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Biju P R is an Internet writer, tracking the trinity of social media, politics and social change and excavating a social media trilogy. Have extensive writings in popular web journals, academic outlets and news portals.  Area of interest includes business and politics, celebrity culture and political class, social media and politics, carbon trading, politics of outsourcing and space politics. Gayathri O  specializes in women studies. Has extensive contributions in the field of social media and politics, especially technology and women.Area of interests includes technology, women and women’s movement.

Book on Finishing: A trilogy on Social media, 1) Clicking Alone: Myth of social media politics (Accepted), 2) Political Internet: Decoding mechanics of change in social media age (peer review), 3) Social politics (Tentative title- On progress- Also my Ph D work)

Books on progress, 1) Celebrity culture in political class (Tentative title)  2) The party women: Identity and women's movement (Tentative title) 3) Politics of offshore outsourcing (Tentative title)
4. The Space Race: The politics of new colonies 

We blogs only on academic topics currently in this blog (http://bijugayu.blogspot.in/) and to know more about our writings, publications, research works, conferences, web article links, etc., please go to our blog link (http://bijugayu.wordpress.com/). 

 

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Political culture of Indian State


-Culture is a complex phenomenon

-includes knowledge, art, belief, morals, law, custom and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.

-Culture may be said to have composed of two parts, i.e.,

-material culture and non-material culture.

-Material culture includes all the material and tangible equipments and objects which are made and produced by human beings.

-non-material equipment and capabilities made and acquired by man in group life are included in non-material culture.

-The people of a society share a common human nature like emotional drives, intellectual capacities and moral perspectives.

-The common human nature expresses itself in the form of certain values, belief and emotional attitudes which are transmitted from one generation to another, though with greater or lesser modifications, and they constitute the general culture of that society.

-Social relationships are subject to an endless process of transformation, of growth and decay of fusion and separation.

-Since they are all expressions of human nature, the social relationships of the present are found in germ at least in the past and those of the past survive, if only as relics in the present.

-Everyone is involved in some fashion at some time in some kind of political system.

-Each political system is embedded in a sociological and psychological environment- the set of values, beliefs, orientation and attitudes of the people toward politics, i.e., the political culture.

-The political culture of a society defines the situation in which political action takes place.

-It provides the subjective orientation to politics.

-The political culture is of course but one aspect of politics.

Political culture includes not only the attitudes to the politics, political values, ideologies, national character and cultural ethos, but also the style, manner and substantive form of politics.

-The political culture of a people gives them an orientation towards their polity and its processes.

-One way to learn about political beliefs is to observe the ways in which political structure operates.

-These beliefs affect and are affected by the way in which the structures operate and there is a close circle of relationship between culture and structure.

-Political culture is thus the manifestation in aggregate form of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics.

-A political culture is the product of both the collective history of a political system and the life histories of the members of that system.

-In brief, political culture is to the political system what culture is to the social system.

-The term political culture was first used by Gabriel Almond in “Comparative Political System” which appeared in the Journal of Political System Vol. 18, 1956.

-Several others like Samuel Beer, Adam Ulams, Sidney Verba, Lucian Pye, Dennis Kavangh, etc., have been responsible for popularising it.

-Gradually, this term became popular and now it has come to stand as a very important touchstone for a morphological study of the political system

-In the words of Almond and Powell “Political culture is the pattern of individual attitudes and orientations towards politics among the members of a political system”.

-Lucian Pye writes that “political culture is the set of attitudes, beliefs and sentiments of that give orders and meaning to a political process and that provide the underlaying assumptions and rules that govern behaviour in the political system.

-It encompasses both the political ideals and the operating norms of a polity.

-Political culture is thus the manifestation in aggregate form of the psychological and subjective dimensions of politics.”

-According to Sidney Verba “Political culture is the subjective orientation to politics or the system of empirical beliefs expressive symbols, and values which define the situation in which political action takes place”.

-A political culture is a product of many inter-related factors, traditional as well as modern elements. Changes in political culture come under the influence of these factors.

-A study of these factors is essential for an understanding of the political culture.

-The nature of political culture is always determined by the existence of ethnic differences and ethnic conflicts among several ethnic groups or minorities which live in the society.

-Ethnic differences have recently began to affect attitudes in Great Britain.

-The concept of political culture refers orientations -cognitive, affective and evaluative, towards, political objects and actions.

-Indian political culture bears the impact of the ideology of democratic socialism.

-Sometimes, the difference of ideological interpretations may lead to internal discontent and disaffection and eventually destroy rather than enhance the unity of the collectivity.

-The socio-economic factors always play a deterministic role in laying down the foundation of the political culture.

-A predominantly urban, industrialised society is a more complex society.

-Putting a premium on rapid communication, limits of poverty, employment, urbanisation, literacy etc, play a leading role in shaping the political culture of the society.

-A predominantly urban, industrialised society is a more complex society, putting a premium on rapid communication.

-Industrialisation is an important factor in changing values and attitudes.

-Rapid influx of immigrants, war, revolution all may provoke changes in political values and beliefs with subsequent strains on the Political System. A political culture is not static but will respond to new ideas generated from within the political system or imparted or imposed from outside.

