Monday, 31 October 2016

Indian Political System

India - with a population of a billion and a quarter and an electorate of 814 million (2014) - is the world's largest democracy.

Organisation of States

Administrative system of India

The current constitution came into force on 26 January 1950 and advocates the trinity of justice, liberty and equality for all citizens. The Constitution of India is the longest written constitution of any sovereign country in the world, containing 444 articles, 12 schedules and 98 amendments, with almost 120,000 words in its English language version.India is a huge country both demographically and geographically and consequently it operates a federal system of government. Below the national level, there are 28 States and seven Union Territories.The largest of India's states is Uttar Pradesh (UP) in the north of the country. With 207 million inhabitants, UP is the most populous state in India and is also the most populous country subdivision in the world. 

The head of state in India is the President. As members of an electoral college, around 4,500 members of the national parliament and state legislators are eligible to vote in the election of the President. The current President is Pranab Mukherjee.

In May 2014, Narendra Modi, , became PM.Ministers are then appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister and these ministers collectively comprise the Council of Ministers.


The lower house in the Indian political system is the Lok Sabha or House of the People. As set out in the Constitution, currently the size of the house is 545 - made up of 530 elected from the states, 13 elected from the territories, and two nominated from the Anglo-Indian community. By far the largest state representation is that of Uttar Pradesh with 80 members. 

The upper house in the Indian political system is the Rajya Sabha or Council of States. As set out in the Constitution, the Rajya Sabhahas has up to 250 members. 12 of these members are chosen by the President for their expertise in specific fields of art, literature, science, and social services. These members are known as nominated members. The remainder of the house – currently comprising 238 members - is elected indirectly by the state and territorial legislatures in proportion to the unit's population. Again, of course, the largest state representation is that of Uttar Pradesh with 31 members. The method of election in the local legislatures is the single transferable vote.

The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in civil, criminal and constitutional cases. Since 2008, the size of the court has been 31.
A judge is appointed to the Supreme Court by the President of India on the recommendation of the collegium — a closed group of the Chief Justice of India, the four most senior judges of the court, and the senior-most judge hailing from the high court of a prospective appointee.

Organisation of People

Social movements : Social movements are any broad social alliances of people who are connected through their shared interest in blocking or affecting social change. Social movements do not have to be formally organized. Multiple alliances may work separately for common causes and still be considered a social movement. Social movements are purposeful, organized groups striving to work toward a common goal. These groups might be attempting to create change

Interest groups: Interest groups Non-profit and usually voluntary organization whose members have a common cause for which they seek to influence public policy, without seeking political control. Their primary activities are lobbying the members of legislative bodies through contribution to political parties, working to elect sympathetic or pliable politicians, and conducting covert or open propaganda campaigns. The major types of interest groups are 

(1) Economic association, such as chambers of commerce, trade unio
ns, religious bodies, (2) Professional association, such as that of architects, doctors, lawyers, (3) Public interest group (PIG), such as 'Friends Of environment' who aim to benefit people beyond their membership, and (4) Special interest group (SIG), a subgroups formed within the framework of a larger or main group to focus on a very narrow area of interest.

Trade Union :Trade Unions in India are registered and file annual returns under the Trade Union Act (1926). a. As per the latest data, released for 2012, there were 16,154 trade unions which had a combined membership of 9.18 million (based on returns from 15 States - out of a total of 36 States).The Trade Union movement in India is largely divided along political lines and follows a pre-Independence pattern of overlapping interactions between political parties and unions. The net result of this type of system is debated as it has both advantages and disadvantages.
The firm or industry level trade unions are often affiliated to larger Federations. The largest Federations in the country represent labour at the National level and are known as Central Trade Union Organisations (CTUO). As of 2002, when the last Trade Union verification was carried out, there are 12 CTUOs recognised by the Ministry of Labour

Political party:political party is a group of people who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.While there is some international commonality in the way political parties are recognized, and in how they operate, there are often many differences, and some are significant. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, and many represent very different ideologies than they did when first founded. In democracies, political parties are elected by the electorate to run a government. 

