M.N. Sriniwas

Mysore Narasimha 4 Niwas was born in the year 1916. He also did in Social Philosophy in the year 1936 at the University of Mysore. His much talked concept of Sanskritization made him famous all over the world. Received M.Ed degree in the year 1938.

The theme for D Phil was Religious and Society Among the King of South India. Wrote Miss in which he first used the concept of Sanskritization. He was more impressed by Red Cliff Round and Advance Thought.

Srinivasa’s approach was also similar to that of other sociologists as he did not want to depend on western text books to study about the people of his own country. For this, he himself started visiting different areas and doing localization. From the year 1940 to 42, he worked on a wide area of ​​the East. Apart from this, he has given a detailed description about the inter-relationship and unity with the different castes existing in the past.

Structural functional study of Rampura village by Srinivas

MN Srinivas made Rampura village of Mysore as the base of his study. In the year 1948, the total population of Rampura village was 1523. The village was inhabited by 19 Hindu castes and Muslims. Most of the castes were advised in their traditional caste occupation. In these castes a clear hierarchical order was found. Each caste was inter-caste marriage and followed restrictions on food and social society. Women believe in untouchability more than men in Rampura.

Half of the village’s population was based on agriculture. The members of the Open Ling caste were the largest landowners in the village. Of the only tea graduates in the village, three were employed and one was a lawyer. Traditionally Brahmins and Lingayats were priestly castes, but not every Brahmin and Lingayat served as priests as they were all people involved in agriculture and other activities.

There was a system of jajmani in Rampura and Kumbhar washermen served the Talai farmers and in return they were given grain at the time of harvest. Apart from this, in Teri Thodi Mod, the Gaderi-e-Shaadi 9 castes also provided their traditional services to the farmers. In relation to this, it was not limited to Rampura but spread to other villages. Half of the untouchable families were engaged in agriculture. The oaths were considered the lowest while the Brahmins Elingair held the highest position.

Apart from the jajmani system, there was a system of barter in the village. In lieu of legislation, fish, vegetables and betel leaves are included in the bill.

The traditional master-servant relationship existed between the peasantry and the untouchables. Although the relation between Jajman and Assamese was in the form of a kind of agreement. However, there was a close relationship between the two. MN Srinivas was of the opinion that regional and national elements are included in the rural structure and religious spheres of life have also been influenced by these influences.

Politically, there was a Linga Prabhu caste which had a substantial population in the village. The elders of the same caste used to work for maintaining justice and peace in the village. He also used to resolve all kinds of family disputes, debt related disputes and marriage related differences. In the study of this village, Srinivas also traced the process of Sanskritization. Sanskritization is the process in which a lower caste adopts a higher caste equality sovereign caste as its ideal and adopts their customs and later tries to achieve a higher position, which is mixed with tradition.

In the process of sanskritisation, the lower castes change their eating habits like meat eating and drinking and adopt vegetarian food. The Rampura study of Srinivasa has been found to be very famous due to the concept of Sanskritization.

There are following social types of rites.

To create homogeneity in social life.

 to refine and express one’s feelings and temporary feelings.

To regulate and control the conduct of the members of the society

preserve the culture

Transfer of culture from one generation to another

To build endurance in the person and provide hope for its solution in more normal circumstances like natural outbreak or Dusadh disease.

In this way, the sacraments fulfill the functions of integration. It is written in the great book of China Books and Rights that this religious act is a bond of connecting the common people with each other. If these shackles are cut, then the common man will be confused and scattered. Hence MN Srinivas has described the structural functional section as helpful in understanding the rural reality.

Srinivas’s concept and review of Sanskritisation

Sanskritization is a process of uplifting the traditional caste status of different castes. In other words, sanskritisation is a process of social mobility. In this, any lower caste or other group tries to elevate all the traditional conditions by following the rituals, lifestyle and way of life of any higher caste.

According to MN Srinivas, sanskritisation is the process by which a lower, Hindu caste and tribe or other group changes its customs, rituals, ideology and way of life in the direction of a higher and penultimate caste. Generally after such changes, he starts claiming a high place in the version given by the local society from the caste tradition. It is accepted after being claimed for a simple many days, but in fact for a couple of generations. Sometimes the caste begins to claim such a place which its neighbors are not ready to accept.

