Metta Spencer

Political Behavior of University Students in India

A thesis submitted as partial requirement for the degree Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Sociology, University of California, June 1969

Political Behavior of University Students in India

Metta Wells Spencer

A thesis submitted as partial requirement for the degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Department of Sociology University of California

June, 1969

Approved by:
Seymour Martin Lipset
Giuseppe di Palma
Robert Somers


I have benefitted from the kindness of many people while studying Indian students. My work was supported through the Institute of International Studies in Berkeley and the Center for International Affairs, at Harvard. I have profitted from my relationship with the Harvard University Project on the Social and Cultural Aspects of Development, as well as from discussions with Kenneth Walker, Amar Kumar Singh, and Philip G. Altbach, among many others. I am particularly grateful to my advisor, Seymour Martin Lipset, for his kindness and to my son, Jonathan Spencer, for being a sweetie-pie.


Wherever profound social changes are stirring, students are in the streets. Universities regularly provide the manpower for social reform movements and for mass political action. Some of the reasons are obvious: students are idealistic and their reformist zeal has not been chastened by the "unanticipated consequences" which their elders have witnessed following earlier reforms. Students are available, unencumbered by conflicting obligations. Their resources are wholly fluid; they have little invested in the status quo and can commit themselves without much sacrifice to a new and radical future.

Even when university students are not especially caught up in any political movement, there is reason to notice the political orientation which they share. The students of today are the elite of tomorrow; their views today will become the frame of reference shared by a generation of young adults. When the Indian university agitates, the state trembles. It does agitate, violently and often.

The present study is concerned with the political attitudes and activities of Indian students since independence. We shall be interested in determining, if possible, the roots of the rebelliousness which the students collectively assume at various times, and what relevance this attitude has to ordinary political processes. We shall be interested in the intensity of partisan activity which students show and also in the fact that some of them are so apolitical. We shall be interested in the nature of their political leanings, in whether these inclinations have changed over the years, and if so, what factors account for these changes.

We shall also be interested in the consequences of present educational policy for the Indian polity. If, for example, the government is prepared to educate a great many lower class youth to the college level and if we determine that lower class youth have a distinctive political style, we can infer that the government may be educating a cadre of leaders for a new kind of political movement. Since many college graduates remain unemployed or unsuitably employed, we should ask whether the politics of unemployed educated people have any remarkable characteristics. Since education produces modern values, we should ask whether modern people from different social classes have different political orientations, for this too may be consequential for the stability and direction of the Indian polity. If substantial numbers of Indians take no interest in partisan politics, as indeed they do not, we must ask why this is the case and how they believe the government should be run, if not by politicians.

We shall want to know how the political system impinges upon the university structure, as well as how the university structure impinges upon the daily life and future career possibilities of the students. We shall want to discover how the students constitute a resource, as well as a threat to the factions of adults within a university and to the political leaders outside the university.

To understand all these issues it will be necessary to first discuss at some length the history and structure of universities in India, the history and present orientations of various political parties and their student wings, and some salient features about Indian society (such as the caste and linguistic divisions) which determine the cleavage-lines which separate students and the whole polity into different camps.

This report, then, will be divided into three parts. Part I will be concerned with presenting the important background data which make it possible to understand student politics in India. Part II will analyze political relations as they existed in eleven universities in 1952, shortly after independence. Finally, Part III will use survey data from sources collected since 1952 to attempt to discover whether the social composition of the student population has changed markedly, whether student politics has changed, and if so, in what direction.


Many of the data we shall employ derive from surveys conducted by other scholars for other research purposes. We should indicate a few facts about the samples, as well as how the various indices were constructed.

None of the samples utilized a panel design and the surveys are not random samples of the entire universe of students in India. Consequently, we are on shaky ground in generalizing from these findings to the whole population, which is what we want to do, of course. However, some data are better than others from this point of view, and fortunately, the results of several different samples do coincide.

By far the most satisfactory sample is the 1952 survey of eleven Indian universities: it covers the entire range of universities and 2044 students. Because it is more representative then the others, the definitions of inter-relations of political factors will be sought through analyzing that sample predominantly.

We can be less confident about generalizing about all India from findings of later samples, simply because the marginals may reflect primarily local feelings. We found that in the Eleven Universities study, regional differences are marked. However, we have data from enough different sources for the later comparisons so that many comparisons are possible, and that makes our inferences somewhat more justified.

The Eleven University study was conducted in 1952-53 by the Bureau of Social Science Research, of the American University in Washington, D.C. and by the Psychology Department of Lucknow University in India. In order to provide a roughly representative geographical distribution, the researchers selected Aligarh, Agra, Banares, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Lucknow, Madras, Nagpur, Osmania and Travancore (now Kerala) Universities for analysis. Sampling was conducted only from arts and science students of the constituent colleges and the universities. Stratification was made with respect to as many of the following variables as university records allowed: academic class, major field, division of university, and sex. Within each different stratum, sampling was random: each university was asked to obtain a number of questionnaires proportional to its size. Normally, questionnaires were administered to students in groups. It appears reasonable to regard the sample as rather representative of the Indian Universities.