Civil Organisation
Civil society is the set of civic rights, including primarily everyone’s right to participate in Public life. These rights provide the compass which helps us to steer the right course between system of state with all its competences of power, and the corporate cartel of organizations and institutions which in some circumstances can be equally dangerous to freedom. Civil society must also have foundation in a mature democracy and a mature political culture. It can be built only if there is widespread determination on the part of society to demand respect for, and observance of, individual rights, and popular will to hold accountable anyone or any institution, which violates them. 
India is a civilized country with rich cultural heritage. With the advent of the Britishers, western values entered in this society. There was a conflict between the modernity and age old traditional values. While some blindly followed the modern life of the west, revivalists like Dayananda and Vivekananda wanted to reform the Hindu tradition making it suitable to modern period.
The Indian economy
The Indian economy is the world's twelfth largest according to market exchange rates. It is also the fourth largest economy by purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. From 1947 to 1991, the India Economic System was based on social democratic-based policies. The policies feature protectionism, extensive regulation and public ownership which led to slow growth and corruption. But the economy has moved to a market-based system with economic liberalization starting in 1991. The growth rate of the economy increased in 2000's with healthier economic reforms and policies. India became the second-fastest growing major economy in the world by 2008. The main agricultural products are rice, wheat, jute, tea, sugarcane, cotton, oilseed, poultry and fish. Textiles, steel, chemicals, information technology enabled services and software, food processing, petroleum, machinery, steel, and cement are the major industries. With a per capita income (nominal) of US $1016, it was ranked 142nd in the world (IMF 2008 estimate) and a per capita (PPP) of US$2,762 it was ranked 129th (IMF 2008 estimate). According to the WTO the economy accounted for 1.5% of world trade in 2007.
social organization of Indian society 
The blueprint for social organization of Indian society i.e. varna system, belief system and its relevance in understanding the system. VARNA SYSTEM In the Indian social system, Varna is only a reference category and not a functioning unit of social structure, and only refers broadly to the ascribed status of different jatis. It is also a classificatory device. In it, several jatis with similar ascribed ritual status are clustered together and are hierarchically graded. The three upper levels-the Brahman, the Kshatriya, and the Vaishya- are considered twice-born, as in addition to biological birth they are born a second time after initiation rites. The Sudra, the fourth level, includes a multiplicity of artisans and occupationally-specialized jatis who pursue clean, i.e. non-polluting occupations. Though the Varna hierarchy ends here, but there is a fifth level which accommodates those following supposedly unclean occupations that are believed to be polluting. They are Antyaja, i.e., outside the Varna system. They constitute what are known as the Dalit. 
Definitions of Caste Caste may be defined as a hereditary endogamous group which decides the individual’s status in the social stratification and his profession. Caste is also defined as an aggregate of persons whose share of obligations and privileges is fixed by birth, sanctioned and supported by magic and or religion

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Features of Indian Society, Diversity of India

Indian is a vast country and has a long history. Its society has evolved through the ages and has also been affected by foreign influences giving it extreme diversity and made unity amidst diversity a characteristic of the Indian society. 

However, to understand the process, we need to understand the meaning of diversity, unity and pluralism as well as their relevance to the Indian society Diversity
Unity amidst Diversity
Caste Diversity

In social context the meaning of diversity is more specific; it means collective differences among people, that is, those differences which mark off one group of people from another. These differences may be of any sort: biological, religious, linguistic etc.

 On the basis of biological differences, for example, we have racial diversity. On the basis of religious differences, similarly, we have religious diversity. The term diversity is opposite of uniformity. Uniformity means similarity of some sort that characterizes a people. ‘So when there is something common to all the people, we say they show uniformity. 

Uniformity is also a collective concept. When a group of people share a similar characteristic, be it language or religion or anything else, it shows uniformity in that respect. But when we have groups of people hailing from different races, religions and cultures, they represent diversity. Thus, diversity means variety.
However, diversity needs to be differentiated from fragmentation. Diversity means existence of differences in a whole. It does not mean separate parts. Fragmentation does not mean differences, it means different parts and in that situation each part would be a whole in itself. For all practical purposes it means variety of groups and cultures. We have such a variety in abundance in India. We have here a variety of races, of religions, of languages, of castes and of cultures. For the same reason India is known for its socio-cultural diversity.
Unity means integration. It is a social psychological condition. It connotes a sense of one-ness, a sense of we-ness. It stands for the bonds, which hold the members of a society together. There is a difference between unity and uniformity. Uniformity presupposes similarity, unity does not. Unity is of two types, first which may be born out of uniformity, and second which may arise despite differences. 
 In context of a society, pluralism can be seen in various aspects. It could be religious pluralism, cultural pluralism, linguistic pluralism or ethic pluralism or could be a combination of more than one kind.  Thus pluralism can be said to be a diffusion of power among many special-interest groups, prevents any one group from gaining control of the government and using it to oppress the people. 
Our pluralist society has many groups such as women, men, racial, ethnic groups as well as broad categories as the rich, middle class and poor. In such a scenario domination of political power by one group could lead to neglect of the others resulting in social tensions which may he harmful to society as well as the state.
Thus unity and diversity are the two states of the society and pluralism is the mechanism through which unity amidst diversity is achieved.
Inspite of diversities, Indian community shares certain bonds of unity. 
The first bond of unity of India is found in its geo-political integration. India is known for its geographical unity marked by the Himalayas in the north and the oceans on the other sides. 
Politically India is now a sovereign state. The same constitution and same parliament govern every part of it. We share the same political culture marked by the norms of democracy and secularism.

