Changing Life Class 9 History Notes Maharashtra State Board
Changing Life: 1
So far, we have studied the period from the year 1961 to 2000. The speed of change in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been tremendous. Human life is changing rapidly. Things that we could not have even imagined earlier, are now a part of reality. In ancient and medieval periods, religion was an important part of a person’s identity. Now, modernization has posed some challenges before all religions, be it Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism or Judaism. Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar brought about a sea change in our traditional mindset. He brought it about through the medium of the Indian Constitution.
According to our Constitution, all Indians are equal before the law, and they cannot be discriminated against based on religion, race, caste, gender, or place of birth. All citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression, freedom to assemble peacefully without arms, freedom to form associations, freedom to move, to live and settle down anywhere on Indian territory, and to practice any occupation. Indian citizens living anywhere in India enjoy the right to nurture their language, script, and culture. These provisions in the Constitution shook the foundations of the caste system. It helped to make the practice of vocations running in the family obsolete. Change has become the trend in every field of life. The following box shows how even machines were affected.
Thus began a series of minor and major changes in the society. Now, anyone can go into a restaurant irrespective of his religion, race, caste, or gender. We see boards outside the restaurants welcoming all. Another very significant change during the post-independence period is the right to express opinions against the government. Earlier, there were limits on expressing any opinion against political rulers. Now Indian citizens can register their protest against the policies of the government through newspapers, speeches, or other media.
During the British era, there were four kinds of compartments in the railway train – the first, second, inter, and third class. Nominal facilities for the passengers traveling by third class and the negative attitude towards them were almost a symbol of the Indian social hierarchy. In the 1978 Railway Budget, Madhu Dandawate put an end to this third class. Later two trains were started which had no class divisions, namely, ‘Sinhagad Express’ on the Pune-Mumbai route and ‘Gitanjali Express’ on the Mumbai-Kolkata route.
The Institution of the Family:
During the pre-independence period, the institution of the family was an important identifying feature of Indian society. India was known all over the world as the country of joint families. However, the wave of globalization has now given an impetus to the system of nuclear families.
The objective to establish the welfare state has been incorporated in the Constitution itself. India is the first country in the world to do so. The social welfare programs aim to make opportunities for full-time employment, health care, education, and development available to all Indian citizens. Indian society is riddled with large-scale economic, social, educational, and cultural inequalities. However, it is necessary that opportunities for development reach women, children, the differently abled, the scheduled castes and tribes as well as other minorities. This was the greatest challenge facing the government during the post-independence period. That is why, on 14th June 1964, the government of India constituted the Ministry of Social Welfare. Under this ministry, various programs are implemented for nutrition and child development, social security and social protection, and women’s welfare and development. A similar arrangement exists at the state level too.
Scheduled Castes and Tribes:
According to the 1971 Census, 22% of people in India belonged to scheduled castes and tribes. Laws were enacted so that they got educational scholarships, and representation in Parliament as well as State Assemblies. Some seats are also reserved for them in Government services.
The Constitution of India states that the primary duty of the government is to raise the people’s standard of living, ensure proper nutrition, and improve public health. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare at the Centre helps the state governments in this regard. To make primary health services as well as medical care available to rural people, the tribals and the poor was an objective of the Sixth Five Year plan. Efforts were made towards helping people maintain good health by giving recognition to Unani, Homoeopathy, Ayurveda, and Naturopathy in addition to Allopathy. Progress in the medical field has made the lives of Indians relatively free of health concerns. In 1962, the first successful open heart surgery was performed under the leadership of Dr N. Gopinath at Christian Medical College Hospital at Vellore in Tamil Nadu. Hence, it is no longer necessary to go abroad for such treatment.
Similarly, the invention of the ‘Jaipur Foot’ has transformed the lives of the disabled in India. Before 1968, if a person lost a leg in an accident, he had to suffer for the rest of his life. To remedy the situation, Dr Pramod Sethi designed and manufactured artificial limbs, noses, and ears, with the help of the skilled craftsman Ramchandra Sharma. The artificial body parts manufactured with the help of the Jaipur foot technology have made it easy for the differently abled to walk barefoot on rough surfaces, run, go cycling, work in the fields, climb trees, and even climb mountains, etc. They save on the expenses of shoes as there is no need for footwear on these artificial limbs. They can bend their legs at the knees and sit cross-legged. These feet are also convenient while working in water or wet conditions.
