R. Desai : State

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R. Desai : State

Desai adopted the theory of dialectical materialism to explain the transformation of Indian society. He told how the qualitative change in India led to the rise of national consciousness.

 Akshay Ramanlal Desai (AR Desai) was a particularly influential personality in Indian sociology. AR Desai (1915–1994) AR Desai is a sociologist who has applied Marx’s theory and his historical methods in the study of Indian society. He was actually a Marxist sociologist. , Desai made a deep study of the works of Marx, Engels and Leon Trotsky. He was greatly influenced by these ideas. Desai was a Marxist for life. His activism in Marxist politics took place while pursuing his graduation in Baroda. Along with studies and teaching, his interest in politics continued. In his life, he wrote many such books which are considered very important in sociology even today. He was honored with many titles. He was also the President of ‘Indian Sociological Society’. Desai’s first major work ‘The Social Background of Indian Nationalism’ (Hindi translation) has not only been a classic of new trends because of its Marxist educational perspective, but it has also been considered a classic to merge with the history of sociology in India. Can be called a masterpiece. Desai followed this text on many different subjects; For example, written on Indian state, peasant social system, democratic rights, urbanization, peasant movement etc. His edited book titled ‘Rural Sociology in India’ is considered to be an authentic text book of its subject, of which many editions have been published so far. He has exposed the feudal character of the Indian peasant system in this.


 A . R . Desai was born in 1915 in an aristocratic family of Baroda. His early education was completed in Baroda itself. Then later got higher education in Surat and Bombay. He was a member of the Communist Party of India between 1934-39. In 1946 G. s . P.H. from Bombay University under the guidance of Ghurye. D . Has received the title of . In 1948 P-H. D . The research was published as the book Social Background of Indian Nationalism-. In 1951, he was appointed to the Department of Sociology, Bombay University. On the strength of his talent, he was soon made a reader. In 1967, he was appointed as Professor and Head of the Department. Retired from the Department of Sociology in 1976. He died on 12 November 1994. During his lifetime A. R . Desai wrote many such books, which were considered particularly important in sociology. He wrote his P.H.D. on the social aspects of Indian nationalism. Wrote a dissertation on which he got a degree in 1946. In 1948 it was published under the name ‘Social Background of Indian Nationalism’. This is the most important of the work done by him. In this book Desai made a Marxist analysis of Indian nationalism. This book became very famous. Other subjects on which Desai worked are Peasant Movement and Rural Sociology, Modernization, Urban Issues, Political Sociology, Forms of the State and Human Rights. In the context of all these works A. R . Desai got special fame.


AR Desai, who is Prof. Dhurai’s students were pioneers in this context, who relentlessly and diligently presented various aspects of Indian social reality. their



 The Social Back Ground, (1948)

Currently Active Factors (1975)

Major Dimensions of Indian Nationality (1975)

Raw Settlements and Indian Urbanization (1970,72)

 The Origin and Problems of Rural Sociology (1969)

 Implications of Indian Urbanization in a Global Perspective (1971)

State and Society in India (1975)

Peasant Struggle in India (1979)

Transition Period in Rural India (1979)

 Indian Development Path (1984)


dp Like Mukherjee, A.R. Desai studied Indian society from Marxist point of view in 1976 and made meaningful use of history.





 Transformation of Indian Society


The transformation of the pre-British empire into a capitalist economy was the result of the British conquest of India. The British government developed its political and economic policies in a capitalist framework – trade, industry and finance came under this purview. The new economic policy of the British government destroyed the old economy. As a result of this, due to the development of new industry, there was a change in the relationship between the old landowners and the craftsmen. New agricultural ownership and private land national consciousness emerged in place of the rural community farming system. Due to this the society was agitated and due to the tendency of collectivism, many organizations, unions etc. From this the seeds of freedom movement were planted under the control of national sentiment.


 Social Background of Indian Nationality


Desai discussed the Indian nationalism arising during the British period from a Marxist point of view. He made an in-depth study of many rural and urban movements, castes, class structures, education of social activities, etc., from the perspective of historical dialectical materialism.

Although Desai’s book was published in 1948, it gained popularity in the seventh and eighth decades of the twentieth century because by then the social consciousness among social scientists in India had developed a lot. Desai’s first treatise “The Social Background of the Indian Nationality” propounded a Marxist approach, he took an academic orientation from the nexus of sociology and history. In his important work, like other Marxist writers, he presented a review of the traditional social perspective of nationalism through the relations of production. This book with a dialectical perspective is Desai’s best attempt to study and analyze Indian nationalism. According to him Indian nationalism is the product of the material conditions which British colonialism gave birth to. By starting modernization and industrialization, the British rulers established new economic relations. These economic relations are the basic factors under which, along with the changes in traditional institutions, stability and stability have also emerged. As the economic relations change, the institutions of the society will also undergo transformation in the same proportionate level. Desai believes that since traditions are based on economic relations, then changes in economic relations definitely bring changes in traditions. His thinking in this context is that caste will automatically end with the creation of a new physical and social condition. Industry, economic independence, education etc. will play a role in this.













 State a. R . Views of A.R.Desai of State


 a . R . Desai’s special interest was on the subject of ‘modern capitalist state’. He also adopted a Marxist approach in understanding this subject. In an essay titled ‘The Myth of the Welfare State’, Desai has critically reviewed it in detail and drew attention to its shortcomings. Desai has mentioned some of the characteristics of a welfare state. These features are as follows


(1) Positive State:

 A welfare state is a positive state. It does not only perform the minimum functions, which are necessary for the maintenance of law and order. A welfare state is an interventional state. its powers to formulate and implement social policies for the progress and well being of the society.


( 2 ) Democratic State :

A welfare state is a democratic state. Characteristics of a welfare state. This is the reason why the liberal thinkers gave this view to the socialist and communist states.


 (3) Mixed Economy :

The economy of a welfare state is mixed. Mixed economy refers to an economy where private capitalist companies and state or collective companies work together. A welfare state neither wants to destroy the capitalist market nor does it prevent the public from investing in industries and other sectors. Such a state pays attention to the goods of need and the social infrastructure. Consumer goods are dominated by private industries.


 a . R . Desai has mentioned some such methods on the basis of which the work done by the welfare state can be examined. These are the following –


  1. Does the welfare state take care of freedom from poverty, social discrimination and the security of all its citizens?


  1. Does the welfare state take some important steps to remove income related inequalities? For example, by stopping the collection of wealth and distributing some part of the income of the rich among the poor etc.?
  2. Does the welfare state transform the economy in such a way that the tendency of capitalists to make maximum profit can be curbed keeping in view the needs of the society?


  1. Does the welfare state take care of economic slowdown and fast free system for sustainable development?



  1. Does it provide employment to all? a . R . Keeping the above grounds in mind, Desai examines the actions of those countries, which are called welfare states. For example, about most parts of Britain, America, Europe, they say that they have made very exaggerated claims. Desai believes that most of the modern capitalist states, even the developed countries, have failed to provide the lowest economic and social security to their citizens. They have not been successful in reducing economic inequalities.


Welfare states have also failed to achieve sustainable development free from market fluctuations. The presence of surplus funds and high unemployment are some of its other setbacks. On the basis of these arguments Desai says that the idea of ​​welfare state is an illusion. a . R . Desai has also expressed his views on the Marxist theory of the state. His thoughts and writings show that Desai does not take a one-sided approach, but also criticizes the shortcomings of communist states. He also highlighted the fact that democracy is important even under communism. Political liberalism and the rule of law must prevail in every genuine socialist state.

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