Social Exclusion In India

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Poverty and Social Exclusion in India: A Critical Analysis
Around two centuries ago Adam Smith, the father of modern economics saw poverty not as a lack of material belongings or the shortage of a financial cushion, he saw it as issue that greatly impacts the society. If his view be believed to be true, social exclusion and stratifications becomes an essential touchstone of poverty as a concept. In this sense coming up with a universally applicable definition of poverty is impossible. Sociologists have come up with two concepts of poverty. Absolute poverty and Relative poverty.
Absolute poverty refers to the basic needs of humans in order to survive such as food, clothing and shelter. This concept can act as a universal standard to distinguish
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The main causes of poverty can be segregated on economical, political and sociological basis.
Economical reasons:-
Unequal Distribution of wealth: It is a fact that the income distribution in India is highly unstable. The wealth is mostly concentrated in the cities even though a majority of the population resides in the rural areas. A peculiarity is the land holding pattern in India is that most land has traditionally been under the control of a few landlords, leaving the vast majority landless. This lopsided land ownership can be traced back to the “Zamindar” system started by the colonial British. Handful ‘zamindars’ became legal owners of vast tracts of land and all others had to work for them to survive.5 (Goodpal, 2014)
Inadequate economic policy: India’s economic policy is one which is very similar to the ideal capitalist society which assists the rich in getting richer and the poor in getting poorer. It is as said by Will Rogers, ‘trickle down’ economics. This is unsuitable in India due to its large population. Instead India should focus more on an employment based economy which encourages manufacturing. This would, to a certain extent minimalise the difference between the rich and
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“Social exclusion refers to ways in which individuals may become cut off from full involvement in the wider society”8 (Giddens, 2009) . In India, there are many such groups. For example, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, Muslims and people with disabilities.
Scheduled Caste: Untouchability was banned in India a long time ago but certain practices along those lines still continue. People belonging from the scheduled castes such as ‘Dalits’ or the ‘Shudra’ caste who Gandhi termed ‘Harijans’. This cause society to exclude them from all activities and events such as weddings festivals and even certain religious places. They receive poor treatment and are offered lower wages if any at all, furthering their poverty.
Scheduled Tribes: India being very diverse, has a lot of different tribes that reside in the remote corners of the country. These tribes live in forests and other comparatively inaccessible areas which are completely cut off from the main population thus leading to their exclusion from society. In some cases it also leads to their exploitation and mistreatment due to factors such as language barrier and different behavioural norms. This points deny them the opportunity to grow in the larger

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