India is an ancient country and according to some estimates, Indian civilization is about five thousand years of age. Therefore, it is natural that its society will also be very old and complex. Throughout its long period of history, India has witnessed and received several waves of immigrants such as Aryans, Muslims etc. These people brought with themselves their own ethnic varieties and cultures and contributed to India’s diversity, richness and vitality.
Therefore, Indian society is a complex mix of diverse cultures, people, beliefs and languages which may have come from anywhere but now is a part of this vast country. This complexity and richness gives Indian society a unique appearance of a very vibrant and colorful cultural country.
Reasons of Social Problems:
But the very same complexity brings with itself complex nature of social problems and issues. In fact every society of the world has their social issues unique to their society. So does Indian society. Indian society is very rooted in religious beliefs; there are people of different religious beliefs such as Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis etc. These all adds to the socio-cultural varieties of the country. India’s social problems are also rooted in the religious practices and beliefs of it people. Almost all forms of social issues and problems find their origin in the religious and cultural practices of the people of India. These social problems are developed in a long period of times and are still continuing in one form or other.
Furthermore, India has witnessed several wars of large proportions; several foreign invaders attacked India in its long history among whom few made this country as their own and tried to force their socio-religious practices which also deteriorated social conditions; the long period of British rule crippled the country and had thrown it into backwardness. Thus, many such reasons may be cited for India’s social problems but the fact remains that we have these issues and only we can solve them.
FORMS OF SOCIAL ISSUES
Poverty is a condition in which a household is not able to fulfill its basic needs for survival i.e. food, clothing and shelter. Poverty is a widespread condition in India. Since Independence, poverty is a prevalent concern. It is the twenty-first century and poverty still is a persistent menace in the country. India happens to be country wherein the disparities between the haves and the have-notes are extremely wide. It needs to be taken into account that although the economy has shown some visible signs of progress in the last two decades, this progress been uneven across various sectors or areas. The growth rates are higher in Gujarat and Delhi as compared to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Nearly half of the population doesn’t have proper shelter, access to a decent sanitation system, villages do not have a nearby water source, and villages also do not have a secondary school and lack of proper roads. Some sections of the society like the Dalits are not even included in the poverty list maintained by the concerned authorities assigned by the government. They’re groups that are marginalized in the society.
The element which further complicates and deteriorates the situation is the government subsidies system which has leakages in the distribution system. They never reach the households.
We try to present our country as a modern, forward looking nation of the world and it’s true that India is making strides in the world as a nation with encouraging developments in scientific, economic and technological fields, but as far as social developments are concerned it is still one of the lowest ranked countries of the world. India’s Human Development Index (HDI) rank for 2013 is 135 out of 187 countries of the world which are listed in the report. This shows the sorry state of affairs as far as India’s situation on social indicators is concerned. This also shows that we as a society are still people of orthodox beliefs in a negative sense who do not want to believe in the concept of equality and brotherhood of all.
Though several Governmental and non-governmental (NGOs) bodies are working towards improving the existing situation in the social fields but results are not very encouraging. Perhaps the problem lies in the very deep rooted beliefs in the minds of people of the country which is not letting the situation to change. For instance: the issue of Female Feticides is one of the shameful practices in our country. Though there are various prohibitory measures the Government and NGOs have taken but the practice is continuing. The real reason for this is the Patriarchy system of society of our country which considers male as the superior authority and women as subordinate to them. Therefore, very strong desire of having a male child in comparison to female child led to the shameful practice of female feticides. Thus, it is belief system or the cultural conditioning of the people which is not letting the society to change at a fast pace.
Though there have been several positive changes in the society such as now girls are also going to school in vast majority and their employment ratio is also increasing; illiteracy as whole is decreasing; conditions of SC/STs are also improving etc but situation is far from satisfactory.
We witness inequality against women in our own homes, sexual violence against women can be heard on daily basis, female feticide is continuing, religious-communal violence is on the rise, untouchabilty is still a reality, child labor is widely practiced etc.
Therefore, there is a lot needs to be done for the situation to improve. And without changing the mind set and beliefs of the people it is a very difficult task. For this purpose educating people about various social problems and sensitizing them towards changing their way of thinking is the best way forward. Because without people trying to change themselves, any governmental or non-governmental efforts will prove as a half-measure. If we want to make India as a true world leader and a modern 21st country of the world, it is imperative that that we make an improvement on our social front.
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