IGNOU BSOC 132 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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IGNOU BSOC 132 Solved Assignment 2022-23

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Submission Date :

  • 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
  • 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).

Answer the following Descriptive Category Questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks in Assignment I.

Answer the following Middle Category Questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks in Assignment II.

Answer the following Short Category Questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 6 marks in Assignment III.

Assignment I

1. Discuss the bonds of unity in India with suitable examples.


We begin by clarifying the meaning of the terms diversity and unity.

Meaning of Diversity

Ordinarily diversity means differences. For our purposes, however, it means something more than mere differences. It means collective differences, that is, differences which mark off one group of people from another. These differences may be of any sort: biological, religious, linguistic etc. On the basis of biological differences, for example, we have racial diversity. On the basis of religious differences, similarly, we have religious diversity. The point to note is that diversity refers to collective differences. The term diversity is opposite of uniformity. Uniformity means similarity of some sort that characterises a people. ‘Uni’ refers to one; ‘form’ refers to the common ways. So when there is something common to all the people, we say they show uniformity. When students of a school, members of the police or the army wear the same type of dress, we say they are in ‘uniform’. Like diversity, thus, uniformity is also a collective concept. When a group of people share a similar characteristic, be it language or religion or anything else, it shows uniformity in that respect. But when we have groups of people hailing from different races, religions and cultures, they represent diversity. D.N. Majumdar wrote a book with the title, Races and Cultures of India. Mark the words in the plural: Races (not Race); Cultures (not Culture). Thus, diversity means variety. For all practical purposes it means variety of groups and cultures. We have such a variety in abundance in India. We have here a variety of races, of religions, of languages, of castes and of cultures. For the same reason India is known for its socio-cultural diversity.

Meaning of Unity

Unity means integration. It is a social psychological condition. It connotes a sense of one-ness, a sense of we-ness. It stands for the bonds, which hold the members of a society together. There is a difference between unity and uniformity. Uniformity presupposes similarity, unity does not. Thus, unity may or may not be based on uniformity. Unity may be born out of uniformity. Durkheim calls this type of unity a mechanical solidarity. We find this type of unity in tribal societies and in traditional societies. However, unity may as well be based on differences. It is such unity, which is described by Durkheim as organic solidarity.


As hinted earlier, we find in India diversity of various sorts. Some of its
important forms are the following: racial, linguistic, religious and caste-based.
Let us deal with each one of them in some detail.

Racial Diversity

You may have seen people of different races in India. A race is a group of people with a set of distinctive physical features such as skin colour, type of nose, form of hair, etc. Herbert Risley had classified the people of India into seven racial types. These are (i) Turko-Iranian, (ii) Indo-Aryan, (iii) Scytho-Dravidian, (iv) AryoDravidian, (v) Mongolo-Dravidian, (vi) Mongoloid, and (vii) Dravidian.

These seven racial types can be reduced to three basic types-the Indo-Aryan, the Mongolian and the Dravidian. In his opinion the last two types would account for the racial composition of tribal India. He was the supervisor of the census operations held in India in 1891 and it was data from this census, which founded the basis of this classification. As, it was based mainly on language-types rather than physical characteristics; Risley’s classification was criticised for its shortcomings.

Other administrative officers and anthropologists, like J.H. Hutton, D.N. Majumdar and B.S. Guha, have given the latest racial classification of the Indian people based on further researches in this field. Hutton’s and Guha’s classifications are based on 1931 census operations. B.S. Guha (1952) has identified six racial types (1) the Negrito, (2) the Proto Australoid, (3) the Mongoloid, (4) the Mediterranean, (5) the Western Brachycephals, and (6) the Nordic. Besides telling you what the various types denote, we shall not go into the details of this issue, because that will involve us in technical matters pertaining to physical anthropology. Here, we need only to be aware of the diversity of racial types in India. Negritos are the people who belong to the black racial stock as found in Africa. They have black skin colour, frizzle hair, thick lips, etc. In India some of the tribes in South India, such as the Kadar, the Irula and the Paniyan have distinct Negrito strain. The Proto-Australoid races consist of an ethnic group, which includes the Australian aborigines and other peoples of southern Asia and Pacific Islands. Representatives of this group are the Ainu of Japan, the Vedda of Sri Lanka, and the Sakai of Malaysia. In India the tribes of Middle India belong to this strain. Some of these tribes are the Ho of Singhbhumi, Bihar, and the Bhil of the Vindhya ranges.

