Change in Rural Life in India

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 Change in Rural Life in India

It is true that the pace of change is very slow in rural communities as compared to urban communities, but even in villages today there is a clear change in the status, occupation, education, attitudes and behavior of the person. In fact, the rural community today is in a state of transition in which, on the one hand, new social values ​​and behavior patterns are being understood in the rural areas, while on the other hand the villagers have not been able to give up the traditional characteristics completely due to the influence of many circumstances. From this point of view, there exists a continuity between tradition and modernity in rural society.


To explain the process of social change in the rural community, Rogers has divided it into three phases – inventions, diffusion, and effects. Invention is a process in which new ideas are developed. In this way, invention basically means invention or innovations of ideas, not material inventions. Diffusion is the process by which new ideas are transmitted to a particular group or class. Change is the result of this process. Whether the innovations are accepted or rejected by the villagers, both the situations create changes in the rural social life. When new ideas related to social change start influencing the social system, then naturally changes begin to arise in the structure and characteristics of the society. Gradually, new ways of behavior start affecting many people in the group at the ideological level.


The situation which arises from the change of thoughts, we call it innmanent change. These changes are generally not affected by external conditions. Any other new ideas originate outside the social system, but due to the contact of that system with the groups bound by new ideas, the change becomes apparent, then such a change is called contact change. In the context of rural life, it is necessary to keep in mind that new inventions and ideas are influencing the villagers today, they do not originate in the rural society itself but in some external groups, but gradually it starts affecting the entire rural life. How does this process work for change in life? This can be explained mainly on two grounds. In the first community, whenever a member gets knowledge of innovations and accepts it, then gradually other villagers also establish contact with him to get knowledge of new way of behavior. This single person starts acting as the main communicator (kay commumcaton) for the spread of new modes of behavior. This process is called ‘selective contact change’. The second situation is that in which a government official Or by establishing contact with the people of the village by the planner, they are encouraged to adopt new ways of outside. The change arising out of this situation is called ‘direct contact change’ (direct contact change) In today’s life, both of these It is the processes which have brought about widespread changes in all areas of rural life. This means that industrialization, urbanization, education, political movements and social acts etc. are those conditions producing changes which can be considered as belonging to the first class whereas Village-Panchayat, literacy, community development programs and other similar development schemes can be included in the second category related to rural transformation.

Due to the effect of all these conditions, the major changes that have taken place in the Shramin community today can be briefly explained as follows.


 These changes related to marriage are mainly seen in the field of child marriage, mismatch, widow remarriage, inter-caste marriage and dowry system. In Indian rural life, marital relationship has been considered as a permanent relation of whole life, but due to the influence of western philosophy of life and industrial culture, now even in villages, divorce is not seen as a social crime. Until recently, the determination of the marriage relations of children was entirely a matter of the will of the parents and the doer of the family, but now there has been a vast change in this situation. Often youths coming to the village after getting education from the city are not able to prosecute the married life under the marriage relations fixed by their parents. As a result of this, it is now considered necessary to take the consent of boys and girls in determining the marriage relations even in the villages.


The educated people of the village have also started to understand that for the purpose of ending child marriage, sweetness of marital relations and organization of family life, it is appropriate to give limited freedom to boys and girls to choose life partners. As far as inter-caste marriage is concerned, many educated villagers do not see such marriage as a sin or irreligion, but in practice their mentality is still not in favor of inter-caste marriage.



Not only has it happened that if a person marries an inter-caste, then the nature of social disapproval or condemnation of life has not been as serious as before. Incidents of divorce are very less in rural life even today, but the fact cannot be denied that some incidents of divorce are now happening in villages also. There is now a vast change in the attitude of the villagers towards child marriage. The average age of marriage in rural communities is still very low as compared to urban communities, but due to the influence of modern education, industrialization and urban culture, the age of marriage has increased to a greater extent than before.


 The justification for the increase in the age of marriage was first accepted by the upper castes and later the backward and scheduled castes started increasing the marriage taking the upper castes as their reference group. The low and scheduled attitude towards widow remarriage was already liberal but the incidence of widow remarriage among the upper castes is a clear indication of rural social change. In the villages today, the notion of superstition and irreligion is not so much associated with widow remarriage, as the process of adjustment in married life, now some changes are becoming apparent in the institutional form of the dowry system. Today, at the ideological level, most of the villagers see the dowry system as a social defect, but practically there is not much change in it. Could have happened. The reality is that the changes taking place in the dowry system are in the direction of increasing rather than decreasing. This means that till some time ago the practice of dowry was limited only to the people of higher economic status, but now it has spread to the lower castes and poor farmers also. Thus it is clear that the process of change in rural marriage is giving rise to many new problems even after some reforms.



