Staff Reporter

Seminar on “Social mobility in South India” held

PUDUCHERRY: India is poised to become a super power but a ‘shining’ India and a shunned India co-exist, said Partha Nath Mukherji, Professor S.K. Dey Chair, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi .

He was speaking at a two-day national seminar on “Social mobility in South India” organised by the Department of Sociology, Pondicherry University on Thursday.

“Even the Western superpowers say India will become a superpower in the next 15 years and economy will develop. There is a sense of a country on the move. But there is a ‘shining’ India and shunned India. We, as Indians, ought to be extremely worried about this. On the one hand, there is affluence, on the other, hunger and destitution,” Mr. Mukherji observed.

He outlined the need to take stock of the impact of development efforts and policy initiatives on society. Development does not reach the grassroots, he said.

“In the bandwagon of inclusive growth, there is a large portion of exclusion. A large section of people are getting excluded,” Mr. Mukherji said.

Elaborating on social mobility at macro level, he said agricultural self-employment has climbed from negative growth, while rural non-agricultural employment has fared even better.

Meanwhile, the growth of agricultural wage labour is plummeting, while rural non-agricultural wage labour has steadily increased.

Total agricultural employment is marked by stagnation, while rural total non-agricultural employment is witnessing robust growth, Mr. Mukherji said.

Emeritus Professor of Jawaharlal Nehru University T.K. Oommen said race, language and religion are critical in understanding the process of social mobility in a heterogeneous society.

Director of Culture and Cultural Relations of Pondicherry University A. Balasubramanian, Dean of School of Social Sciences D. Sambandhan, Head of Sociology B.B. Mohanty and Reader G. Ramathirtham were present.