-In ancient India, monarchy prevailed and people were not politically aware and the political culture was parochial in nature.

-However, with the coming of the British the different Kingdoms in India were consolidated in the hands of a single political power, i.e., the British.

-The discontaintment of the people during the British period made the people aware of their rights and duties. The political culture in India showed a marked change.

-Earlier, politics was confined to a certain few of the population but now politics became broadened and caste factor begun to influence the Indian polity.

-The national movement made the people politically aware. When the British left India in 1947, India embraced the parliamentary form of government, the idea of which was borrowed form the British. The first general elections were held in India in 1952. The constitution of India permit every adult reaching 18 years of age to cast their votes without any restriction.

-The people are now increasing their political participation and the political culture exhibits the “participant type of political culture”.

-Political culture is undoubtedly connected with the study of politics.

-The study of political culture is related to the study of political defection, political corruption, political stratification, political socialisation, pressure group, political behaviours, voting behaviours etc.

-The political system of a country having standard political culture can easily face grave dangers.

Indian polity seems redefined in recent years from what it was conceived for almost six decades ago

State has come to dominate not serve civil society in recent history

As state grow ,focus of national politics shifted from parliament to media

In the slick monologues of ad ,political personalities are marketed for public consumption

One victim of this culture has been democracy itself

To masses democracy still offers hope where as to elite classes it is under suspect

Prominent feature of Indian political culture in recent history was emergence on nation state as hegemonic actor in public realm

Nation state has been an important actor in national political life

Nation state now seems moved to centre stage with no competition from other actors

From arbitration in the matter of art and literature to correction on Indian shortcomings in sports,virtually every sphere of life is now under jurisdiction of Indian sate

The post colonial Indian state was never an empirical reality drived from theoretical postulates

No such grand political theory can be applied to diverse society of india having no authoritative cultural centre

A culturally well settled internally consistent concept of ndian state can be seen only in text book (Jayaswal 1943hindu polity:a constitutional history of india in hindu times)

Nehre,patel and ambedkar did so much to give an institutioinal set up to indian state with only a mionr variation from of post-17th century European concept of nation state

They rejected gandhian idea of Indian state

They borrowed concept of state rationally on supra political grounds from concepts of dominant politically developed societies

They were committed to state prevailed since Westphalia

But they rejected traditional approaches to indian state which were managed by pre colonial rulers

Indian state like any other state is trying to promote classical Indian culture of the past as the core identity

The culture of Indian politics in recent years depended more on a mix of Indian high culture

The traditional brahmanic and non brahmanic,the classical and folk the textually prescribed and the customary practices has been bypasses

Indian political culture is moving away from the pluralism from our ways of life

The new culture of Indian state has come to depend more on expanding pan-indian ,urban,middle class,servind as mass culture

The mass culture on Indian state is not bcentral tendency of diverse popular culture of different regions

Changes in relationship b/w state and society

One change is tendency of elites to see Indian elites to identify the development of state with development in general

Second change is to see that tendency to identify the secular rational processes of state with tolerance of ethnic and cultural diversity

Third is that state has established close link with mega science and mega technologies

There is growing impatience with politics and democratic process in some sections of india

There was growth of a pan Indian middle class consciousness ,a homogenizing nationalism and a centralizing nation state

This resulted in electoral politics

The absence of ideas in the public space

We have become a collection of minimalist people who exaggerate the tiniest bit of action as revolution, and don’t have the energy to think

There is a prevailing climate of confrontation and a raucous politics of ultimatums.

No group is prepared to budge an inch from positions staked out, whether it is Jats demanding an Other Backward Class status in rallies attracting hundreds of thousands, Khap panchayats challenging the judicial powers of the Supreme Court, militant proponents of separate states, castes asserting traditional or newfound rights with grim desperation, corporate groups driven by a vision of making over the entire country and its institutions to suit their needs, and crusaders against corruption inspired by a vision of spring cleaning of the state to a condition of pristine purity. Nobody is interested in finding a common ground for discussion with others. The current government at the centre is responding to the divergent challenges with blithe ad hocism, sometimes with crude thoughtless force, sometimes with unscrupulous compromises, and usually with sheer opportunist drift. The lack of common purpose or basis may perhaps be explained, but never legitimised, by post-modernism. And the resultant unhappy confusion is held together by inertia of habits

It seems to me that either fascism or anarchism, the latter morphing into the former after an interval, might gain from such circumstances. By anarchism here I mean a tendency rather than an ideology. The anarchist evades argument and jumps into a fray, any fray, only with a view to disturbing the equilibrium, heedless of consequences. This leads to instability to such an extent that fascists hope to take advantage by proposing draconian discipline and capture power. The only effective remedy is to insist on argument and debate, not polemics. And it is here that the role of the media, particularly the electronic media becomes important. The media can compel all parties to stand on reason, for instance, by employing knowledgeable and unbiased moderators who would give every voice an equal opportunity and not impose their barely concealed bias. Though I have learnt a lot from television debates, it often seems to me that assertions have triumphed over persuasiveness. Indeed the television exchanges of short duration seem designed to raise temperature rather than provide illumination.

Biju P R,Assistant Professor in Poltical Sceince,Govt Brennen College,Thalassery

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