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BSOG-171: Indian Society: Images and Realities

BSOG-171: Indian Society: Images and Realities

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BSOG-171 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Indian Society: Images and Realities, you have come to the right place. BSOG-171 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAG, BAECH, BAHIH, BAPSH, BAPCH, BAEGH, BAPFHMH, BAPAH, BAHDH, BSCANH courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Solution

Assignment Code: BSOG-171/ASST/TMA/July 2022-23

Course Code: BSOG-171

Assignment Name: Indian Society: Images and Realities

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Assignment A


Answer the following in about 500 words each.


Q1) How was Indian civilization seen through the cultural essence approach 20

Ans) The true definition of civilization is not the proliferation of things, but rather the conscious and voluntary decrease of demands. As Buddha once said "“no sorrow can come to those who do not try to possess things or people as their own.”


The racial, ethnic, and religious diversity of the Indian population is a product of several historical migrations. People who live in different regions are geographically dispersed, speak different languages, and have different lifestyles. The richness and diversity of India are explained by the ecological and physiographic differences across its many regions.


The definition of civilisation shows some hints of complexity. The phrase implies some trade, some signs of planned housing, some agricultural techniques, different cultures, art, and religion, as well as certain administrative and political systems. A definite polity and a set of cultural, material, non-material, and ideational qualities identify a civilization. Thus, the Indus Valley Civilization is regarded as a civilization since its culture can be inferred from its artefacts and monuments. Because of its connection to the Harappan civilization, India is regarded as one of the oldest civilizations still in existence. Numerous academic works on Indian civilization have been written in an effort to comprehend the nature of Indian society and culture. By doing so, these perspectives highlight the diversity and wealth of India's civilisation and offer a variety of conceptual frameworks and research methodologies.


Finding the cultural essence, which is actually indicative of Indian culture from its inception but not trait or content, includes discovering the key style and procedure. The cultural essence captures India in its authentic form, which it has absorbed over time in response to historical and other pressures. It suggests that India cannot be statistically measured. Instead, its meaning can be summed up in terms of ideas like "union in difference," "brotherhood and tolerance," and "respect for the spiritual and holy." In its most basic form, the idea of ethos is abstract and logical. It is once more a very individualised concept.


The conscious and voluntary decrease of wants is the foundation of civilization. Without a decrease in needs, civilisation would have to advance at the expense of other civilizations, the natural world, or its own citizens. A society cannot thrive if it must develop at the expense of the natural world since the resources it provides are finite and will eventually run out, which is a dilemma we are currently experiencing. A civilisation cannot survive at the expense of other civilizations because those civilizations would rebel, which will lead to war, as imperialism did. Since doing so would lead to the tyranny of the elite and civil war, as was the case with Communism, civilization cannot advance at the expense of its populace.


India never attacked other nations, and its religious scriptures and ceremonies frequently highlight satisfaction in non-attachment to material items as the reason Indian culture has survived this long. Indian civilization has peacefully extended as far as Japan. In truth, India has a tradition of honouring and promoting those who have sacrificed all to achieve a high position. Religions with roots in India frequently stress in their holy scriptures the futility of having many desires.


Q2) Critically examine the Indological view of India 20

Ans) The Indological view, which was popular from the 18th century and on, provided a more organised description as well as some concepts, hypotheses, and a conceptual framework that the scientists claimed to have derived from their research on Indian civilisation. The researchers' method and comprehension of Indian society's structure were largely founded on their research of classical Sanskritic literature and manuscripts. The presence of a traditional, Sanskritic, and higher civilisation that exhibits a semblance of "oneness," according to the School of Indology, has been highlighted. However, it is flawed in that it rejects the lower or more widespread degree of civilization by presuming that India's people is homogeneous. The local, regional, and societal diversities were not taken into consideration in the so-called "unity" of India that Indologists spoke of.


The following are some presumptions made by Indologists regarding India as a country and as a civilization:

  1. India once enjoyed greatness, and the sacred writings from those long ago are the best place to learn about it. These works serve as the foundation for both the intellectual and cultural traditions of India.

  2. The actual concepts of Indian culture and society are revealed in these ancient writings. To envision how India would evolve in the future, one needs to comprehend these novels.

  3. Sanskrit and Persian literature and poetry should be taught in institutions that promote the study of ancient Indian classics.


Many people in the 18th century shared this Indological or orientalist vision of India.


