Maharashtra State BoardHSC Science (General) 11th
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Dr. M. N. Srinivas (1916-1999)

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Dr. M. N. Srinivas

M.N Srinivas full name Mysore Narasimhachar Srinivas. He was born in 1916 in Mysore and passed away in 1999 in Bangalore. He was one of the best Indian sociologists. He was a Brahmin. His studies are prominent in the area of caste and its other classifications, Sanskritization, and many other topics that revolve around caste itself.

Srinivas’s perspective was different from another sociologist as he did not want to rely on a western textbook to study his own country people. So, therefore, he himself participated and started with observation and fieldwork. Somewhere in 1940-42, He did vast fieldwork on Coorgs. He further talks about the unity and interaction among different castes present in Coorgs. Caste he covered was Brahmins, Kaniyas, Bannas, and Panikas. He also discusses in villages we can see many independent castes.

We would discuss briefly on a few topics which were of great importance to Srinivas:

  1. Social changes are occurring from the evolution of society but when we talk about Indian society there are certain social changes that have gained much popularity. Concepts like Sanskritization, Westernization, and Secularization, etc are an example of social changes.
  2. Sanskritization is the process in Hinduism in which the low caste Hindu person or group tries to acquire values, ideologies, and rituals of higher caste Hindu. Westernization in India when the culture of the West is gaining more importance than the culture of India. Indian people borrowing the culture of the West is said to be the process of Westernization.
  3. Secularization in India is a process in which all the religions existing in India will be treated as equal and neutral. These are some of the social changes which Srinivas emphasized.
  4. View on Religion, caste and its impact: He emphasized on many topics related to religion and village. How religion plays an important role to formulate Indian society. Religion, therefore, carries a caste system which again produces subdivision of these castes. He later discusses how these castes affect different caste groups differently. Each caste carries its position in society and treated on the basis of those ranks. He further talks about how these caste differences bring out more differences among people differences like occupational differences, a hierarchy in society, the system of pure and impure, caste panchayats, and assemblies.
  1. Dominant caste: according to Srinivas any caste that has three main powers of numerical strength, political power, and economic power is said to be a dominant caste.
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