Another source of unity of India lies in what is known as temple culture, which is reflected in the network of shrines and sacred places. From Badrinath and Kedarnath in the north to Rameshwaram in the south, Jagannath Puri in the east to Dwaraka in the west the religious shrines and holy rivers are spread throughout the length and breadth of the country.

 As well as being an expression of religious sentiment, pilgrimage is also an expression of love for the motherland, a sort of mode of worship of the country. It has acted as an antithesis to the regional diversity and has played a significant part in promoting interaction and cultural affinity among the people living in different parts of India.
Indian culture, has a remarkable quality of accommodation and tolerance.  There is ample evidence of it. The first evidence of it lies in the elastic character of Hinduism, the majority religion of India. It is common knowledge that Hinduism is not a homogeneous religion, that is, a religion having one God, one Book and one Temple. Indeed, it can be best described as a federation of faiths. Polytheistic (having multiple deities) in character, it goes to the extent of accommodating village level deities and tribal faiths. 
For the same reason, sociologists have distinguished two broad forms of Hinduism: 
sanskritic and popular. 
Sanskritic is that which is found in the texts (religious books like Vedas, etc.) and 
popular is that which is found in the actual life situation of the vast masses. 
 In a sense, each caste was a functional group in that it rendered a specified service to other caste groups. Furthermore, castes cut across the boundaries of religious communities. We have earlier mentioned that notions of caste are found in all the religious communities in India. 
Caste is the most important social concept in the Indian society. It has continued since thousands of years and has not confined itself to Hinduism and has percolated itself to other more egalitarian religions like Islam, Christianity and Sikhism.  We can find castes among the Muslim, Christian, Sikh as well as other communities. Muslims are divided into classes of Ashraf and Ajlaf. Ashraf are in turn divided into Shaikh, Saiyed, Mughal, Pathan while Ajlaf consist of various other castes like teli (oil pressure), dhobi (washerman), darjee (tailor), etc. among the Muslim. Similarly, caste consciousness among the Christian in India is not unknown. Since a vast majority of Christians in India are converted from Hindu fold, the converts have carried the caste system into Christianity. Among the Sikh again we can hear of a number of castes including Jat Sikh and Majahabi Sikh. Caste system is a closed system. Entry in a caste is only through birth in the system while exit is impossible. The system is discriminatory as it allows certain privileges to the high castes while the lower castes face disabilities. It is maintained by enforcing the notions of pollution and purity which are enforced through elaborate rules governing touch, dining and marriage.
Caste as a regional reality can be seen in the different patterns of caste-ranking, customs and behaviors, marriage rules and caste dominance found in various parts of India. Caste structure and kinship; caste structure and occupation; and caste structure and power are three important aspects which are discussed as under:
Caste structure is intimately related to the kinship system amongst the Hindus in India. The sole reason for this relationship lies in the endogamous nature of caste system. Caste is basically a closed system of stratification, since members are recruited on the criteria of ascribed status. Kinship is a method or a system by which individuals as members of society relate themselves with other individuals of that society. 
The hereditary association of caste with an occupation used to be a very striking feature of the caste system.In the association of caste structure with a hereditary occupation the “jajmani system” forms the framework. The jajmani system is a system of economic, social and ritual ties between different caste groups in the villages. Under this system some castes are patrons and others are service castes. 
Central to caste system are caste panchayats and leadership. These power structures are highly formalized in certain caste groups and informal in others. The panchayat literally means a group or council of five. In a village it refers to a group that presides over, and resolves conflict, punishes people transgressing customs and launches group enterprises. It must be remembered that the village panchayat is quite different from the legislative use of the term panchayat. The usage, after the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act 1922, refers to a statutory local body, formed through elections, vested with legal powers and charged with certain governmental responsibilities. In certain villages traditional caste panchayats and leaders are still a powerful means of control. The democratic panchayat with legislative powers and traditional panchayat may overlap in certain regions.
Geographically, the tribes are concentrated in five regions namely, Himalayan region (with tribes like the Gaddi, the Jaunsari, the Naga etc.), Middle India (with tribes like the Munda, the Santal etc.), Western India (with tribes like the Bhil, the Grasia), South Indian Region (with tribes like the Toda, the Chenchu etc,) and the Islands Region (with tribes like the Onge in Bay of Bengal, the Minicoyans in Arabian Sea). 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Society and Man