Linguistic Diversity

Do you know how many languages are there in India? While the famous linguist Grierson noted 179 languages and 544 dialects, the 1971 census on the other hand, reported 1652 languages in India which are spoken as mother tongue. Not all these languages are, however, equally widespread. Many of them are tribal speeches and these are spoken by less than one percent of the total population. Here you can see that in India there is a good deal of linguistic diversity.

Only 18 languages are listed in Schedule VIII of the Indian Constitution. These are Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Out of these 18 languages, Hindi is spoken by 39.85 percent of the total population; Bengali, Telugu and Marathi by around 8 percent each; Tamil and Urdu by 6.26 and 5.22 percent, respectively; and the rest by less than 5 percent each as per 1991 census report (India 2003).

2. Define the concept of ethnic and discuss one of the tribal ethnic movements in India.


International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences defines ethnic group as ‘a distinct category of the population in a larger society whose culture is usually different from its own. The members of such a group are, or feel themselves, or are thought to be, bound together by common ties of race or nationality or culture’. They form their group when they are denied their rights, liberties and equality by the majority group. The members are physically and socially isolated from the larger community.

Ghosh (2003) defines Ethnicity as “the process of formation and reformation of consciousness of identity (real or supposed) in terms of one or more socialcultural-political symbols of domination/subjugation of a group(s) or community by another that emerge out of the processes of assimilation, acculturation, interaction, competition and conflict”. T.K. Oommen opines that the ethnic group is a group of people who share a common history, tradition, language and lifestyle, but are uprooted from and/or unattached to a homeland. Ethnicity is a processes which creates a sense of ethnic consciousness among the members of an ethnic group and mobilizes the members of same caste, language and religion to articulate their economic and political interest. Max Weber writes: “ethnic groups are those human groups that entertain a subjective belief in their common descent because of similarities of physical type or of customs or both, or because of memories of colonization or migration; this belief must be important for the propagation of group formation; conversely, it does not matter whether or not an objective blood relationship exists.” (Hutchinson and Smith 1996, 35).

Rajni Kothari, an eminent social scientist (1988) has argued that the process of formation of ethnic identity gets momentum when domination of the majority over the minority becomes an evident fact. Often, the dominant majority tries to assimilate and integrate the minority into the so-called mainstream. Kothari has therefore linked the ethnic movements in India with the movements of marginalised people and of those seeking indigenous authenticity. Pathy (2000) also equally argued that the Indian state has followed the western model of nationstate and undermined tribal identities. It has also deprived them of much of their land, livelihood, language, religion and culture. The western assumption of nationstate as a melting pot leading to a homogeneous national culture has not proved to be a myth. The tribal, non-tribal or Hindu-Muslim interactions in India did not result in the extinction of any particular culture in India. The massive presence and relevance of minority (and majority too) identity groups in India is a lesson for us.

Oommen (1997) analyzes that the success of any ethnic identity movement also depends to a large extent on the manner in which state and union government handles it.. There is enormous evidence to suggest that demands have been conceded by the state only when the concerned movement demonstrates its political clout. For instance, the demand for a separate state or administrative unit in the whole of North East India, Punjab, Darjeeling, Uttarakhand or Jharkhand was not conceded till those movements achieved political significance. But in doing so, the state has perpetuated conflicting situations indirectly and contributed to the proliferation of similar movements. The success of Mizo or Naga revolt in the North East had inspired all other groups of the area to launch similar kind of movement. All the major insurgent groups of North East today maintain underground linkages so as to exert greater pressure on the Indian State. The static response, thus, paradoxically becomes a catalytic agent for the emergence of ethnic movements. Even when the state tries to manage tensions through cooption of the movement’s leadership, the attempt backfires in the long run by giving birth to a new leadership aspiring for a better placement. In the case of Tripura, the process of ‘concessional democracy’ for more than two decades became counterproductive as terrorism has gradually become an ‘industry’ with contending political parties wooing this or that rebel group (Ghosh 2003).

