Anthropology Civil Service Paper 2 Section- A, Questions 3,4_ Solutions
3. (a) Make a critical appraisal of Megalithic tradition in India with special reference to North-East India.
Answer: The megalithic tradition refers to a prehistoric period in India, characterized by the construction of large stone structures or megaliths, often used for burials and religious ceremonies. While the megalithic tradition was widespread throughout India, it is particularly significant in North-East India, where it is associated with the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo tribes.
One of the most notable features of the megalithic tradition in North-East India is the use of large, monolithic stones for the construction of tombs and other structures. These structures are often highly decorated, with intricate carvings and other ornamentation. They also serve as important markers of social and cultural identity, as well as symbols of spiritual and religious beliefs.
However, the megalithic tradition in North-East India has been the subject of some controversy and debate. One of the key issues is the question of the origin of the tradition. Some scholars have argued that the megalithic tradition in North-East India is indigenous, while others believe that it was introduced by outside influences, such as traders or migrants from Southeast Asia.
Another area of controversy is the function and significance of megaliths in the North-East Indian context. Some scholars have argued that megaliths were used primarily for burial purposes, while others have suggested that they served as markers of political and social power or were used in religious ceremonies.
Despite these debates, the megalithic tradition in North-East India remains an important aspect of the region's cultural heritage. It is an important source of historical and archaeological evidence, shedding light on the social, cultural, and religious practices of prehistoric societies in the region.
In conclusion, the megalithic tradition in North-East India is a significant aspect of the region's cultural heritage, characterized by the use of large, monolithic stones for the construction of tombs and other structures. While tradition has been the subject of some controversy and debate, it remains an important source of historical and archaeological evidence, shedding light on the social, cultural, and religious practices of prehistoric societies in the region.
(b)Assess the contributions of S. C. Dube in Indian village studies.
Answer: S.C. Dube was a renowned Indian sociologist and anthropologist who made significant contributions to the study of Indian villages. His work focused on understanding the dynamics of social change in rural India, and he conducted extensive fieldwork in various parts of the country.
One of Dube's key contributions was his development of the concept of "dominant caste," which refers to the group that holds the most power and influence in a particular village or region. Dube argued that the dominant caste played a crucial role in shaping social and economic relations in rural India, and that understanding their position was key to understanding the broader social structure.
Dube also conducted extensive research on the caste system in rural India, exploring its various forms and the ways in which it intersected with other social and economic factors. He was particularly interested in the role of caste in agricultural production and land ownership, and his work highlighted the ways in which caste relations shaped patterns of labor and resource distribution.
In addition to his research, Dube was also a prominent advocate for the development of rural India. He argued that social and economic development must take into account the unique needs and circumstances of rural communities and that policymakers must work to ensure that rural populations have access to basic services and resources.
Overall, S.C. Dube made significant contributions to the study of Indian villages, particularly in his development of the concept of dominant caste and his research on the caste system and rural development. His work remains highly influential in the field of Indian sociology and anthropology, and his legacy continues to shape the study of rural communities in India today. (c) Describe the methods adopted by Sir Herbert Hope Risley in classifying Indian populations. What are the criticisms against Risley's classification?
Answer: Sir Herbert Hope Risley was a British colonial administrator and ethnologist who played a significant role in the study of Indian populations during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Risley's classification of Indian populations was based on the physical characteristics of people, such as skin color, hair texture, and facial features.
Risley's classification system was primarily based on the cephalic index, which is the ratio of the maximum width of the head to its maximum length. Risley divided the Indian population into seven main groups based on their cephalic index, and then further subdivided these groups based on other physical characteristics such as skin color, hair type, and facial features.
The seven groups identified by Risley were:
Indo-Aryans: These were people with fair to medium skin, long faces, narrow noses, and wavy or straight hair.
Dravidians: These were people with dark skin, broad faces, flat noses, and curly hair.
Mongoloids: These were people with yellow or brown skin, flat faces, small noses, and straight, black hair.
Scytho-Dravidians: These were people with mixed features of both Dravidians and Indo-Aryans.
Aryo-Dravidians: These were people with mixed features of both Indo-Aryans and Dravidians.
Tibeto-Burmese: These were people with Mongoloid features who lived in the northeast region of India.
Semito-Dravidians: These were people with mixed features of both Dravidians and people from the Middle East.
Criticism against Risley's classification:
Racial bias: Risley's classification system was based on the idea of race, which was deeply rooted in colonial and imperialist ideology. Many critics have argued that Risley's classification system reflected the racial biases of the time and perpetuated the idea of white superiority over non-white populations.
Inaccuracy: Risley's classification system was based on physical characteristics that were not always accurate indicators of ancestry or ethnicity. Many people who were classified into one group based on their physical appearance might have had different ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
Oversimplification: Risley's classification system oversimplified the diversity of Indian populations and ignored the complex social, cultural, and linguistic differences between different groups of people. Many critics have argued that Risley's classification system ignored the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of India and reduced it to a simplistic racial hierarchy.
Ethnocentrism: Risley's classification system was based on the assumption that European physical features were superior to other physical features. This assumption reflected a form of ethnocentrism that ignored the diversity and richness of non-European cultures and societies.
