The Impact Of British Rule On Indian Society Essay

755 Words Aug 18th, 2016 4 Pages
The essay by M N Srinivasan, a well-known and much -revered sociologist, deals in the concept of Westernisation. He begins by observing the effects of British Rule on Indian society and culture on various levels – technology, institutions, ideology and values, and how those effects helped in introducing new social institutions and in changing the old ones. Some of the defining values of this period were humanitarianism, equalitarianism and secularisation. He illustrates this by citing the introduction of British laws & legal systems that put an end to inequalities which were a part of Hindu and Islamic legal systems preceding it. Similarly, while talking of modernisation, he illustrates how increased media exposure correlates with wider economic and political participation, leading to social mobility. Indians embraced the ideas of westernisation very selectively, borrowing a few elements and rejecting some others. He explains this with the example of the “westernised work-life” and “traditional domestic-life” of some south Indian Brahmins.
Another accompanying phenomena was the emergence of the New Elites - the sections of the traditional society which led others into westernisation. While writing about the process of urbanisation, Srinivas highlights that the minority religions were more urbanised than Hindus or Muslims. Also, certain castes took lead in the process of westernisation and there was an evident overlap between the old and new elites which indirectly gave rise…

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