 Change in Rural Caste Structure – The caste system has been the most important basis of the rural social structure of India. After independence in India, there have been so many changes in the rules and beliefs related to the caste system that they could not even be imagined till some time ago. It is true that the changes taking place in the caste-structure are more widespread and evident in the urban community than in the rural community, but in the present era the traditional influence of caste has started decreasing even within the rural social structure.


Some people believe that after the attainment of independence in India, due to the attainment of legal equality for all castes and the abolition of untouchability by law, social distance on the basis of caste in the villages has definitely reduced, but in practice there is no such thing. The practice of untouchability in some form continues even today. This statement is partly true but also from a notion of personal purity.


It is a definite fact that today the concept of untouchability is not related to caste as much as there was a clear division between different castes in the traditional rural society on the basis of food-related restrictions, but today such restrictions are getting relaxed continuously. In the villages, a youth influenced by modern education, urban culture and industrial environment is emerging which sees the restrictions related to caste system only as stereotypes. This class does not believe much in the traditional concept of untouchability and restrictions on food and drink. The caste rules related to business in villages are also getting relaxed now. If a person voluntarily wants to change his caste-based occupation, then no traditional restriction applies to him. Even in the villages, now many people of the upper castes have started doing those professions which till some time ago were done only by the lower castes. The hierarchy of high and low among different ethnic groups is no longer as clear. Many lower castes have started trying to change their caste status even in the villages. Thus it is clear that significant changes have taken place in the structure of the caste system and the prohibitory rules in the Indian rural community today.


Change in Social Life:

The field of social life is very broad, but for the ease of study, we are going to explain the nature of rural social change by mentioning the changes related to family, marriage, caste structure, values ​​and attitudes under it. Will try



  Changes in family life

Indian rural families have been revered in the form of joint family since very ancient times, but due to the effect of the present conditions, vast changes have taken place in the structure and functions of rural joint families. Externally, the form of family in the rural community is still joint, but its internal form is taking a new environment. Many studies confirm this fact.


Most of the villagers are now beginning to consider the joint family as inconvenient for themselves and hence there has been a marked change in the traditional status enjoyed by the old men and women in these families. Changes in the power distribution and interpersonal relationships of members within the family

As a result of this, the family is no longer the most important institution to establish control in the village. Rural joint families are no longer able to fulfill all the needs of their members, as a result of which many members of the family leave the village and settle in the cities for livelihood. Many villagers have started migrating to the cities with their families, as a result of which the structure of rural joint family has started changing. Once the villager experiences the conjugal relations of a nuclear family and the atmosphere of freedom, then he does not like to live under the control of his joint family. Rural women affected by urban attitudes also now find it difficult to adjust themselves with the joint family.


In the traditional Pramin family, every member was ready to fulfill unlimited responsibilities selflessly and sacrifically, but today the new generation of people do not consider it necessary for themselves to accept unlimited responsibilities of the family. Today most of the family members are not ready to sacrifice their personal interests for the sake of common interests. Thus individualistic attitudes have increased in rural households as well.


 As a result of which the characteristic of the family is getting lost in the villages. This means that now most of the people are not ready to surrender their personality development only in the name of family prestige or tradition. The traditional form of collectivism in rural households is also changing rapidly and in its place the attraction of individuals towards small family units is increasing. As a result of this situation, now in the villages as well as in the cities, situations of conflict and tension have started arising between the old and the new generation.


Changes in Rural Marriage –

Marriage is the most important institution in the Indian rural community, which, despite many changes, remains in its traditional form to a large extent. The process of change under rural marriage is not related to any new form but is related to minor modifications in the traditions. The traditional system of marriage in the rural community and the beliefs associated with it are still considered the best, but many changes are taking place in its external form.


 Change in Rural Values ​​and Beliefs 

Traditions had a clear influence on the attitudes and social values ​​of every individual in the traditional rural society. Due to the fatalistic and pessimistic life, a person could not even imagine that he could change his social status through his efforts. Today, due to the effect of modern education, secularization and democratic values, there has been a massive change in this trend. Today, villagers of all classes are more aware than ever before about improving their social, economic, political and cultural status. Villagers have started realizing that it is possible to change the social status through hard work and ability. As a result of this, not only has the traditional authority structure changed in the villages, but the influence of secular values ​​is increasing in place of fatalistic notion. Present rural attitudes are more egalitarian and changing than before. The customs are now being opposed even in the prams.

 Changes in Rural Economic Life

The traditional rural economic life of India was completely dependent on agriculture and the nature of agriculture was mainly related to consumption. After independence, when many development plans of rural reconstruction were implemented in India, as a result of this, extensive changes started taking place in the rural economic structure. In the field of agriculture, all the villagers are adopting modern technology according to their means.