In short, it is said that sanskritisation is a process of socio-cultural change by which one would fall asleep. It tries to elevate its traditional status by considering an upper caste as an ideal. He has to claim a high level for a very long time. Only then other castes hunt for its feast. If she claims a place which is not hunted by other castes, it is not necessary that that caste should be given a high level of acceptance.

The following characteristics emerge from this definition of sanskritisation

Sanskritization is a process of social mobility.  

In this, the upper castes are imitated by the lower castes. 

 The lower castes claim their higher status in the Jati Sanskrit Taran.

This claim has to be made for a long time. It is not a process of two generations. 

an individual but a community process.

it is also a universal process.

Sanskritization is not limited to Hindu castes only or is found in other castes as well.  

In sanskritisation there are only pedagogical changes.  

Different ideal models of Sanskritization, not structural.

Sanskritization and social change in India

Being ubiquitous, the process of sanskritisation has always influenced the Indian society. The lower castes and tribes have tried to raise their social status by this process and will include many castes such as Harijans in Mysore and Sub Kalinga. Castes and tribes have been successful. Therefore, in this process many low castes were helped in raising the traditional status.

After independence in India, due to the improvement in the status of the lower castes and the reduction of caste distance, there has been an increase in social mobility through sanskritisation. This process has attempted to bridge the gap between secular and ritualistic status in Indian society. But is sanskritisation always a guarantee of social mobility? It is not so easy if not difficult to answer. Although mostly in this the lower castes get success in raising their traditional status. But even then it is not always a guarantee of social mobility.

Srinivas says that in general, along with Sanskritization and Praya. As a result, the relationship moves upwards. But mobility can come without sanskritisation or sanskritisation is possible without mobility. This clearly shows that sanskritisation is not always a guarantee of social mobility. Srinivas has corroborated this with examples given by many scholars, which show that sanskritisation is not always a guarantee of social mobility.


Ramakrishna Mukherjee has studied the dynamics of Indian rural society in class structure using both historical data and inferred data.

Appropriateness of sanskritisation

Is the concept of Sanskritization appropriate to explain the changes taking place in Indian society? In this context, Srinivas says that there is a process of change and the changes that take place in it are country-country changes. In this there are no structural changes and it is further said that in this a caste rises above its caste by sanskritisation. Srinivas opposed this statement by many scholars and said that if only major changes come from it, then there is no process of social mobility.

Although sanskritisation is helpful in understanding dynamics and social mobility and culture, both can exist without each other. This is possible only through socio-economic political changes. Srinivas says that sanskritisation is partly helpful in understanding caste dynamics.

Many scholars criticized Srinivas’s concept of Sanskritisation. They believe that only one bird of mobility is evident from this. Sanskritization is more effective than Sanskritization. DN Majumdar has found Sanskritization to be more comprehensive and clear than Sanskritization in the village of Muhana near Lucknow.

Some scholars such as PH Prabhu Robert Redfield and DM Majumdar have termed the term Sanskritisation as inappropriate. Prabhu called culture eclipse more inappropriate than this. Similarly, it is the point of Srinivas that Sanskriti Karo and Swadeshi Khair have been opposed and it has been said that this survey is not indigenous. In a closed and rigid system like caste, change from this seems difficult.

Srinivas’s belief that western education, industrialization etc. promote Sanskritisation. Opposing this, the scholars said that this process gives an expectation of Sanskritization and seeks Sanskritization. Many upper castes have abandoned their traditional ideals.

It is clear from the above discussion that the concept of Sanskritization is not very helpful in explaining the social change in India. From this the changes can only be partially explained the concept of sanskritisation and organization, say Lee and DN Mazumdar. In fact it is not a concept but a bundle of concepts.

Major works of Srinivas

, Marriage and Family in Mysore, 1942 

India’s Village, 1955. 

Social Change in Modern India, 1966 

Indian Society through Personal Writings, 1966

 India: Social Structure, 1969 • 

The Remembered Village, 

1976. ,  

Dimensions of Social Change in India, 1977.  

My Baroda Days, 1981 ^

 Sociology in Delhi, 1993 

 Village, Caste, Gender and Method, 1996