The emergence of sociology in India has its roots in the 19th century when British colonial rule significantly impacted Indian society and culture. British administrators and scholars were interested in understanding the complexities of Indian society and implementing policies to govern the diverse population. This interest led to the study of various social aspects, eventually culminating in the development of sociology as an academic discipline in India.
Nature of Emergence:
1. Colonial Influence: The colonial administration played a crucial role in the establishment of sociology in India. British administrators wanted to comprehend the social structure, customs, and traditions of the Indian society to govern it more effectively. They conducted extensive ethnographic studies and surveys, which laid the foundation for sociological research in India.
2. Interaction with Western Scholars: Indian intellectuals and scholars started interacting with European thinkers and social scientists, exchanging ideas on social issues. Western sociological theories and methods began to influence the early Indian sociologists, and they adapted and contextualized these ideas to understand Indian society better.
Read more : eGyanKosh: Semester-I
3. Social and Political Reform Movements: The 19th and early 20th centuries witnessed significant social and political reform movements in India, aiming to challenge various social evils and bring about social change. Sociologists actively participated in these movements and contributed to the understanding of societal issues.
4. Rise of Universities: With the establishment of universities during the British colonial era, sociological departments and faculties were set up. This institutionalization of sociology provided a platform for the systematic study and research of society.
History of Emergence:
1. Early Pioneers: The early pioneers of sociology in India were mainly social reformers and administrators. Scholars like Sir Henry Sumner Maine, Herbert Risley, G.S. Ghurye, and D.N. Majumdar made significant contributions to the study of Indian society. G.S. Ghurye, in particular, is often regarded as the father of Indian sociology.
2. Post-Independence Growth: After India gained independence in 1947, there was a renewed focus on understanding the socio-economic challenges faced by the newly-formed nation. The government invested in higher education and research, leading to a substantial expansion of sociology departments in universities.
3. Indian Sociological Society: In 1951, the Indian Sociological Society (ISS) was founded to promote sociological research, exchange of ideas, and collaboration among sociologists across the country. The ISS played a crucial role in nurturing sociology as a discipline in India.
4. Diverse Research Areas: Indian sociologists began to explore various areas of research, such as caste and class systems, rural and urban sociology, family and kinship structures, gender relations, religious practices, and social change. These diverse research areas reflected the complexity and diversity of Indian society.
5. Engagement with Social Issues: Indian sociologists have consistently engaged with pressing social issues like poverty, inequality, education, and healthcare, contributing to the formulation of social policies and development programs.
In conclusion, the emergence of sociology in India can be attributed to the interplay of colonial influence, interaction with Western scholars, social reform movements, and the establishment of educational institutions. Over the years, sociology has grown into a significant discipline that continues to study and analyze the intricate social fabric of India.