Two major problems such as
unemployment and poverty loom large on India’s face. In this
context, appropriate technology has to be provided to raise
production of agriculture and agro-based industries in the rural
areas; while revitalisation of the institution of Panchyati Raj
is an important measure to ensure rural development.
according to Professor Mehta, our political masters and planners
are caught in a strange dilemma. On one hand, there is a
resource constraint for development purposes and the political
elite is responding to free market economic forces. On the other
hand, they are compelled to provide basic minimum needs to half
and quarter of the population residing in villages and targeted
as potential voters. Such distortions, keeping in view the size
of India, have resulted increasing disparities including social
tensions, unrests, violent movements in various parts of the
Drawing a value
perspective on globalisation, ethnicity and development, the
author examines the concept of globalisation which instead of
homogenising the world social order, taking evidence of the last
10 years, has brought greater heterogeneity as a consequence of
development initiatives. Likewise, on the ethnic front, only
small section of population was beneficiary of high technology
and industrialised economy leaving the rest to gloom over given
issues of non-development.
significance of communication and development, the author writes
about information based human development keeping in view
inadequate financial resources, technology and large population.
Our communication experts have failed to design strategies which
could raise the aspiration level of poor and the under
privileged. Consequently, they develop apathy towards societal
tasks resulting aggression or regression behaviour,
counterproductive to development efforts. He talks about
communication as a pre-requisite to strategy of development
permitting the flow of information in weak areas where it is
needed most. Such an information system must be built up from
bottom upwards for a more realistic planning.
factors responsible for unplanned development in the country in
the essay on dynamics of Development in Indian Society,
Professor Mehta has given count of five year plans which were
basically economic plans stressing economic growth in terms of
industrial and agricultural output. However, they did not focus
on social and cultural factors equally relevant to total
development processes. It is for this reason that the planning
processes have failed to break down the social solidarity groups
like caste and kinship allowing ethnic identities to be more
There is a need
to evolve system which empowers people, releases their
capacities and give them incentives for change. Without this, no
influence of trans-national economy or global investment and
technology would work. The author observes that the developing
nations as a reaction to the centripetal forces of modernising
economy have given rise to centrifugal forces resulting in
uprising and strengthening of ethnic and cultural identities.
For sustainable social and cultural development, a wider
representation of these groups in a democratic set up should to
be taken in any future plan.
concluding essay, using Habemas’s framework, the author argues
that without a negotiated understanding between the developed
and developing nations, even if they manage the internal
dynamics of the economy, the state, the public and the private
sphere, will remain a difficult proposition.
The issues and perspectives
highlighted in the book provide useful insight into the
development processes to policy planners, administrators and
students of development sociology and anthropology.