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43rd Sociology Conference in historic Lucknow University

The 43rd All India Sociological
Conference of the Indian Sociological Soceity got under way on Friday November
9 with thought provoking inaugural address by Rajiv Kumar the vice chairman
of Niti Aayog.  Hosted in the old world
ambience of the Lucknow University. The four-day conference will deliberate on
the theme of Neo-liberalism, Consumption and Culture.  It is fitting that the conference is being held at this university that has one of the oldest departments of sociology that began life under the able guidance of Prof Radhakamal Mukerjee and has nurtured some of the giants of sociology in India.



In his address Kumar, after a nostalgic
comment on his days as a student of the university, albeit in a different
department, pointed to the need for a rethinking of the role of elites and put
forward the hypothesis that the elites needed to quickly become integrated into
the development process.  Elaborating on
the theme he said that the old ethos of making discerning choices on the means
to success rather than on focusing on success by any means has, over the last
three decades disintegrated.  It is the
role of the elite he said to revive that tradition and philosophy that had
stood Indians well over centuries.



Kumar further elaborated on the theme to say
that the elite needed to reconnect towards the making of a new India and
ridding it of the five evils: poverty, inequality, squalor, casteism,
communalism and terrorism.  The Indian
elite has abdicated its role and has tended to solve public problems with
private solutions rather than energise public agencies to find the
solutions.  To Kumar, this trend began
with the emphasis on central planning, which the genius of Mahallanobis had
made possible.  But this led to  the dependence on the state rather than developing
enterprising solutions.



Kumar’s words connected well with the theme
of the conference, as the President of INSOSO, Sujata Patel asserted.  She said that the conference was being held in
Lucknow after 56 years.  The first all
India Sociology Conference was organised by the stalwarts o sociology who also
grounded the department of sociology in the university, Radhakamal Mukherjee
and D P Mukherjee.  And it was an
additional marker that Dr Rajiv Kumar had been a student of the university too.



The conference will feature four
themes:  the first focuses on urban
development raising the question of whether urban should refer only to cities
when after all the essence of the development is also massively affecting rural
areas and communities. The second is around the rise of the middle classes and
the emerging conflicts among them, and the third is on the implications of
elite-led growth, as Kumar had noted, on the different sections of the
population. [For more information, log on to www.insoso.org

Source: Iris Knowledge Foundation

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Posted on : Nov 11, 2017