A Continuous Decline in India, Without Modernization
Hypothesis: Modernization is the Key to economic growth for India. If
modernization occurs, then the economic status of India will increase
tremendously, even if the price India has to pay is a change in culture, and
has remained financially stagnant since its beginnings. One may
argue that non-modernization
has plagued this sub-continent in economic growth
and development since early times. One may continue to argue that if
modernization occurs, India will achieve in many different ways, including
economically, socially, and nationally. In order for modernization to occur,
India must move from small scale industrialization to large scale
industrialization. If this occurs India will become much more financially sound
and achieve a higher status in the world.
Modernization will bring many positive change to India, but people may
argue that "modernization" will bring destruction to the Indian civilization.
By bringing modernization, many jobs will be taken over by machines.
Unfortunately, this process will result in the elimination of jobs done by
local peasants. There are many additional prices India will have to pay to be
able to modernize, including: (1) a loss of culture and tradition; (2) probable
religious conflicts; (3) loss of caste; (4) social divisions
; and, of course
(5) TAXES. With modernization, taxes will definitely increase for India to pay
for the new advances in industry and technology. Taxes are the primary means
for any government to raise money and support its programs. However, the
overall price that India will have to pay will be relatively small compared to
the positive changes modernization will bring.
When India became independent its leaders recognized the urgency of
strengthening the Indian economy. The leaders of new India were determined to
raise the standard of living, which was among the lowest of the major nations in
the world. Indian leaders agreed to establish a "mixed economy," which
combines the use of private capital and public in he development of industry,
mining and farming. If modernization occurs there will be change from
traditional order. The model of change assumes: (1) a sharp dichotomy between
the traditional and modern order, including the order of mutual exclusiveness,
and (2) the change from one to another is predicted in terms of a historically
deterministic pattern, that is, it must take place in a certain predetermined
sequence. If this happens, India will have a better economy and a higher
standard of living. Through greater economic prosperity, India will also obtain
better health care. Also industry will promote a better education system by
encouraging students to study for more technical and professional jobs. Finally
modernization will foster a better sense of nationalism, as future generations
become healthier, stronger, and more prosperous.
Today, there are many Indians without jobs or work. Currently the vast
majority of jobs are done by villagers, limiting the number and types of jobs
that can be performed. Specifically, without a coordinated system the only jobs
that can be performed are simple ones that can be completed by a relatively few
individuals. No technologically advanced jobs can be performed or created in
this type of system. Modernization will bring factories that will produce many
jobs - more than any village can produce. In addition, factories will allow
for the manufacture of new products not possible for village workers to produce
As mentioned previously, one of the by-products of modernization is
advances in health care. Presently, the life expectancy in India is placed at a
low 58, for females, and 57 for males. This is compared to the United States
where the life expectancy is 79 for females, and 72 for males. If modernization
occurred life expectancy should raise considerably.
Similarly, the literacy rate of India can be expected to dramatically
improve with the advent of modernization. Presently, the literacy rate in India
is 41 percent, relative to a 96 percent rate for the United States. Again, it
is expected that India's literacy rate will significantly rise with the
introduction of modernization and greater emphasis on educational preparation.
To help foster modernization foreign companies have established small
businesses and technical schools in India to help villagers understand how
modernization can help improve their lives. Certainly economic success,
expressed as better pay and better living conditions, is an appealing feature of
modernization. Despite the allure of high wages and good pension plans, the
modernization of the village as a whole can not take place without strong
modification of its social structure. Traditional small communities seem to
rely upon "total cooperation and consensus in getting things done, whereas
urban-influenced communities rely on public spiritedness, partial
cooperationness, and a absence of strong disagreement." The success of this
transformation will require the involvement of the villagers and their active
participation in the modernization process.
India faces the decision of remaining a small scale industrial society
or stepping toward the furture by modernizing and developing advanced
technological opportunities for its population. Without modernization India
will never be able to excel as a nation and its citizens will continue to dwell
in poverty. Critics of modernization may argue that this process will destroy
Indian society and culture. On the contrary, modernization will save the Indian
soceity and allow this proud country to prosper.
Clark, J. I. India. McDougal, Littell & Co., Evanston, Illinois, 1989.
Ishwaran, K., Change and Continuity in India's Villages. New York: Columbia
University Press, 1970.
Shady Side Academy. Historical Perspectives, undated.
The Software Toolworks Multimedia Encyclopedia. "India." Grolier Electronic
Publishing, Inc., 1992.