In a few places we have compared the Indian students' responses to those of students from the United States: Cornell, Dartmouth, Fisk, Harvard, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, U.C.L.A., Wayne, Wesleyan, and Yale. The American survey was conducted in 1950-51 by sociologists at Cornell University and was the basis of a book, What College Students Think, by Rose Goldsen.

The American sample is quite representative of male undergraduates, though perhaps the best universities are somewhat over-represented. Comparison between Indian and American students should be made with attention to the fact that the Indian sample includes graduate students and women, while the American sample does not.

In Part III we shall refer to other surveys. We have the All-India Political Poll of September-November, 1961, conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Opinion, the Indian affiliate of Gallup. It was a national cross section of the entire population, numbering 3537 and was conducted by interviewing. There were about fifty students in the sample and it was possible to select them out and compare their responses with those of other respondents. The sampling technique has not been specified, but there are other checks which suggest that the organization manages to get a representative sample as a rule: they have predicted election results with fair accuracy. However, the cardinals show the sample to be considerably better-educated than the population of India is known to be, so it must be biased upward a certain amount.

A sample of adult literates from Calcutta, Delhi and Madras was also used (the Three City Sample). It was collected in 1961 by the Indian Institute of Public Opinion also and had 7-8 cases in each of the three cities. Again, we have been able to compare the students with the other respondents. We have little information about the sampling frame for that survey.

We have had access to a survey conducted in 1964 by Dr. Amar Kumar Singh, Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Ranchi University in Bihar State, India. This survey was part of a comparative cross-cultural project (the Harvard University Project on Social and Cultural Aspects of Development), directed by Professor Alex Inkeles. Dr. Singh has been a close colleague during the present analysis at Harvard, where I have been able to consult him frequently. His sample was not a random sample, but was purposefully matched to another sample of non-students; as a result the marginal responses. cannot be read as if they were representative of any wider population of Indian students. Internal analysis is possible, however. The sample was composed of 200 male first or second year students at the University of Ranchi and at Jamshedpur, another town nearby. The students were all of rural origin, and were the sons of cultivators and had attended rural schools.

Joseph Di Bona conducted a sample survey of 365 students at Allahabad University in 1961, and I have been fortunate enough to use these data for analysis. As I understand it, Di Bona was not overly concerned about the representativeness of his sample, and his procedures may have left room for a certain amount of bias. Finally, in the course of analyzing the surveys mentioned above and examining reports of other studies, I formulated a theory of sorts which seemed to account for some changes in participation in politics among intellectuals and upper-class citizens in India. Since no other data were available which touched on the subject, I conducted a small study of Indians living in the area of Cambridge, Massachusetts. I sent out a mailed form to all members of the India Association of Greater Boston (which had only about 150 members of Indian origin) and when the response rate proved to be less than I hoped, I sent additional forms to as many other adult Indian citizens as I could locate readily in May, 1968. These respondents were not all students, but most of them either were students or had already obtained doctorates and were employed locally in professional work. All were under forty years of age.

In the Eleven Universities study we treat several dimensions of political orientation. We have constructed indices using several different questionnaire items for each dimension whenever possible. In addition, we refer to an index of modernism. which was made from five items reflecting in some way modern or traditional orientation. Scores were given for 'modern' responses to these items:

(1) Intermarriage should be encouraged between castes to increase communal amity and harmony.

(2) The caste system has outlived its usefulness.

(3) The joint family is even today a most useful social institution.

(4) Divorce should be allowed in all Hindu castes.

(5) I would break my engagement if I discovered that the person I was engaged to had had previous sex relations.

Responses were dichotomized.

Political Participation was also measured by an index. Students who were concerned with having an opportunity to participate in political affairs as an important criterion of an ideal job were given two points, those who considered it as of medium importance were given one point. Students who had any political party preference were given an additional point. Some 17 per cent of the students scored 3, 33 per cent scored 2, 41 per cent scored 1 and 9 per cent scored 0 points. We dichotomized at the median, between 2 and 1 points. Unfortunately, a lukewarm student may score as participant; the scale is a weak test of fervor.

The scale indicating level of information about political matters was composed of four questions put to the students about current political affairs:

(1) Is India a member of the Security Council?

(2) Did Dean Acheson win the U.S. presidential election?

(3) Is Anthony Eden England's foreign minister?

(4) Is Chou En Lai China's representative to the United Nations?

Ten per cent scored 0 correct, 16 per cent scored 1, 27 per cent scored 2 correct, 26 per cent scored 3, and 22 per cent scored 4 correct. Those who scored 3 or more correct are rated as informed.