Since this surgery can now be performed in India, doctors have succeeded in saving patients’ lives. Such surgeries were not so common in India till 1971. But in 1971, it was successfully performed at the Christian Medical College hospital at Vellore in Tamil Nadu. Dr. Johny and Dr. Mohan Rao transplanted the kidney donated by a living person into the patient’s body. Nowadays, patients from underdeveloped countries come to India for such surgeries.
Right from early times, having a baby is considered to be of utmost importance in the Indian family system. The support of ‘test-tube baby’ technology has been available to childless couples since 1978. It was under the supervision of Dr Subhash Mukhopadhyaya that the experiment of the test-tube baby was successfully carried out at Kolkata. This was the first successful attempt at artificial conception. A girl named Durga was born. This technology helped to solve the problem of childless couples who wanted children.
Before 1978, every year, six Indian infants out of every 10 who were born faced fatal health problems in the very first year of their birth. The immunization program was taken up to overcome the threat of polio, measles, tetanus, TB, diphtheria, and whooping cough. The ‘pulse polio’ immunization program started in 1995 has controlled polio.
Urbanization is a process of the concentration of population in a city or urban area. The increasing population is one major reason for urbanization. A few other factors affecting urbanization are air, water, and the economic as well as social organizations necessary for community life. In the context of post-independence India, the increase in urban population is also due to factors such as a reduction in the mortality rate, industrialization, unavailability of means of livelihood in rural areas, job opportunities in cities, and the resulting migration. To reduce the strain on cities, it is necessary to make jobs available in villages, achieve a balance in economic development, control the expansion of metros, and provide necessary services and facilities in both the urban as well as rural areas.
A village is a permanent settlement of farmers near the land they tilled, either individually or collectively. Villages came into existence when farming began. Villages in India are thinly populated. A dense cluster of houses surrounded by farmland is a unique feature of the Indian village. A settlement smaller than even a village is called a hamlet. Compared to the urban community, the village community is very small. Villages are not uniform across India. There are differences based on regional and physical features.
Keeping in mind the goal of rural development, the collective development scheme has come into force. Plans were made for improving farming technology, increasing the area of irrigated land, extending educational facilities, and enacting laws for land reform under this scheme. It also aimed at increasing agricultural produce as well as expanding the means of transport, health services, and scope for education in the rural areas. It was decided to give priority to economic development in villages. The government undertook this work through the medium of Gram Panchayats which included the people from all castes and tribes. To achieve this, the Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis, and Zilla Parishads were empowered with more authority.
Changing Economic Life:
Earlier, every village was economically self-sufficient. A majority of the villagers were dependent on farming. Farm produce used to be distributed among artisans as payment for their work. Now this situation has changed. Rural areas are engaged in agriculture and occupations ancillary to farming while urban society is engaged in non-agricultural production and the service sector.
In 1961, 82% of India’s population resided in villages. In 1971, the percentage was 80.01%. So far, the rural area has shouldered the responsibility of providing food grains and other raw materials to urban areas, supplying labour to the industrial sectors of the city, and taking care of natural resources. There are three major challenges concerning rural development, namely, bringing about economic development, developing facilities to meet social needs, and finally bringing about a change of attitude in matters concerning society, culture, and ways of thinking. It is equally necessary to expedite irrigation projects and bring about land reforms.
Social Needs and Facilities:
It is necessary to give priority to facilities for public hygiene and health care. Even today, the rural population faces problems related to year-round provision of drinking water, toilets, open drainage, narrow roads, inadequate electrification, and lack of facilities for medical treatment. There is a lack of good quality educational facilities from primary level to higher education, centers for recreation, and libraries. That is why it is necessary to give special attention to rural areas. The collective development scheme had an important place in all the first four five-year plans of the government of India. The State of Maharashtra registered remarkable achievements under this scheme. For example, ‘Zilla Parishads’ was established in 1962. The nutritious diet scheme was launched in 1970-1971. The State also started a ‘Rural Water Supply Scheme’ for sinking wells and providing piped water. By 1971, and 1977 small dams had also been built.