The human being and the group. The problem of man cannot be solved scientifically without a clear statement of the relationship between man and society, as seen in the primary collectivity—the family, the play or instruction group, the production team and other types of formal or informal collectivity.
Everybody performs certain functions in a group. Take, for example, the production team. Here people are joined together by other interests as well as those of production; they exchange certain political, moral, aesthetic, scientific and other values. A group generates public opinion, it sharpens and polishes the mind and shapes the character and will. Through the group a person rises to the level of a personality, a conscious subject of historical creativity. The group is the first shaper of the personality, and the group itself is shaped by society.

The individual is a link in the chain of the generations. His affairs are regulated not only by himself, but also by the social standards, by the collective reason or mind. The true token of individuality is the degree to which a certain individual in certain specific historical conditions has absorbed the essence of the society in which he lives.Man is a kind of super-dense living atom in the system of social reality. He is a concentration of the actively creative principle in this system. Through myriads of visible and invisible impulses the fruit of people's creative thought in the past continues to nourish him and, through him, contemporary culture.

Sometimes the relation between man and society is interpreted in such a way that the latter seems to be something that goes on around a person, something in which he is immersed. But this is a fundamentally wrong approach. Society does, of course, exist outside the individual as a kind of social environment in the form of a historically shaped system of relations with rich material and spiritual culture that is independent of his will and consciousness.

 Culture and Personality View: How Individual and Society Affect Each Other? Or How Individual and Society Interacts?
Both the above views are incomplete. In reality, it is not society or individual but it is society and individual which helps in understanding the total reality. The extreme view of individual or society has long been abandoned. Sociologists from Cooley to the present have recognized that neither society nor the individual can exist without each other. This view was laid down mainly by Margaret Mead, Kardiner and others who maintained that society’s culture affects personality (individual) and, in turn, personality helps in the formation of society’s culture. These anthropologists have studied how society shapes or controls individuals and how, in turn, individuals create and change society. Thus, to conclude, it can be stated that the relationship between society and individual is not one-sided. Both are essential for the comprehension of either. Both go hand in hand, each is essentially dependent on the other. Both are interdependent on each, other.
The individual should be subordinated to society and the individual should sacrifice their welfare at the cost of society. Both these views are extreme which see the relationship between individual and society from merely the one or the other side. But surely all is not harmonious between individual and society. The individual and society interact on one another and depend on one another. Social integration is never complete and harmonious.
 Society and individual are made mutually dependent and responsible and mutually complementary. The result is that society progresses well with the minimum possible restrictions on the individual. A very wide scope is given to the natural development of the energies of the individual in such a manner that in the end. Society will benefit the best by it. While society reaps the best advantage of the properly utilized and developed energies of the individuals, an attempt is made to see that the normal and sometimes even the abnormal weaknesses of the individuals have the least possible effect on the society. Spirit of service and duty to the society is the ideal of the individual and spirit of tolerance, broadmindedness and security of the individual is the worry of the society. There is no rigid rule to develop the individual in a particular pattern suitable to the rules of the society. 
Society demands greater sacrifices from its greater individuals while the fruits of the works of all are meant equally for all. The general rule is: the higher the status and culture of the individual are, the lesser his rights are and the greater his duties are. A sincere attempt is made by the sociologists to bring to the minimum the clash between the individual and the society, so that there will be few psychological problems for the individual and the society both. The inherent capacities, energies and weaknesses of the individual are properly taken into account and the evolution of the relation between the two is made as natural as possible. Human values and idealism being given due respect, the development of the relation between the two is more or less philosophical

What are human rights?