The works of Indian scholars like A.K. Coomaraswamy, Radhakamal Mukherjee, D.P. Mukerji, G.S. Ghurye, Louis Dumont, and others reflect the Indological literature that deal with Indian philosophy, art, and culture. Even in the field of sociology, many of the pioneers of Indian sociology, including B.N. Seal, S.V. Ketkar, B.K. Sarkar, G.S. Ghurye, and Louis Dumont, were influenced by Indology.


Despite having studied anthropology under W.H.R. Rivers, Ghurye frequently went to classical works to comprehend modern phenomena such as dress, architecture, sexuality, urbanism, family, kinship, and religion as well as caste systems and other social structures in Indian tribal cultures. Irawati Karve and K.M. Kapadia, among others, who were his classmates and students, continued to do so.


In his theory on caste and varna, where he makes the assumption that Indian culture is a single entity, Dumont's Indological bias is more blatant. The work Homo Hierarchicus is founded on the fixed perspective of the four-varna theory of caste, which sees it as an all-inclusive category and hence Indian society as primarily built on the principle of hierarchy, where everyone is ranked according to their birth. He also believed that the philosophy of the purity and pollution principles—a constant, coherent system of beliefs and principles—was the cause of the caste system. In contrast to collectivist or group/community-based identities in India, Louis Dumont envisioned a modern Western society that strives for logic and is primarily individualist. By returning to the notion of a European-Indian division and the West and the East as essentially opposing, he followed the Indologists in many ways.


A.R. Desai, a sociologist, criticises people who see Indian society through a cultural lens and who provide a textual picture as being far off from the true India with its injustices, diversities, dialectics, and exploitations.

Assignment B


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.


Q3) Explain the nature of political unification brought about by the British in India 10

Ans) According to Desai, one of the important outcomes of the British occupation of India was the creation of a centralised state that, for the first time in Indian history, resulted in a genuine and fundamental political and administrative unification of the nation. In pre-British India, which was practically perpetually split into various feudal states that frequently fought one another to expand their borders, such unity was unheard of. It is true that notable kings like Ashoka, Samudra Gupta, and Akbar tried to unify the political and administrative systems over all of India. Even though they were able to subjugate a larger area of India, the political and administrative unity they were able to create was merely symbolic.


Therefore, the political union that British colonials brought about was enormous in scope. One is prompted to inquire further about how colonials accomplished political union, which was unprecedented in Indian history. According to Desai, the lack of a united economy and methods of communication that linked many sections of India at the time prevented political and administrative unity in pre-British India. However, Desai asserts that "it is undeniable that a conception of India's unity existed and thrived in pre-British India."


However, this unity was initially intended to refer to both the nation's geographic unity and the Hindus' religious and cultural oneness. India was "a continuity of both geography and culture." Under the existing socio-historical conditions, the idea of the political unity of the entire Indian people did not and could not develop. The populace was not politically integrated because they were not socially and economically integrated. In India, the British created a state structure that was clearly novel. It was extremely centralised and ramified in the most isolated region of the nation.


Q4) Discuss the Indian village as an economic unit 10

Ans) Indian villages were long believed to be economically self-sufficient. Even for Marx, the Asian method of production, which mixed agriculture and production, was represented by the Indian village. He thought that the uniqueness of the system also contributed to the rigid and oppressive nature of society. According to him, class-based stratification brought about by colonisation would improve Indian society.


Contrary to capitalist markets, village markets also serve political, recreational, and social objectives in addition to economic ones. The Haats, or weekly markets, that have been a staple of rural India since ancient times provide vital connections to nearby villages and towns. They serve as crucial hubs for bringing in products that are not readily available locally, such as silver and gold, which were necessary for wedding ceremonies in rural India. When capitalism reached rural areas, the village market was connected to the established market networks. Different villages had varying access to new economic prospects, particularly as a result of the industrialization and urbanisation processes that integrated the village into the larger economic system.


Even throughout the British era, the Indian communities were not financially self-sufficient. The village is now a part of the larger economic network thanks to processes of industrialization and urbanisation that started during British colonial administration and accelerated after independence. The government's introduction of planned development and social programmes has had a greater impact on the rural economy. Even though they may have certain similarities on different socioeconomic stages, no two villages in India are the same.