We shall refer repeatedly to a scale of leftism in connection with the Eleven University study of students. We have used four items for it:

(1) Would you prefer India to align with the Soviet bloc?

(2) Which form of government do you regard as best suited to India, parliamentary democracy (as the United Kingdom), democracy, (as in the United States), dictatorship, People's democracy (as in New China), socialism or democratic socialism?

(3) Which is your first choice in political parties: CPI, Congress, Hindu Mahasabha, Jana Sangh, Muslim League, or Praja Socialists?

(4) Which is your second choice of these parties?

Left-wing support on any of these items scored 1 point each. The scale was dichotomously used to define the consistently far-left respondents.

When we use the measure Political Excitement, it refers to a single item, "Do you often get as excited about politics as about your personal life?" Some 59 per cent of the respondents answered in the affirmative, and 39 per cent said no.

Other scales and indices used in connection with the Singh-Inkeles data from Bihar and the Cambridge sample will be described in the text.



From the Gupta Period Until the Present

During the past few years India has attained an average literacy rate of 24 per cent.[1] The irony of this fact is evident when one compared India's present situation with her high classical period. For nearly ten centuries students came to study in Taxilla from all parts of India. The University of Nalanda had three libraries, an observatory and eight colleges, where logic, philosophy, astronomy, grammar and medicine were taught. As many as ten thousand students and teachers met there, some from China, Tibet, and Ceylon.[2] Nalanda was destroyed by the invading Moguls. By the time the British had come to India, there was little left of the great Gupta culture, but India was by no means an "underdeveloped country", for "Akbar's revenue at the end of his reign in 1605 was about twenty times, in terms of real value, that of James I of England at the beginning of his reign in 1603."[3] Nevertheless, the colonial administrators failed to see the value of classical Oriental learning. There was some controversy about whether to teach in Indian languages or in English. By 1835 the matter was settled--all education was to be conducted in English. That decision was to introduce a medium and a style of thought with consequences which the British educators had not intended. At the time, they thought they had organized the training for a cadre of imperial agents; within fifty years they recognized that they had organized the training for a cadre of revolutionaries. Indian nationalism was launched and, a little later, the struggle for independence.

The Universities of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay were established in 1857 as affiliating and examining institutions. As such, their functions consisted of authorizing smaller "affiliated" colleges to conduct courses, and serving as external examiners to those colleges so as to maintain standards. For twenty-five years, those three universities were responsible for the higher education of all of India. Then other universities appeared, their functions were also limited to examining and affiliating. There were five universities in 1904 when Lord Curzon's commission recommended the reforms which allowed universities to teach, to affiliate colleges and to administer research.

By independence there were 21 universities in operation and by 1967 were 62. Each year several new ones open.[4]

Some are "unitary" universities, in which all teaching is done by the faculty of the university. Most universities teach some courses in their own departments but also affiliate colleges, for which they establish and examine courses. Two universities remain which affiliate but do not teach.

Primary and secondary schooling in India consist of ten years of education. Instruction is normally conducted in the regional language. A "matriculate" from the tenth grade now takes an additional year of "pre-university class" if he expects to enter the university for three years of study for the baccalaureate examinations.[5] He must pass a secondary school certificate examination, the results of which will become either a stigma or a badge of honor for life. There are three "divisions" or grades: 60 per cent and above is first division, 50-60 per cent is second division, 35-50 per cent is third division, and below 35 per cent is failure. A third class will serve to admit a student to some college, somewhere, probably to an arts curriculum or a teacher training course.

In technical colleges the degree takes 4 to 5 years after pre-university. Science students now comprise about 40 per cent of the students in higher education.

Post-graduate work involves two years of study for the masters degree and this work is done at the University, rather than at the colleges. While the Ph.D. is awarded for the additional research, without any course work or written examination, no research at all is ordinarily required for the M.A. degree. The B.A. and M.A. also have divisions assigned and the results are crucial for the student's work career. This degree examination determines the outcome of his college work, while the examinations given in his subject each year or two are not as important.

One American who is familiar with Indian universities estimated that the bad colleges were about equivalent to an American high school, while the best universities are as good as an average midwestern state university in the United States. This estimate does not apply to the new technical institutes, such as the one at Kanpur, which are excellent by any international standards. A graduate of one of those institutions told me that he did not know any place in the world where the students live in as much luxury as do the students in the technical institutes; many of them go abroad for further training after they graduate, and so far, few of them have returned to India.

Different universities have different emphases. Banaras Hindu University (though open to all castes and all faiths) is a center of Hindu theology, while Aligarh University and Osmania University are centers for Muslim culture and religion. Annnamalai University emphasizes Tamil culture and literature. Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan, established under the influence of Tagore, is perhaps the most avant-garde of Indian institutions of higher education, emphasizing the arts and hoping to effect a cross-fertilization of Western and Oriental styles of thought.