Due to its effect, not only has the agricultural production increased, but the life of a person has become associated with a large area, not limited to his village only. With the influence of new technology, today the purpose of agricultural production is not only to meet the needs of individual consumption, but also to get maximum economic benefits from agricultural produce. This commercialization of agriculture has brought about great changes in rural economic life. The traditional rural economy was originally a simple system based on the jajmani system and established relations with moneylenders and zamindars, but today it has assumed a complex form. Due to the end of the influence of landlords and moneylenders, now the villagers are not only engaged in agricultural work but also try to earn their livelihood through jobs, handicrafts and trade. Marginal farmers and landless farmers are also getting freedom from the exploitation of big farmers.


 The condition of this class is improving rapidly due to the abolition of the bonded labor system by law. As a result, not only has the gap between big and small farmers in the villages been reduced, but the tendency of monopoly on agricultural production is also decreasing continuously. Even after this it is true that a new elite has emerged in the present rural economic structure, whose rights and power are to some extent similar to those of the old landlords. community development plans, panchayati raj cooperatives and other development schemes

Due to the effect, the economic condition of ordinary villagers could not improve as much as the big farmers have benefited from these schemes. Even after this it is true that today the nature of rural class division has become more democratic and variable than before.

 Changes in Political Life

The political life of Indian villages is also changing very fast today. Until recently, rural leadership was purely hereditary in which the position of the Panch Mukhiya or Lambardar of the villages was determined by lineage. On the contrary, the nature of current rural leadership has been achieved, which is determined on the basis of adult franchise. Age and caste status are no longer important in rural leadership. Youth and persons belonging to lower castes have also got equal opportunities to participate in leadership. Due to the reservation of seats for scheduled castes and women under the Panchayati Raj system, the participation of all sections in the rural leadership has increased.


 As a result, there has been a significant change in the power structure and political participation in the rural areas. Due to the changes arising in rural political life in India, on the one hand, socio-economic inequality has reduced within the rural community, on the other hand, instead of rural unity, factionalism, caste conflicts and political struggles have also been encouraged. Today, the political life of the villages is not confined to the village but is being influenced by various political parties. This political party to make its place in the power structure of the village. encouraging factionalism.


Some people are of the opinion that the entry of political parties in the villages has led to the spread of various political theories on the ideology of the villagers. This notion is true to a great extent because today the villagers do not only think about the problems of the village in their free time but also freely discuss the ideas, programs and merits of various political parties. The result is that the villagers


Political consciousness has now become associated with the regional and all-India level. The reality is that due to the influence of this political awareness, so much courage was generated in the villagers that now they have started raising their voice against the exploitation of politicians, government officials and employees associated with development schemes. This whole trend is a clear indication of this fact. That rural politics has now become associated with the political life of the entire country.


Changes in Religious Life

In the traditional  community, the importance of religion was paramount and all the work at the individual and collective level was conducted on the basis of religious beliefs. Being completely dependent on nature, religion was the most important agent of individual and social control. Today, due to the spread of new technology and education in rural life, important changes have started taking place in the traditional form of religion. There is always a contradictory relationship between religion and science. When the influence of science increases in any field of practice, then religion remains a passive institution.


 Perhaps this is the reason that religious rules are no longer enforced as strictly in the villages because the meaning of the beliefs and rules related to religion has changed. Until recently, religious rituals in the rural community were very complex and widespread, but today there is not only increasing indifference towards rituals but their abbreviation has also started. In the village, the priestly class which was always trying to make the ritualistic form of religion permanent, the educated youth of the same class families have now started considering the traditional religious beliefs as useless for themselves.


 This has not only reduced the influence of religious beliefs but has also encouraged the process of secularism. Due to the new techniques of agriculture, the villagers no longer believe blindly on the tales related to witchcraft and natural wrath, but have started evaluating their success and failure on the basis of logic. This does not mean that the influence of religion has completely disappeared in the villages or that rural life has become completely modern. The reality is that even today religion is an important institution in villages as compared to cities, but its ritualistic form has definitely slackened. For example, even today festivals and letters of gods and goddesses are celebrated with great enthusiasm in villages, but there have been vast changes in the rituals, beliefs and beliefs related to such events. These changes are taking place away from religious belief in the direction of entertainment. Apart from the above mentioned major changes, a clear form of rural social change has also been reflected in some other areas. Changes related to community life are very important in such changes. Until recently, the nature of the spirit of mutual help and community was very evident in the rural community. Whether the situation was of crisis or prosperity, whether a person was rich or poor, whether of high caste or low caste, every person considered it his moral obligation to help each other. On the contrary today not only the process of formation of separate factions from each other has been encouraged but sometimes

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It is not considered unreasonable to ignore the interest of the entire village for the sake of individual selfishness. The result of this is that today the village has the characteristic of self-reliance.



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