Q5) How does the Constitution of India safeguard the linguistic diversity of India? 10

Ans) The Indian Constitution is steadfast in ensuring that all religions have equal freedom, which would foster religious plurality in the nation. The Indian people have the freedom to practise, spread, and profess any religion in accordance with Articles 25 to 30 of Part III of the Constitution. The establishment and maintenance of institutions for charitable and religious reasons is also granted to religious organisations.


Article 27 of these provisions exempts income derived from religious activities or from business ventures the proceeds of which are used for religious reasons from taxation. These articles continue to place a strong focus on protecting religious minority' rights to cultural and educational freedom as well as on keeping state-recognized educational institutions free from religion instruction and dissemination. The Indian Constitution protects the nation's linguistic variety in addition to protecting religion. It lists 22 languages as Scheduled Languages of India in Part A of the Eighth Schedule and 99 languages as Non-Scheduled Languages in Part B.


The 22 scheduled languages that the Indian government formally supports are listed below. Only 14 languages were included in the list when it was initially created in 1950. Eight additional languages have, however, been added to the list in the last 50 years in response to the demands of the corresponding linguistic groups. Later languages introduced include Maithili, Santhal, Konkani, and Sindhi. Even the different states in India have their own lists of official languages, in addition to the scheduled languages. Beyond these state-sponsored portals, however, is where India's true linguistic diversity truly shines, as each state is a veritable treasure trove of local dialects.


Assignment C

Write a note on the following in about 100 words each.


Q6) Minority groups 6

Ans) The immigrants to the host society make up the minority group. In terms of control over the scarce resources, they are in a weaker position than the majority group due to their low numerical strength. Arguments are made regarding the connection between numerical dominance and power over economic and political resources. History offers numerous examples of minority dominance over large populations, such as British colonisation in India and the White minority's rule over the Black majority in South Africa during the apartheid era. These examples show that it is untrue to refer to a minority group as a group that is vulnerable to dominance and lower status due of its small numerical strength.


Q7) Parallel and Cross-cousins 6

Ans) Kinship terminology is the linguistic expression of kinship relationships. Those who are the offspring of same-sex siblings are referred to as parallel cousins. This implies that the offspring of two sisters or two brothers are parallel cousins. Cross-cousins are people who are the offspring of siblings who are the other sex. Cross-cousins are the offspring of a brother and a sister. The two groups of cousins are easily distinguished by the kin nomenclature used in South India. There are very excellent reasons to do this since in South India, cross-cousin marriages are permitted but parallel marriages are banned. Brothers and sisters are used to refer to the parallel cousins.

Q8) Pastoralists 6

Ans) Pastoralists are those who use pastoralism as a form of subsistence. The intensive strategy of raising sheep known as pastoralism requires monitoring and utilising water and pasture resources over a specific terrain. Mobility is essential to this technology, which is typically used in dryland areas. The Toda in the Nilgiris and the Gujjar, Bakarwal, and Gaddi in Himachal Pradesh are traditional instances of pastoralist tribes. Despite having a permanent home, the Toda transfer their buffaloes to other areas for pasture. Although each buffalo is privately owned, work relating to the animals and their dairy farms is done cooperatively. They swap dairy products for other goods they need, especially agricultural products, just like artists do. The Toda and the Badaga once exchanged goods and services.


Q9) Pandita Ramabai 6

Ans) On April 23, 1858, Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati was born. By drawing attention to caste-based society's oppression of women, she promoted women's rights. Her liberal and egalitarian viewpoints sparked outrage among English-educated brahman intellectuals in the larger community. To support women's education and combat the injustice of child marriage, she formed the Arya Mahila Samaj. She opposed caste, the core tenet of Hinduism, which is a patriarchal ideology, both at the level of society and the family. One of the earliest campaigners in India to represent the idea of a caste-, class-, and patriarchy-free society was her. She began by concentrating on the widows from the upper caste. After the Maharashtra famine of 1896, her attention turned to the poor women and outcaste children.


Q10) Zamindari System

Ans) Through the Permanent Settlement Act, Cornwallis implemented the Zamindari System in the provinces of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Varanasi in 1793. The Permanent Settlement System is another name for it. Land ownership was acknowledged to belong to zamindars. The authority to collect rent from the peasants was granted to the zamindars. The actual farmers were made tenants while the zamindars acquired ownership of the land. Even in times of low yield, the tax had to be paid. Cash had to be used to pay the tax. The tax might have been paid in kind prior to the implementation of this scheme. There would be 11 pieces to the realised sum. Zamindars own 1/11 of the shares, and the East India Company owns 10/11 of the shares.

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