One question one would like to answer seems not to have occurred to Indian University administrators: how many students manage to pass the examinations and to obtain a degree even after one or more failures? The students may return year after year to sit for examinations and while the college official knows how many of the current student population pass the exams he will not know about the proportion who ultimately pass after leaving the college. In 1959-60, 259,000 students sat for university examinations; 152,000 passed. For the B.A. 43 per cent passed, for the B.Sc. a1 per cent. In the M.A. and M.Sc. the figures were 77 per cent and 73 per cent.[6]

University Structure

Most students receive their education up to the B.A. level at one of the many small scattered colleges which are nominally part of the same university. The States are responsible for the educational systems, and thus the planning is generally decentralized, except that the university grants commission has the authority to make decisions about distribution of funds, and that agency is located at the centre. The centre also maintains four "national universities," Aligarh, Banaras, Delhi and Visva-Bharati. Ordinarily the Governor of the state is the Chancellor of the university, but his appointee, the Vice-Chancellor, is the actual administrator. There is a Senate, made up of important local people, both connected with the University and members of the outside community. There people meet every few months and form broad policies. A smaller group, the Syndicate, is responsible for day-to-day decisions. A Principal is in charge of each of the affiliated colleges.

In most cases, faculty members are local people. There is little of the geographic mobility so common in the United States, in which teachers move across the country several times during their career. One reason some people are concerned about the consequences of shifting college-level instruction over to regional languages is that it is likely to reduce even further the possibility of moving from a teaching post in one university to another in a different linguistic region.

A systematic random sample of 325 names of Indian university faculty members shown in the Commonwealth Universities Yearbook, 1965 reveals that 36 per cent hold doctorates. Three teachers had been educated in European universities, twelve in America and twenty-four in the United Kingdom, making a total of 12 per cent who were foreign trained. Eleven per cent of the sample were women.

There is no structural incentive for outstanding teaching performance, since promotions come routinely with the passage of time and one cannot be given a higher post until the next man ahead moves up a notch or out. On the other hand, there is great security for teachers and they are given latitude to cultivate sociability. The universities observe holidays on every possible occasion, and much of the teacher's day is given up to conversation. Gaudino writes,

"The teacher's life, apart from its material austerity, is comfortable and satisfying. No great demands are made upon him. It is an easy way of life without heavy responsibilities. There is much freedom for sociability, for family, for offhand commentary on events and persons. The often repeated complaints about the quality of higher education can be absorbed facilely enough due to their generality of statement, their lack of specific or immediate application. There is no sharp, overt criticism close to the teacher, which points at him directly... He has an untouched, unexplored, unassaulted mental and emotional security--the security of complete isolation from unsettling thought."[7]

Most universities have been persuaded to accept a standard pay scale for their teachers, and the current recommendation of the education commission calls for lecturers to begin at Rs. 400 and for the top salaries for professors to range as high as Rs. 1800. The Commission suggests that the "minimum salaries of primary, secondary and university teachers should be in the ratio of 1:2:3. At present, the starting salary of a primary teacher can be as low as Rs. 60-80, which is about 1/12 to 1/16 the starting salary of a professor."[8] Affiliated colleges are not standardized on the university pay scale, and thus vary a great deal. A rupee equals 13¢ at the current rate of exchange; however, it will buy about as much in India as a dollar will in America. A beginning teacher will live about as well on Rs. 400 as one might live in the United States on $400, though he would buy quite different things with the same money. This may seem low, and of course it is, but relative to the average income of the country, the Indian college teacher is paid higher than the American. "While in the Western countries, the ratio of income of a professional and industrial worker may be 3 or 4 to 1, it is 5 to 20 to 1 in Asia, or even higher."[9] The post-graduate teacher averages twelve periods of class a week, plus supervising research and conducting tutorials, while the college teacher lectures 3 or 4 times a day, Monday through Saturday.[10]

All commentators on the poor quality of higher education in India attribute a large part of the problem to the system of external examinations. Ordinarily, the sole determinant of the students success is his mark on the final examination. (Practical exercises may count for some fraction of the results.) The same examination is administered to all students in all colleges taking the same course: the curriculum syllabus, likewise, is laid down for all colleges and is designed to provide the materials upon which the tests are focused. At both the bachelors and masters level a minimum of 65-75 per cent of the classes must be attended for the student to be admitted to take the examinations. Students say they are "putting in" class time to get their "tickets" to the examinations. A faculty member from a college in another part of the state may set the examination and grade it. The instructor's discretion is insignificant; inasmuch as he has nothing to say about the tests to be given his class, his real function becomes that of helping students "cram" for examinations. Classes are generally large lectures, delivered by reserved, rather remote professors, often dictated word-for-word. A teacher who departs from his prescribed syllabus to discuss provocative problems or ongoing research may earn much anger from his students. Joseph Gusfield has remarked that "there may develop between teacher and student the posture of disciple and master, but neither the model of parent and child or the model of equal peers is a major part of the repertoire of studentship in India."[11]

