Modernization is a process of social progress where society generally evolves from being traditional, rural, feudal to
becoming modern, urban, liberal, democratic. It is consequence of development of science & technology, ideologies,
systems like capitalism, globalization etc. that have led to political, economic, social and cultural transformations.
Modernization can be understood in different contexts:

  1. In economic sphere, modernization implies development of industrial and service sector, free market
    economy, free enterprise, mechanization, electrification, automation, globalization etc.
  2. Political modernization results in decline of traditional rulers and rise of systems based on principles of
    decentralization of power, rule of law, democracy, equality, liberty etc.
  3. Social modernization means abandoning discriminatory social practices, leaving orthodox traditions,
    developing more accommodative attitude towards others, cultural diversity and vibrancy, gender equality,
    protection of vulnerable section, respect for individual choice etc.
    Further, meaning of modernization can vary from culture to culture. A tribal society can be as modern as European
    society because of different value systems. Also, modernization is different from westernization, which means blind
    imitation of west.
    Indian society offers a contrasting picture where certain elements have modernized whereas others remain regressive.
    Indian society can be called modern because:
  4. Modern education has broadened the outlook of people and introduced new values, rational ideologies like
    equality, and justice.
  5. Indian institutions like parliament, bureaucracy, judiciary, army, banking etc. are modern.
  6. Several traditional beliefs and dysfunctional practices have been discarded and many new customs have
    been adopted. For example: sati was abolished; affirmative actions have been adopted for ensuring social
  7. Modern technology like internet, computers; modern industries and infrastructure have transformed India.
  8. India has modern political values like liberal democracy, constitutionalism, gender equality, justice etc.
    However, Indian society cannot be called a modern one because:
  9. Gender, caste, class and racial discrimination still persists. For example: Son-meta preference, sex selective
    abortion, untouchability etc.
  10. Religious identity taking precedence over national identity leading to communalism and riots in the country.
  11. Cultural practices are losing their relevance and traditions are getting lost due to blindly following of western
  12. Misuse of technology, for example cyber-crimes, show that people may not be ready for use of modern
  13. Political mobilization on divisive lines like caste and religion means people are still not modern in their
    We have examples like Mary Kom being celebrated for her achievement while North-Eastern people facing racial
    issues in mainland India. Modernization is a process and India is modernizing. In my opinion, we are on the right track
    of developing ‘scientific temper’ and rationality but a lot has to be achieved before we can call India modern


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