Electricity is essential for the development of rural areas. Automatic pumps are needed to water the fields. Electricity is needed to preserve perishable food items such as milk, eggs, fruits, and vegetables, to run fertilizer projects for fans and TV, and for lights for studying at night. During the first five-year plan, electricity had been provided to three thousand villages in India. By 1973, it reached 1,38,646 villages. In 1966, it was decided to supply more electricity for pumps and borewells. ‘Rural Electrification Corporation’ was established in 1969. ‘Rural Electrification Co-operative Societies came into being in the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Uttar Pradesh.
Rural and Urban Societies During Pre-globalisation Period
|Rural Community||Urban Community|
|1. Priority to farming and ancillary vocations (jobs).||1. Priority to non-agricultural production and services.|
|2. Small in size, homogeneous in terms of language, culture, and tradition.||2. Large in size, heterogeneous in terms of languages, cultures, and traditions.|
|3. Elementary kinds of vocations; the trend of sending villagers to cities rather than accommodating outsiders in rural occupations.||3. Large industries, production for global consumption, accommodating outsiders.|
|4. Larger proportion of vocations running in the family.||4. Less proportion of vocations running in the family.|
|5. Priority to the head of the family and the family as an institution. Joint family system.||5. Family secondary, priority to individuals. The trend towards nuclear families.|
A ‘Village Industries Planning Committee’ was formed to help the development of industry in rural areas. By 1972, 1,06,000 persons got employment under this scheme. The government of Maharashtra has also started residential high schools known as ‘Vidya Niketan’ in Satara, Aurangabad, Nasik, and Chikhaldara. Their purpose is to provide the best quality education to intelligent and meritorious village students living in unfavorable conditions. As per the recommendations of the Kothari Commission, Agriculture Universities were also started at Rahuri, Akola, Parbhani, and Dapoli in Maharashtra. In recognition of the work done in the field of education, UNESCO awarded its international prize for the spread of literacy to Maharashtra in 1972. In this way, overcoming the obstacles at the beginning of the post-independence period, India began to develop and make progress. In the next chapter, we shall learn more about the developments in other fields.
Changing Life: 2
In this chapter, we shall look at the changes that have taken place in the fields of language, sports, theatre and films, newspapers, and television.
Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Odiya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali, and Sindhi are the official languages in India. These Indian languages also have dialects, but their number is now on the decline. Timely steps should be taken to nurture them, otherwise, we will lose an important part of our heritage. Nevertheless, Hindi, which has reached everywhere through the medium of Hindi movies, has served to unite the country by language.
Given below is a list of the languages of Nagaland in 1961 and the number of people using them.
- Angami – 33766
- Lotha – 26565
- Rengma – 5786
- Kheza – 7295
- Sangtam – 15508
- Chang – 11329
- Yimchunger – 10187
- Zeliang Semi – 6472
- Kuki-Chiru – 1175
- Tikhir – 2468
- Sema – 47439
- Eo – 55904
- Chakhesang – 339
- Sangtam Pochuri – 2736
- Konyak – 46653
- Phom – 13385
- Khiamniungan – 12434
- Liangmai – 2969
- Makuri – 769
The consequence of this variety was that Kohima radio station had to make its broadcasts in 25 languages which included English, Hindi, Naga dialects, and 16 Naga languages. The English language has been gaining ground in India due to the process of globalization which began after 1990. English is becoming the language of livelihood, as it opens the doors to multiple job opportunities. Moreover, Indians are at the forefront of learning English. However, it is necessary to ensure that this process does not endanger the very existence of regional languages.
During the pre-independence period, only a few selected games were known to people in general. Some sportspersons changed this situation. This enhanced the status of both – the sports, and the sportspersons. For example, Geet Sethi achieved global excellence in snooker, a variation of billiards. He won the national championship of billiards for teenagers at the age of 15. Later, he went on to win national and international championships. At the global level, he won the amateur billiards competition thrice, and the professional one five times. His success made the game popular, and newspapers began to report news about billiards. Thus he made a new field available to rising sportspersons in India.