The reason for the external examination system is sound: the intent is to hold up standards throughout the nation and to assure that the professor's favoritism cannot interfere with objectivity. The actual result is to hold down standards, since no college is allowed to demand more of the students than the minimum required by the university examiners, therefore no islands of excellence can exist. Observers seem to agree that the external examination system seriously impairs intellectual inquiry, though it has not had that effect in England. Nevertheless, the system is justified by the argument that impartiality is very difficult to sustain in the face of all the norms which favor particularistic accommodation. A survey of students at Kerala and Lucknow Universities conducted by the Government of India revealed that nearly 93 per cent approved of discontinuing the present system of examination, predominantly because they feel that the examinations are not the sure test of one's ability.[12]

Worst of all, there are ways to "beat the system" anyway. Messages get passed along as to who is grading which set of papers and what is the identification number of a student's paper. Discretion and subtle allusions and the use of intermediaries may be helpful in getting an extra few points on a paper. One Indian teacher notes,

"One of the many responsibilities of an Indian guardian is to find out the names of the examiners of his children. These names are supposed to be confidential, as are the identities of the examinees, who enter only a code number, instead of a name, on their examination books, but anonymity is more often a theory than a reality. The guardians travel long distances to approach these examiners, who are scattered across the state. With a sense of irony and humor such travels are called 'pilgrimages' and are compared with the travels fathers take to find husbands for their daughters... Not surprisingly, a recent survey done in mid-1967 by H. K. Sahaya has revealed that ?8 out of 100 post-graduate students he questioned felt that under pressures from influential persons teachers raise marks; 10 per cent were uncertain and 12 per cent disagreed. Sixty-two per cent agreed that it was necessary to be a favorite of the teachers in addition to being meritorious, to obtain high marks on the examinations; 16 per cent were uncertain and 22 per cent disagreed."[13]

Americans who visit Indian universities are often surprised at the paranoia that surrounds the scene: the examinations are conducted under circumstances of extreme security precautions--the papers arrive under guard and the examiners may be kept locked in the room until the marks are in. If Singh's analysis is correct, the reasons for this concern may be well-founded.

The student's life is not always comfortable. The school year runs from June or July to March or April, although there are many holidays and breaks. The schedule of classes is also quite heavy--students may not have a single hour free between 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.[14] Classes are often crowded: Calcutta University has a teacher-student ratio of 1 to 30 or 1 to 40.[15] Most students are day students, rather than living in hostels. In 1961-62 some 18 per cent of all Indian University students lived in hostels and these students are better off than the day students.

Although classes are often co-educational, there is very little opportunity for interaction between male and female students, who are quite young, on the average and who seem even more immature than their actual ages, as compared with Western youth. Upon completion of college, many of the youth remain in their parents' homes and wait a year or two for a suitable job to open for them, usually as a lower white-collar employee.

Expansion in Higher Education

In 1966 there was published the Report of the Education Commission, an international committee of prestigious educators and scholars who had undertaken a thorough investigation and consultation concerning education at all levels in India. Professor Edward Shils, long interested in the Indian intellectual scene, was influential in the committee's recommendations concerning higher education. The committee agreed that the difficulties in the universities were so numerous and so overwhelming that no point of entry could be made into the problem without changing all the other difficulties simultaneously, which there would not be sufficient resources to do. It would be necessary to get better facilities, better students, and a high concentration of really first-rate faculty members with new institutional arrangements in order to change the climate of any academic setting into a stimulating and creative environment for learning and research. This cannot be done throughout all of Indian higher education. The committee concluded that it is quite possible to provide these inputs for five universities or so, making them equal to any in the world. This would have great value for the society and would serve as a leavening agent for the rest of the colleges, which would emulate many of the styles of performance set up thereby.

Unfortunately, this recommendation was not accepted by the government. It would have meant that a good part of the resources available for higher education would be concentrated in the effort to create quality, rather than for expansion of inferior mass education. Whatever the political leaders may have thought privately about the desirability of the project, they were not able to accept it as public policy. There will be an expansion of colleges, there will be M.A.s and B.A.s given at an accelerating rate.

Some comparative figures have to be kept in view about the growth, however. Although universities and colleges are expanding in absolute numbers at a rate which seems astounding, a great deal of this increase is to be explained in terms of the increase in population, rather than increase in the proportion of the population receiving higher education. That is not true at the lower levels of education. Primary education is outrunning the population bulge by a good margin, and the successively higher levels of secondary education by progressively smaller margins, but higher education is not reaching down as deep into the social pyramid and increasing the proportion of college-educated people to a comparable degree. While a few years ago some 1 per cent of the appropriate age group was enrolled in higher education, now about 2 per cent of that age group is enrolled. This has meant nearly a tripling of the number of universities -- that is what is meant by the population explosion. Matters will not get easier in the foreseeable future, even for primary education, and college education will double again in the next fifteen years.

