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Changing Indian Traditional Structures and Cultural Institutions: Rationales and Inferences

. Dr. Retna Mony R Assistant Professor, Department of English, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli, Tamilnadu, India


In this paper an attempt is made to present how, in the twentieth century, Indian rural societies wound up their traditionalist approaches and embraced new ideals as a consequence of indigenous societal issues. The literary works chosen for the present study are Hepzibah Jesudasan’s Putham Veedu, Kamala Markandaya’s Nectar in a Sieve, U.R Ananthamurthy’s Samskara, and Anita Desai’s Fasting Feasting.  It also analyzes the causes which may have contributed to this process of social change during the period. Twentieth century is a modern era and the beginning of postmodern era, in which one could find tremendous change in all the facets of society, especially polity, culture and belief system, which influenced people over their customs, practices and lifestyles. This new era dealt with so many problems which were mostly derived from the roots of Indian social setups, conventions and convictions. Here, some of the issues taken up for discussion are power struggle between higher and lower caste groups, rationalism as against religious beliefs, flourishing women liberation movements and questioning of patriarchal family system, industrialization versus agrarian crisis, reform movements as opposed to religious tradition, empiricism in contrast to superstitious beliefs. The rationale being all these causes pressurized or shook the social institutions such as caste, family and culture and led to detraditionalization in every aspect of conventional system during the twentieth century.

Keywords: Social Change, Detraditionalization, Industrialization, Social Institutions, Modernization, Social Equilibrium.

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