It was in 1983, that the Indian team won the World Cup for cricket, under the captainship of Kapil Dev. It was a historic victory. Cricket instantly won great popularity across the country. In the same year, Sunil Gavaskar broke the earlier record of maximum centuries in test cricket. In 1985, India won the ‘Benson and Hedges’ World Championship of cricket. As a result, cricket came to be played in all States to a lesser or greater extent, but at the cost of indigenous Indian games. A few movies were also produced around the theme of cricket. Live telecasts of the full five days or one day of the matches also became available. India has been participating in the Asiad and Olympic games. At the Olympics of the year 2000, Karnam Malleshwari won a medal for weightlifting. She was the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics. India’s representation began to rise in various Olympic games such as hockey, badminton, tennis, swimming, weightlifting, and archery.
Theatre and Films:
Theatre and films are important aspects of Indian life. Early plays were very long, sometimes running through an entire night. Now, the form, technique, and duration of plays have all changed. People from different walks of life take part in the dramas. But ‘musicals’ have now declined in importance and political and social subjects have replaced the earlier mythological and historical themes. The age of black and white movies has been succeeded by the age of coloured movies. In the field of entertainment, the place of Hindi movies is incomparable. Now movies reflect contemporary themes. Film shooting locales have moved abroad. So, viewers can now see many different places in foreign countries. Movies in foreign languages are now translated.
During the screening of English movies, a short Hindi translation now appears on the screen as subtitles. Hindi movies now compete with ‘global’ movies as they have reached every nook and corner of the world. We see a reflection of politics, social events, industry, and technology in the movies. Movies that were 3-4 hours long are now only one or one and a half hours. Moreover, the concept of one screen and one cinema hall has given way to multiplexes. The days of a movie running for 100 weeks in one cinema hall are over. Now one movie runs in thousands of cinema halls in India and abroad simultaneously. This development has changed the economy of movies. Production of movies has attained the status of industry. The industry now employs crores of people. The movie industry in regional languages is also thriving.
The changing lifestyle has had its effect on newspapers and other mass media, and they in turn have influenced individual as well as community life. During the early post-independence period, newspapers had multiple objectives. In this period, the newspapers were expected to not only give the news of daily events but also give impetus to industry and commerce by printing advertisements. Newspapers functioned with the following objectives: shape public opinion, direct it towards constructive work, at times lead the latter, carry on the task of public education, keep a watch over the government machinery, etc. Earlier, newspapers were black and white. With the changing times, colour printing became common. Earlier, newspapers were thought to be the mouthpieces of the taluka or district. Now they have to face tough competition from the state-level newspaper chains. But on the whole, newspapers are now becoming more active. Their scope has enlarged to include raising funds for drought-affected and flood-affected people, helping meritorious students from lower-income groups to go for higher education, and organizing or sponsoring cultural programmes. This is how newspapers have now become an inseparable part of our lives.
Television came to India during the post-independence period. Earlier it was black and white. Now it is coloured. Earlier it was limited to some selected programs and fixed time slots. Gradually its scope was enlarged to include educational programmes, news bulletins, and detailed reporting of the tours of the President and the Prime Minister. During the telecast of Ramayana and Mahabharat, a majority of the people used to sit glued to the television set. These serials proved the popularity of this medium. Then in 1991, the CNN channel showed the entire world a live visual reporting of the Iraq war. At this stage, the world of Indian news channels changed completely. In 1998, STAR (Satellite Television Asia Region) a private media house entered India, and the uninteresting, monotonous, and propagandist news telecasts of the early period underwent a sea change.
The language, the technique of presentation, studios equipped with the latest technology, and the use of OB (outdoor broadcasting) vans have expanded the scope of Indian T.V. channels still further and brought in transparency and variety. Now, every nook and corner of the country is connected. This has had a great impact on politics. In short, the whole country started changing. So far we have studied the history of modern India. Next year, we will study how to make use of this subject in the practical world. We shall see how history can be a part of daily life, and not just a thing of the past.
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