There are six forms ethnic identity and assertion in India. These are discussed below

Linguistic Ethnicity

Language has always been a cornerstone of ethnic identity. Every ethnic group has its own language and the members of ethnic group build their ethnic identity through their own language. The Dravida Kazhagam movement took shape in Tamil Nadu in 1940s and 1950s. In this movement there was a strong opposition from the Dravidian language speakers against the adoption of Hindi as the national language by the government of India. Vanaik (1990) says linguistic ethnicity came into existence in India along with the growth of the national movement. He argued that unlike religion, linguistic consciousness is never a powerful contender for separate nationhood because for most Indians, linguistic consciousness coexists non-antagonistically with national consciousness. Oommen (1990) writes comparing language and religion, he says that language has more legitimacy than religion for administrative restructuring.


The concept of religious assertion and communalism has posed a great danger to the national integration. When ethnic groups try to establish their identity through religion, they breed conflict and threaten the community life. History reads that communalism has been a major source of communal conflict in the country. Bipan Chandra holds that communalism in India is a modern phenomenon. It has its roots in British imperialism and emerged out of modern politics based on mass mobilization and imaginary communal interests. The British policy of “divide and rule” in India sowed the seeds of antagonism and distrust between the Hindus and the Muslims so deep that the process of bridging the chasm between the two communities is still far from over. There has been a constant conflict between Hindus and Muslims in India owing to the interest of both the communities to establish their religious dominance. The Sikh riots in 1984, Gujarat violence in 2002, Hindu –Muslim clashes in Ayodhya in 1992 have witnessed several communal riots and caused the loss of several innocent lives across the country.

Tribal Movements

Tribals are the indigenous groups who lived in the forest land. They have been historically neglected and ruthlessly oppressed at the hands of the landlords, money lenders and government officials. They have been displaced from their land, as a result of for which they have lost their livelihood resulting in huge dissatisfaction among them. They developed hatred towards the non-tribals (DIKUS) who grabbed their parental land and displaced them from their own jal, jungle and jameen. They have been in a fight with the mainstream people. The tribals continued their movement to assert their ethnic identity. The maverick tribal leaders from Oraon, Mundas, Maikda tribe etc., in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and North-East India fought against the imperial rulers to protect their lives and livelihood. After independence, the tribal movements were directed for maintaining cultural identity or for demanding a separate state or for asserting their status as caste Hindus through Sanskritization process.


The problem of ethno nationalism did not get much attention from the international studies because many theorists considered that this problem is not a major threat to international peace. But it gained momentum in internal national studies. According to Walker, the concept “denotes both the loyalty to a nation deprived of its own state and the loyalty to an ethnic group embodied in a specific state, particularly where the latter is conceived as a nation-state. In ethno-nationalism, a group develops a loyalty to its nation which is marked by the desire of an ethnic community and the community to have absolute authority over its own political, economic, and social affairs. This denotes the pursuit of statehood on the part of an ethnic nation.

Assignment II

3. How does Grierson, the famous linguist describe different languages in India? 

4. Discuss the new types of protest movements amongst some tribes in India. Give a suitable example. 

5. Why did the colonial rule change the agrarian class formation in India?


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Assignment III

6. Explain one of the changes found in India after Independence
7. Distinguish between the terms change progress and social development.
8. Define the concept of Caste and Class.
9. Distinguish between nuclear and joint family in India.
10. What are the basic concepts of kinship?

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IGNOU BSOC 132 Solved Assignment 2022-23 Download Free  Before attempting the assignment, please read the following instructions carefully.

  1. Read the detailed instructions about the assignment given in the Handbook and Programme Guide.
  2. Write your enrolment number, name, full address and date on the top right corner of the first page of your response sheet(s).
  3. Write the course title, assignment number and the name of the study centre you are attached to in the centre of the first page of your response sheet(s).
  4. Use only foolscap size paperfor your response and tag all the pages carefully
  5. Write the relevant question number with each answer.
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