A. R. Desai (Akshay Ramanlal Desai) Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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  • Akshay Ramanlal Desai
  • Dialectical-Historical model
  • Inspired by Marx, Engels and Leon Trotsky
  • He studied Indian social structure by applying Marxist methods
  • Historical materialism
  • One of the pioneers to introduce modern Marxist approach
  • Macro approach to understand Capitalism, Nationalism, etc.
  • His approach included bibliography, field research and empirical investigation
  • According to him, tradition is a secular phenomena with its roots in economics
  • It is found in various social institutions
  • Nothing unique about Indian culture

Works

  • Social Background of Indian Nationalism
  • Rural Sociology of India
  • Slums and Urbanization in India
  • Peasant struggle in India
  • Rural India in Transition
  • India՚s path of Development
  • According to him, the gap and contradictions in the social transformation of India is because of the growing nexus among capitalist and petty bourgeois
  • Social unrest is because of the capitalist path of development
  • He applied the method of production relations to interpret the changes in the Indian society
  • According to him, changes cannot be understood solely from the ideology of capitalism
  • He used the approach of- type of property relations in the Indian society to understand the nature of transformation
  • This approach also helps in understanding the capital labour relations in the industrial relations and not just management labour relations

His Ideas

On Birth of Caste

  • Aryan invasion
  • Separate residence
  • Considered themselves superior
  • Called themselves Brahmins
  • The occupation of tribes was rigidified by Brahmins
  • Backed by literature and texts

On Buddhism and Jainism

  • Non-Brahminical movements
  • Counter to Brahmins power and status

On Classes in India

  • Masters and Service
  • Dialectical economical relation.

On Feudalism in India

  • Indigenous industries lost its charm
  • Factories took over
  • Feuds wanted to maintain their power by being economically strong

On Revolt of 1857

Clash between rising capitalism and declining feudalism

On Indian National Movement

  • Critical of National and Liberal historians.
  • To grab job and Administrative powers
  • Hidden agenda
  • Provoked masses

Criticism

  • S C Dubey – Development programs have transformed communities in India
  • Andre Beteille – Exaggeration of economic history
  • Yogendra Singh – Marxian theory never looks for alternatives to social change.
  • Gail Omvedt - India cannot be classified into two extreme classes
  • M S Gore – Cooperative movements in India are successful
  • Lack of empirical merit in understanding post-colonial development in India

Conclusion

  • Critical perspective
  • Analysed Indian society through Marxist approach
  • Rebelled against oriental understanding of the Indian society
  • The socialist pattern is a hoax to create illusion and to confuse the mass the real intentions are development on the lines of capitalism
  • According to him, Bourgeoisie is the dominant class in India Indian society is based on capitalist economy.
  • His approach can be applied in understanding Indian social reality and economic interpretation of Indian society.

MCQs

Q. 1. A. R. Desai has pointed out many factors of the rise of Indian Nationalism. Identify the correct set of the factors:

(i) Agricultural and Industrial policies by the Britishers.

(ii) Means of Communication

(iii) National Reform Movements

(iv) Print Media

(v) Modern Secular Education

(vi) Electronic Media

Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

Codes:

(A) (i) , (ii) , (iii) & (vi)

(B) (i) , (ii) , (iii) , (iv) & (v)

(C) (i) , (iii) , (iv) & (vi)

(D) (i) , (ii) , (iii) , (iv) , (v) & (vi)

Answer: (B)

Q. 2. Who used the Marxian theory while analyzing the Indian class structure in agrarian relation?

a) A. R. Desai

b) Pager

c) Mac Iver

d) Dhurkhiem

Ans A

#Theoretical Perspectives

#Marxian Perspective

#A. R. Desai (For SET)

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