Essay on the Evolution of Political Sociology in India

Democratic government and politics became the cherished features of India State. Since that time, our country has been developing as a liberal secular socialist democratic republic. It has now earned the distinction World’s largest successfully working system of liberal democracy.

Naturally, the adoption and functioning of democratic government and politics in India gave added importance to the study of Political Science. In all Indian universities and other institutions involved in for the study of social sciences, a large number of students, teachers and researchers got involved in the study of all aspects of politics, particularly all dimensions of Indian politics and society.

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The study of social context of Indian politics became an important area of study. The pluralist character of Indian society and politics provided a rich and vast field of study and research to the political scientists and sociologists.

In the context of Indian democratic politics, the study of castes, classes, religions, conflicts and all social, economic, political and cultural factors assumed a tremendous importance.

Political sociologists became deeply interested in studying the social context of Indian politics. They got involved in finding answers to such questions: How caste loyalties were interacting with democratic politics?

How the social structure was influencing the exercise of power? And how religious and cultural pluralism of Indian society was interacting with Indian democratic politics? Such an interest and necessity gave a big impetus to the emergence and evolution of Political Sociology in India.

The big difference between Indian and Western societies makes it essential for Indian political sociologists to vigorously pursue political sociology studies in the country. It is true that general concerns with power, authority and legitimacy which are valid for other states also hold good for India.

But all western theories of political culture, political socialization, political development and modernization and change cannot be transplanted in the Indian context.

These have to be especially adapted for use in Indian polity and society. This need gives an added importance to the necessity of developing India-specific Political Sociology.

Being a developing country, India has been facing several socio-economic-political problems. Casteism, communalism, regionalism, religious communalism, linguistic communalism, violence, political violence and corruption have been some of the major challenges being faced by our society and polity.

Our leaders, thinkers, reformers, policy­makers, civil servants and all social scientists need the knowledge of Indian society, politics and economy. Political Sociology can greatly help them by providing knowledge about these in a related and inter-linked manner.

Indian caste system, bureaucracy, power, regional conflicts and disputes, basically all have a social base and are also politically motivated. Such a situation clearly brings out the big need for finding remedies against such problems.

The necessity of strengthening the process of securing national integration and nation-building further makes it essential to meet the challenge posed by socio-economic problems of our country.

As such, there is a big need for the political sociologists to study all problems and challenges before Indian society and polity and provide alternative policies and possible solutions for meeting these. There is every need for popularising, pursuing and encouraging the study of Political Sociology by our students, research scholars, teachers and policy-makers.