Friday, September 2, 2011
Indian Society and its Inherent Characters
In India there was a social system based first on Chaturbarnya and , later, on the caste system which hid behind it the class divisions characteristic of slavery and feudalism, and economic exploitation and political oppression arising out of them. Consequently, when certain social forces began to emerge in the caste-based society, the existing social background was not conducive for the development of these forces. The continued existence of a society for generations without appreciable changes, divided not only among castes and religions, but also among tribes in some places, with growing contradictions and relations of hierarchy among them and a system of self-sufficient village communities based on the social relations arising out of these institutions - this is the existence of India's past history. In the words of Marx.
however changing the political aspects of India's past might appear, social condition has remained unaltered since its remotest antiquity, until the first decinnial of the 19th century. The handloom and the spinning wheel, producing their regular myriads of spinners and weavers, were the pivots of the structure of that society. From immemorial times, Europe received the admirable textures of India labour, sending in return for them her precious metals and furnishing there by his material to the goldsmith, that indispensible member of Indian society, whose love of finery is so great that even the lowest class, those who go about nearly naked, have commonly a pair of golden ear-rings and a gold ornament of some kind hung round their necks ..... it was the British intruder broke up the Indian handloom and destroyed the spinning wheel, England began with driving the Indian cotton from the European market; it then introduced twist into Hindusthan and in the end inundated the very mother country of cotton with cottons.
Marx observed that the British had "to fulfil a double mission in India; one destructive, the other regenerating - the annihilation of old Asiatic society and the laying of the foundations of Western Society in Asia."