India has a roughly four-thousand-year-old history. Religious and philosophical writings written in classical languages like as Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Pali make up the country's cultural legacy. Bhakti literature was also created in regional languages like Awadhi, Braj, Maithali, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam throughout the medieval period. Then there are the classical and folk forms of performing arts, architecture, and sculptures that represent India's diverse social-economic formation, which includes tribal tribes, agriculturists, and city dwellers.
1-Pre-British Period Social Thought
India is a complex civilization, especially where its literary tradition is
concerned. The Indian philosophy consists of six schools of thought namely
Yoga, Sankhya, Nyaya, Vaishesika, Vedanta and Mimamsa. This is an
important source of Indian thought. The thirteen principal Upanishads
consist of philosophical inquiries into the inner life and the ultimate destiny of human beings.
Besides these we have the Buddhist and Jain religions which
have many philosophical works. Generally, these schools of thought concern
the evolution of mankind towards certain ultimate goals. Salvation, which
in India means freedom from the cycle of births and deaths, is the objective
of enquiry and cogitation in many of these philosophies. Indian society
has all the same been changing and adapting itself to new conditions.
In pre-modern India, social thinking was the expression of a multiethnic community. The Islamic heritage, which gave rise to the Sufi religion and had a wide-ranging influence on life style and morals, especially in the North, has had an impact on us. The Sikh faith is an excellent example of Hindu and Islamic thinking colliding. In India, freedom of inquiry flourished everywhere, and there was little persecution of a group on religious grounds. As a result, the Indian social groupings were known for their tolerance of one another. While Indian faiths were widely practised, Indian philosophy was mostly practiced by the educated and urban classes.
2-The British influence
The arrival of the British in India had far-reaching ramifications for Indian society. Due to changing social and economic factors, long-held customs began to fade. Classical languages like Sanskrit and Persian fell out of favor, and English took its place as the official language. Traditional handicrafts in India's countryside deteriorated as a result of the British bringing machine-made textiles and other items to Indian marketplaces from Manchester, Lancashire, Sheffield, and London. Under colonial rule, Indian communities were unable to function as sustainable economic entities. The British brought important changes in India by the introduction of
railways, posts, and telegraphs which facilitated communication between
groups. Further, administrative and judicial services were extended to many
parts of the subcontinent. Thus, India entered the modern stage. The
schools, colleges and universities were started by the British rulers.
Missionaries and Indian voluntary organizations also took steps to spread
modern education in India.
3-The Middle Class's Rise
The feudal classes, such as the Rajas, Zamindars, and Talukdars, were no longer at the centre of the stage. Indeed, the middle and lower classes which formed during in the British era are today dominant in almost every aspect of Indian culture. The social theorists examined in this course are primarily from the middle class.
Although castes are essential in religious and domestic realms, classes have grown prominent in vocational, professional, and public life. The word "middle class" is used here in a non-economic sense.