Although plans are carefully laid for expansion at an appropriate rate, the law of supply and demand interferes with the implementation of plans. Most recently in Mysore state, medical degrees were seen as particularly valuable, so several institutions unofficially diverted their resources to extend their medical programs. Eventually the output of doctors grew so fast that suitable incomes were no longer assured, whereupon the medical school applications dropped to below the appropriate number and at the present the expensive new facilities are going partly unused for want of medical students.[16]

Quality: Its Costs and Benefits

How much value in terms of economic development will India derive from the planned expansion in higher education? That is a question we cannot treat in depth here; the economics of education has become a whole field of study in itself.[17] Nevertheless, it is worth noting here that at least one study which compared the rate of return on investment in human capital with comparable internal rates of return on investment in modern industries yielded the conclusion that estimates of returns on physical capital ranged in India from 17.2 per cent to 26.1 per cent, whereas rates of return for college and postgraduate study reached their maximum at 16.9 per cent.[18] Of course, no one is likely to take these figures very seriously when laying plans for education expansion: plans are not made that way and probably should not be. This should, however, be taken as some weak evidence that education in India is actually top-heavy, with more education at the higher levels than the economy can utilize. Much more obvious evidence for the same inference is the proportion of educated unemployed in India, where in some places the figure reaches as high as 30 per cent.

Harbison and Myers have developed a composite index of levels of human resource development and have used it to rank the educational programs of nations. India falls into the lower range of "semi-advanced" nations, scoring 35.2.[19]

Thirty-four nations score higher than India and forty score lower. Harbison and Myers have argued that a high proportion of investment in education is a stimulus for development in emerging nations and that it is, in fact a major element in creating new employment opportunities. They do not, however, endorse the top-heavy Indian system, which continues the British tradition of liberal education for civil service, even though the universities are now mass institutions and the college student is preparing for a period of unemployment rather than for leadership. They suggest that more vocational training is required instead.[20]

From our own point of view that might be an excellent suggestion, but from the point of one steeped in Indian tradition, vocational training may be no more practical than liberal education. Mrs. Kusum Nair has written that education often unfits the young Indian for any useful work. Tradition decrees that the educated must not work and hence to educate a peasant is often tantamount to crippling him: the poor fellow can no longer till the soil, even if his education be in agricultural technology. Nevertheless, he acquires refined tastes and needs; in that limited respect, perhaps his education does stimulate the economy. Ongoing research at the Harvard Project on Social and Cultural Aspects of Development, directed by Professor Alex Inkeles, suggests that advanced levels of education raises levels of dissatisfaction with work even more than it changes attitudes in a modern direction.[21]

In any case, whether or not the consequences of education are inhibited by traditionalism, India is committed to investing heavily in education. Some 76 per cent of the students in higher education have been estimated to be receiving financial aid from both the state and center governments.[22] Fortunately, India's educational planning is good in comparison to many other developing nations. Adam Curle has developed a coefficient for comparing expenditures and planning across countries. Both in absolute terms and as a percentage of its national income, India's expenditure on education is low, but it is obtaining optimum quality because of its good organization.[23]

The University Grants Commission attempts to exercise some influence in the opening of new colleges in phase with manpower requirements anticipated by the centre. It has been relatively successful in limiting technical colleges, for such institutions need grants, but it has been less successful in holding back the flood of new arts colleges. Typically, high school teachers start offering college courses after hours in their classrooms. Within a short period they apply to the university for recognition as a small arts college. If they meet the basic conditions, the university must accredit them and another new group of youth will be launched toward careers in the ranks of "educated unemployed."

The less qualified students who are refused admission to medicine, technology, science, law and economics find their way into the arts and commerce faculties. Any degree brings dignity and some measure of hope.


Independence--In a Swirl of Political Movements

In the days prior to independence, there had been one large organization, the Indian National Congress, which had been the heart of the independence movement. Through it swirled smaller political bodies, some of the supporting candidates for office under the British raj, some of them fighting guerrilla operations against the crown, now joining in coalitions, now splitting into rancorous factions, but most of them part of the independence movement and in some sense part of Congress.

When freedom arrived, Congress had to decide upon its new identity. On the eve of his death, Gandhi wrote that he hoped Congress would disband and become not a political party but an organization devoted to social welfare. It was too late for that to be possible: by then Congress was the government in office, and the government does not give up except in defeat. Gandhi's ideas were not much tried after independence--the parties soon learned the ways of power. To understand the politics of the 1952 students it will be necessary to sketch a history of the important political parties which were active that year in the first national election.

