Villages: Contradictions and Consensus
Sushila Kaushik
DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURE AND SOCIALISATION IN RURAL INDIA by K.C. Panchandikar and J. Panchanikar Popular Prakash an, 1980, 329 pp., 120.00
Village Politicsby K. Ranga Rao Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1980, 158 pp., 60.00
May-June 1981, volume 5, No 5/6

Village studies as they have been traditionally understood, are at a dis­count in India today. To a great extent, the credit for it lies with the authors themselves. The notion of village have oscillated between two extremes-from a romanticism of the rural areas as the cradle of our civilization and bastion of our fine culture, values and traditions, to a condemnation of the villages as the embodiment of stagnancy, of unchanging primordial loyalties and the scene of Indian social backwardness. Of late it is also the subject of condescending social scientists who know that the rural sector has been bypassed as the focus of our developmental strategies. It is with this confused feeling (almost one of a guilty conscience but also combined with sympathy for the country cousins), that many political sociologists are approach­ing the Indian villages to see pragma­tically how far ‘development’ had touched them and brought about changes in their political values, democratic participation and patterns of living.

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