What are human rights?

Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of gender, nationality, place of residency, sex, ethnicity, religion, color or and other categorization. Thus, human rights are non-discriminatory, meaning that all human beings are entitled to them and cannot be excluded from them. Of course, while all human beings are entitled to human rights, not all human beings experience them equally throughout the world. 

In order to live with dignity certain basic rights and freedoms are necessary, which all Human beings are entitled to, these basic rights are called Human Rights

Human rights demand recognition and respect for the inherent dignity to ensure that everyone is protected against abuses which undermine their dignity, and give the opportunities they need to realize their full
potential, free from discrimination.

There are a variety of human rights, including:
  • Civil rights (such as the rights to life, liberty and security),
  • Political rights (like rights to the protection of the law and equality before the law),
  • Economic rights (including rights to work, to own property and to receive equal pay),
  • Social rights (like rights to education and consenting marriages),
  • Cultural rights (including the right to freely participate in their cultural community), and
  • Collective rights (like the right to self-determination).

Human rights include civil and political rights, such as:
# The right to freedom of expression
# The right to freedom of religion or conscience
# The right to property
# The right to freedom of assembly
# The right to privacy
# The right to vote.

Human rights also cover economic and social rights, such as:
# The right to an adequate standard of living
# The right to adequate food, housing, water and sanitation
# The rights you have at work
# The right to education.

Human rights belong to everyone, everywhere, regardless of nationality, sexuality, gender, race, religion or age. The foundation of modern human rights is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The 30 articles of the Declaration were adopted in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly, and over time these have been integrated into national laws and international treaties. The core values of the UDHR - human dignity, fairness, equality, non-discrimination - apply to everyone, everywhere.

he National Human Rights Commission
Section 3. Constitution of a National Human Rights Commission
(1) The Central Government shall constitute a body to be known as the National Human Rights Commission to exercise the powers conferred upon, and to perform the functions assigned to it, under this Act.

(2) The Commission shall consist of:
(a) a Chairperson who has been a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court;
(b) one Member who is or has been, a Judge of the Supreme Court;
(c) one Member who is, or has been, the Chief Justice of a High Court;
(d) two Members to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.

(3) The Chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities, [the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes, the National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes]and the National Commission for Women shall be deemed to be Members of the Commission for the discharge of functions specified in clauses (b) to (j) of section 12.

(4) There shall be a Secretary-General who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission and shall exercise such powers and discharge such functions of the Commission

[except judicial functions and the power to make regulations under section 40 B], as may be delegated to him by the Commission or the Chairperson as the case may be.

(5) The headquarters of the Commission shall be at Delhi and the Commission may, with the previous approval of the Central Government, establish offices at other places in India.


 Constitution of State Human Rights Commissions 

(1) A State Government may constitute a body to be known as the ....................... (name of the State) Human Rights Commission to exercise the powers conferred upon, and to perform the functions assigned to, a State Commission under this chapter. 

(2)1 [The State Commission shall, with effect from such date as the State Government may by notification specify, consist of—
 (a) a Chairperson who has been a Chief Justice of a High Court; 
(b) one Member who is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court or District Judge in the State with a minimum of seven years experience as District Judge;
 (c) one Member to be appointed from amongst persons having knowledge of, or practical experience in, matters relating to human rights.]1

 (3) There shall be a Secretary who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the State Commission and shall exercise such powers and discharge such functions of the State Commission as it may delegate to him.

 (4) The headquarters of the State Commission shall be at such place as the State Government may, by notification, specify. 

(5) A State Commission may inquire into violation of human rights only in respect of matters relatable to any of the entries enumerated in List II and List lll in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution: Provided that if any such matter is already being inquired into by the Commission or any other Commission duly constituted under any law for the time being in force, the State Commission shall not inquire into the said matter: Provided further that in relation to the Jammu and Kashmir Human Rights Commission, this sub-section shall have effect as if for the words and figures “List ll and List lll in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution”, the words and figures “List lll in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution as applicable to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and in respect of matters in relation to which the Legislature of that State has power to make laws” had been substituted.

 (6) [Two or more State Governments may, with the consent of a Chairperson or Member of a State Commission, appoint such Chairperson or, as the case may be, such Member of another State Commission simultaneously if such Chairperson or Member consents to such appointment: Provided 

Friday, 7 October 2016