There were four styles of parties in the 1951 group. The first (Congress, the Socialist Party, the Kisan Mazdoor Party) fundamentally accepted a democratic secular state. The second group disliked parliamentary democracy and looked instead to the Soviet or Chinese system. (The Communist Party of India or CPI, the Bolshevik Party of India, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Peasants and Workers Party, and others). A third group disliked the existing state for different reasons, looking to the traditional Indian ways of life instead. (They included the Hindu Mahasabha, the Ram Rajya Parishad, and other communalist groups). A fourth group consisted of interest groups representing regions or castes (as the Sikh Akali Dal, the Scheduled Castes Federation, etc.). Only four parties received 3 or more per cent of the national vote, thus qualifying for recognition as a national party--Jana Sangh, 3.1 per cent, CPI 3.3 per cent, Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party, 5.8 per cent, Socialist Party, 10.6 per cent. Some areas banned the CPI, which appeared instead under front parties of various titles. This figure would be raised to about 5.4 per cent were such allies counted among the CPI total.[24]

The Democratic Socialist Parties

The Praja Socialist Party (PSP), which came into existence just after the 1952 election, was a late merger of the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party and the Socialists. There were three elements with drawing power in the PSP: Marxism, Gandhism and democratic socialism. Its appeal lay in the northern states, where the attraction to Gandhi was greatest and generally in the stable states where communalism is weak. It called for a balance between technological change and the need for maximum employment. Mass voluntary agricultural labor would be recruited. Lands would be redistributed without compensation to small landholders and large holdings outlawed. Small village machinery with decentralized industry would be encouraged. A ceiling on incomes would be fixed. Underprivileged castes and tribes would be given preferential treatment. Authority would be decentralized. PSP would be more neutralist than Nehru, withdrawing from the Commonwealth, condemning SEATO and the communist nations alike.[25]

Always plagued by factionalism, the Socialists have split and re-grouped several times. Currently a major wing has split off as the Samyukta Socialist Party, whose 1967 platform determined to "develop a powerful people's movement against the bureaucratic capitalist-feudal order."[26] It would put a ceiling of Rs. 1000 on all incomes and expenditures, make all primary education equal and free (by abolishing all special primary schools), permit only one class of travel on railways and buses.

The PSP's recent election manifesto stresses its commitment to parliamentary institutions in graceful language; it proposes more emphasis on cottage industries, labor intensive techniques in rural and urban sectors.

The PSP drew 10.14 per cent of the Lok Sabha votes in 1957, 6.8 per cent in 1962 and only 3 per cent in 1967. The Socialist Party drew 10.6 per cent in 1952 (before its merger with PSP), 2.? per cent in 1962 and 4.8 per cent in 1967. All told, the socialist parties have declined to about 7 per cent of the total vote. Fifteen years ago these were the main challengers to Congress rule: today that is no longer the case.

The Communal Parties

These anti-secular groups work for the interests of a caste or religious community, and some have been influential in the past and may become major challenges yet.

The Muslim League was a nationalist movement which grew under Mohammad Ali Jinnah's leadership into a mass force urging the creation of Pakistan. During the war it received better treatment of the British then did Congress (of which it remained aloof) because it supported the war effort. But by 1956 the League was dead in India, in effect. The Muslims in India are in such a weakened status that their only political acts consist of gestures designed to prove they are loyal citizens of India and feel no sympathy for Pakistan.

The Hindu Mahasabha was the seed-bed for Hindu revival political movements, especially the Jana Sangh. The Indian state is secular; the government permits "no overt acts suggesting an identification with Hinduism" and it is such secularism which offends the Mahasabha. Their 1967 election manifesto declares, "One who regards this land of Bharat from Indus to the seas as his fatherland as well as holy land, is a Hindu." They pledge the re-establishment of pre-Partition India by all legitimate means and it "shall try its level best to undo the mischief and betrayal of the Congress in partitioning the country on the basis of religion...Hinduize politics and militarize Hinduism" It proposes banning cow slaughter, "liberation of every inch of our national territory from the control of all foreign powers, whether Pakistan or China, by all possible means," and withdrawal from the Commonwealth. Their policy on economic matters is much more ambiguous, with no explicit statement of priorities. "Hindu Mahasabha stands for the study of three languages, Sanskrit, Hindi and one other language, for every child all over the country."[27] This proposal can be regarded as sheer caprice. There is a "three language" policy widely accepted through non-Hindi speaking India, but the third language is English, not Sanskrit and it is proposed as a link language. To propose universal Sanskrit is as aberrant as for a political party in the United States to propose universal education in Latin for all children.

