls.

Incomplete social change has burdened the women further, for in most cases, the change has been superficial, without the accompaniment of the basic thought transformation.  For instance, though the women’s economic independence is acknowledged, she is expected to hand over her salary to her husband or in laws even in the most modern family. She still sweats it out singly on the domestic scene and this is worsening her predicament.  A study reveals that a man works on an average of around 50 hours in a week while the women work for over 100 hours in a week. Though women in job are preferred, but only for the post of receptionists and other front office jobs where their glamour and beauty may be sold conveniently.  At workplace, she is often subjected to sexual harassment. The negative influence of the mass media has contributed towards the increase in the number of incidents of eve-teasing, molestation and physical assaults on women.

Juvenile offences are on the rise and our universities and colleges are increasingly becoming the training grounds for crimes and gang fights.  Students indulge in drug abuse and sexual corruptness.  The much modern youth has lost the concern for morality and respect for the traditional values.  Showing restrain is thought to be sign of orthodoxy and backwardness.

It is true that employment, literacy, etc has gone up.  Opportunities have widened, religious dogmas have reduced, and social rigidities have narrowed down.  But on the other hand, nepotism and corruption have grown.  The wave of frauds and scams at the highest political and bureaucratic levels have exposed the hollowness of our entire system.  The disgruntled condition of the youth has made them vulnerable to exploitation by politicians and anti-social elements. The disgruntled youth have contributed towards the spread of unrest in the society.  Communal disharmony has been on the rise despite increase awareness and education.
Technological innovations have changed even the common man’s way of life.  Gas stoves and biogas lighting have brought different feel to villages.  There was a time when crossing the seas was considered a sin.  Today, we witness not only the affluent jet setting all around the globe but even personal voyages to the space.  With distance being reduced through development of infrastructural facilities like roads, rails, telecommunication etc., the latitude of awareness of an average Indian has increased.  The exposure to Occidental culture-though not always beneficial has served to open the Indian minds to receive new ideas and views which have certainly influenced the way of life.

Thus having looked into the complete picture, it can be clearly said that Indian society, as we see today is a mix of conflicts and contradictions.  It is still in the age of evolution and change.  Many good things are existing but the worsts have also crept in.  We as the, citizens, are therefore, reminded of our duty consolidate and strengthen the situation.  We should learn from the experiences of other countries rather than emulating them.  The government and the citizenry need to work in tandem in order to eradicate the inconsistencies of our society and cleanse the society of all the mischiefs.  Youth and media therefore have a special role to play in this pursuit.  Let us therefore stand together, join hands and stand working incessantly to make the Indian society the best on the globe.

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