4(a) "Globalisation, on one hand, has provided opportunities and on the other hand thrown challenges to Indian villages." Elucidate.
Answer: Globalization has had a significant impact on Indian villages, presenting both opportunities and challenges. Let's discuss them in detail:
Access to Global Markets: Globalization has opened up new markets for Indian villages to sell their produce, handicrafts, and other goods. This has led to increased incomes for farmers and artisans, who can now reach out to buyers across the world.
Technological Advancements: Globalization has led to the introduction of new technologies and innovations, which have transformed agriculture and other rural activities. For instance, the use of modern farming techniques, irrigation, and better seeds has led to increased yields and productivity.
Education and Employment: Globalization has also led to the development of education and employment opportunities in Indian villages. Many young people are now able to access higher education and skills training, which has helped them to secure jobs in the IT, BPO, and other service sectors.
Competition from Global Markets: Globalization has also resulted in increased competition from international markets. This has impacted local industries and businesses, which may struggle to compete with larger, more established companies from abroad.
Environmental Challenges: Globalization has led to an increase in industrialization and urbanization, which has resulted in environmental degradation and the loss of natural resources. This has particularly affected rural areas, which depend heavily on agriculture and natural resources.
Social Disparities: While globalization has brought benefits to many, it has also created social disparities between those who have been able to benefit and those who have not. This has led to greater income inequality and marginalization of certain communities in Indian villages.
In conclusion, globalization has had a mixed impact on Indian villages. While it has opened up new opportunities for economic and social growth, it has also presented challenges that need to be addressed through effective policies and planning.
b. Describe briefly the proto-history of Gujarat. Discuss the significance of Gujarat's proto-history in international trade.
Protohistory refers to the period before written records or the earliest documented history. The proto-history of Gujarat dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished in the region from around 2600 BCE to 1900 BCE. The Indus Valley Civilization is one of the world's oldest and most advanced civilizations and is known for its sophisticated urban planning, art, and trade.
During the Indus Valley Civilization, Gujarat was an important center of trade, with access to the Arabian Sea and trade routes that connected it to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and other regions. Archaeological excavations at the ancient cities of Lothal, Dholavira, and Surkotada have revealed evidence of extensive trade networks that connected Gujarat to other parts of the world.
In addition to trade, Gujarat also played a significant role in the spread of Buddhism and Jainism in ancient India. Many of the region's rock-cut caves, temples, and monasteries date back to this period and are still considered important pilgrimage sites today.
The significance of Gujarat's proto-history in international trade is immense. The region's location along the Arabian Sea and its proximity to other regions made it an important center of maritime trade. The Indus Valley Civilization is known for its sophisticated trade practices, including the use of standardized weights and measures, which facilitated trade with other regions. The region's strategic location also made it a gateway for the movement of goods and ideas between India and other regions.
Gujarat's importance in international trade continued to grow over the centuries, with the region becoming a major center of trade during the medieval period. The city of Surat, for example, was a major port and center of trade with Europe, Southeast Asia, and other regions. It was known for its textiles, spices, and precious stones, and played a key role in the global economy.
In conclusion, the proto-history of Gujarat is significant for its role in the Indus Valley Civilization and its importance in international trade. The region's location, trade practices, and strategic significance have made it an important center of trade and commerce throughout history, and its influence continues to be felt today.
Critically examine the Indigenisation of Christianity' in India.
Answer- Indigenisation of Christianity refers to the process of adapting Christian beliefs, practices, and institutions to the Indian cultural context. This process has been ongoing since the arrival of Christianity in India and has taken various forms over the centuries. However, it has also been a controversial and contested issue, with some arguing that it has led to the dilution of Christian teachings and practices, while others argue that it is necessary for the growth and sustainability of Christianity in India.
One of the main arguments in favor of indigenization is that it is necessary for Christianity to be relevant and accessible to Indian people. This has led to the development of local forms of worship, music, and art, as well as the incorporation of Indian cultural elements into Christian liturgy and practices. For example, the use of Indian languages in Christian worship and the adoption of Indian dress codes by Indian Christian clergy are examples of indigenization.
However, critics of indigenization argue that it has led to the dilution of Christian teachings and practices. They argue that the incorporation of local cultural elements has led to syncretism, where Christianity is blended with other religious traditions, leading to the creation of hybrid forms of religion. This, they argue, has led to a watering down of Christian teachings and a loss of the distinctive elements of the Christian faith.
Furthermore, some critics argue that indigenization has led to the emergence of caste-based Christianity, where the social hierarchies of Indian society are replicated within the Christian community. This has led to the marginalization of certain groups, particularly Dalits and other lower-caste groups, within the Christian community.
In conclusion, the indigenization of Christianity in India is a complex and contested issue. While it has been necessary for Christianity to be relevant and accessible to Indian people, it has also led to concerns about the dilution of Christian teachings and practices. The challenge, therefore, is to find a balance between indigenization and maintaining the distinctive elements of the Christian faith. Additionally, it is important to ensure that indigenization does not lead to the replication of social hierarchies within the Christian community.