India – a truly prismatic society

Around five decades back, political scientist Fred Warren Riggs propounded the theory of prismatic societies. Sometimes, I am amused by the farsightedness of these thinkers whose hypotheses have stood the test of time. According to this theory, all societies pass through three stages of evolution namely fused, prismatic and diffused. This process is analogous to the splitting of the white light by a prism.

For the general readers, it would be sufficient to understand that there is lot of generalization in a fused society and lot of specialization in a diffused society. In the prismatic society, some areas are generalized and some are specialized. Another peculiarity of the prismatic society is the existence of modern and traditional systems together. For example, you have English medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, you have great scientists and people who still believe in supernatural powers, etc.

Some of the articles in today’s paper bring about this characteristic of extreme perceptions in prismatic Indian society. On one hand, you have an article which says “Woman officer gets gallantry award” and on the other hand, you have an article which says “Passenger objects to woman piloting plane“. Aren’t these extreme shades of gender perception?

Many such examples exist if we look for them carefully around us. This wide range of perceptions poses a great challenge for the administration. With limited amount of resources and political obligations (desire to come back to power which is not a ‘bad’ desire), it has become a convention to satisfy the majority pressure group. This is one of the important reason for the existing state of the deprived section of people in our society. The problem does not exist in the theory of trickle down effect, the problem is that very little trickles down. The social, economic and political systems influence the amount that trickles.

About guptasudhir

Let us revolutionize education in India !
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to India – a truly prismatic society

  1. Ashwini says:

    Excellent Observation!!


  2. Abhishek baiwal says:

    Great work I like it!….I think you should mention some characteristics of prismatic society apart from example…. well done!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s