“Change is the law of nature”. Everything on this Earth is bound to change but as far as social change is concerned it is an extremely slow but a continuous process. Over the period of million years, our society has changed from the Stone Age to the Computer Age. Virtual localities have replaced the social localities and now influencing social, cultural as well as political life. Change of any sort cannot be related to quality but definitely linked to the culture.
Some changes are good and other are bad for the society and adversely affecting our value system. Individualism is now a priority over family, there is a disintegration of joint families, economic independence and desire to live a better life is leading to urbanization, status of women is changing but without a change in the mentality of a society and so on.
India has been ruled by various rulers. Mughals influenced the society to a great extent. They brought changes in religion, architecture and social set up. After this, a 150 years long British rule has brought many changes in the Indian society. This has been followed by globalization.
Social changes bring alterations in the society, family, social hierarchy etc. Unlike the western countries Indians believe in the concept of extended family. But Indian traditions started to get modernize in 1970s and with this our nation headed towards nuclear family structure from joint family. Instead of authoritarian, individualism started playing its role in the family. Independent, self or me behavior which was once considered as a selfish behavior is now followed by many. So there is a change in thinking. Amidst of this change, some people really try to keep a balance between the family and ambitions and hence help in maintaining the cultural and traditional values.
India’s caste as well as marriage system has also undergone an immense change. Earlier the society was extremely strict as far as inter caste or interstate marriage was concerned. With the increase in the level of education and globalization these have transformed to a great extent. One such example is of Khap Panchayat in Haryana, parts of Rajasthan. Khap is a community based group governed by Khap panchayat. These panchayats are very strict and follow traditions to solve any issue. But very recently they have changed the strict rules of marriage and allowed inter village marriages.
Earlier society was structured and stratified on the basis of caste and roles were defined according to the same. Individual achievements had no value in front of caste. With mobility from one profession to another caste system started to dilute in India. Untouchably which was part of Indian society was abolished by the law of India.
Much has been talked about the status of women in India but in reality she is still struggling to achieve a respected position in the society. Cases of rape, sexual assault, acid attack, child marriage, dowry deaths female feticide are happening even now. Girl child is given less attention, less nutrition, almost no education as compared to male child. In India 88% pregnant women suffer from anemia. On gender inequality index in 2013, India has been ranked at 132 position out of 187 countries by the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report. There are 927 females for every 1,000 males.
- Life expectancy has improved but infant mortality rate is still high in India and among the highest in the world.
- Most of the children under five in India are chronically malnourished.
- According to the World Bank, a third of world’s poor live in India.
- Agriculture provides employment to more than half of country’s workers. But share of agriculture in GDP is less than 15%.
- Literacy level in India since Independence has improved from 16% in 1951 to 74% in 2011. But quality of education is deteriorating as five out of every 10 students could not read a sentence. More than 50% of 14 years old are not able to solve simple math problems.
Social change brings change in structure and functions of the society. The change may be good or bad, desirable or undesirable. Young Indians for sure are more confident, positive and ambitious but our society needs positive changes. A change that can change and make India a better place to live.