Jana Sangh (Bharatia Jan Sangh) is the fastest growing party in India. It was formed in 1951 and within a few months had gained sufficient votes and backing to be recognized as an All-India Party. By 1957 the votes secured were double the number in the 1952 election. It gained more seats in the Lok Sabha in 1962 (although no more votes than before) and in 1967 it again made big gains, claiming more than 9 per cent of the Lok Sabha votes, to constitute the largest party in the opposition to Congress. In making such gains it has become a more moderate party and now its election manifesto has a much less chauvinistic tone than that of its parent party, the Mahasabha. It is nationalistic, but its sabre rattles quietly. On economic matters it is not as extreme rightist as Swatantra. It urges sole use of Hindi in the centre. On this ground alone it would seem unlikely that the Jana Sangh could become a serious contestant for power in South India. While the Mahasabha is mostly concerned with promoting Hindu religious traditions, Jana Sangh is more interested in promoting Hindi. It would make Ayurveda the official medical system and would protect cows. If the often-proposed merger between Jana Sangh and Swatantra occurs, it will result in a popular form of right-wing politics.

Hindu communalism was originally strongest where tension with Muslims ran high. Now, however, the areas of least western impact are more communal and the main thrust of the movement is against westernization rather than against Islamic values. The lower middle class, especially non-English-speaking urbanites or former princely states are most attracted to communalism now.[28] Weiner notes that dissatisfied shopkeepers, teachers and clerks seem to be open to charismatic leaders of any ilk whatever--first communists, then communalists, and so forth. This hypothesis is that communalism is strongest in non-westernized towns, while Marxism is strongest in westernized communities, such as Calcutta. This theory is consonant with the results of the 1952 data on students, though no definitive analysis is possible because communalism is quite weak in the sample. In any case, communal parties have been more military-minded than political minded. They seem to lack awareness of the problem of economic development and to have no real understanding of the democratic system.

The Small Sectional Parties

The Scheduled Castes Federation is a movement which has pressed political claims for the formerly "untouchable" castes. Its leader, Dr. Ambedkar, was responsible for persuading many of his people to become Buddhists. Until now, so few Harijans have been educated that no effective leadership has been possible for that group. Even now, many of the educated Harijans are appointed to posts in the administration or in education, which removes them from the possibility of coming to the political front.[29]

The militant Akali Dal is a Sikh movement which demanded (and in 1966 finally got) a separate Sikh state, Haryana, carved out of the Punjab. This group was deeply involved in the communal riots at the time of partition, when trains full of dead and dying victims crossed the borders. It was no doubt with this dreadful memory in mind that the centre refused for many years to consider the idea of redefining states on the basis of religious composition. Language zones were dangerous enough, but religious zones were open invitations to intolerant acts. So far no ill effects have been felt, however.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is a militant southern movement favoring political recognition for the Tamil language and the Dravidian heritage and sometimes asking for a separate nation. It has managed to hold back the ascendance of Hindi in the government at the Centre. Hindi is no longer universally taught in schools in Tamil Nadu.

The Revolutionary, Left-Wing Parties

The Communist party of India (CPI) was formed in 1925 and affiliated with Congress in 1956 but the war made continued collaboration of the left parties impossible. The Congress Socialist Party opposed the Soviet Union, N. Roy's CPI group held that Indians ought to help the British in their struggle against fascism.

The CPI made two strategic errors in the past which have permanently impaired its attractiveness to the masses--it failed to support the Congress-led Quit India movement against the British and it appeared too ready to accept the partition of India. For this, party workers were beaten up and denounced as traitors.[30] With independence the party vacillated as to its position toward the Nehru regime. Apparently unable to formulate policy without watching the Russians from the corners of their eyes, they again miscalculated by supporting the peasant uprising in the Telangana region of Andhra (then Hyderabad) which the government managed to put down.

The party's greatest gains occurred when it supported Nehru's non-alignment policy and worked inside a constitutional framework. In he second general elections the party got 12 million votes, as contrasted with 6 million in the preceding election.[31] The Chinese border war was a serious blow to the entire party, though of course primarily to the left wing elements, whose sympathy for Peking had been so evident. The leaders pledged full support to Nehru's defense effort and for a time the CPI withdrew from the attempt to sway public opinion, perhaps privately seeking to cope with their chagrin. The 1962 elections were not unfavorable to CPI; it won 10 per cent of the votes.

In 1964 the open split occurred between the two wings and the CPI (Marxist) was formed. The lines of cleavage between the two factions apparently had existed for many years on indigenous grounds and should not be attributed only to the Soviet-Chinese breach.[32] Just at that time the government suddenly applied its "defense of India" rules and arrested about one thousand communists. Despite this blow, the CPI (M) won the 1965 elections in Kerala.

In 1967 by entering into United Front coalitions with other opposition parties the CPI was able to play major roles in Kerala, Calcutta and Bihar, particularly.

Communism has attracted the anti-Hindi south and west Bengal. Abroad it ordinarily is an urban movement but from the evidence we have this is not always true in India. The recruitment occurs in urban areas but the appeal of communism seems strongest to rural students. Ongoing research by Amar Kumar Singh on Indian workers and peasants has established that there is a predictable phased development of disenchantment among urban in-migrants which leads to radicalism after some years but ordinarily not right away.

In different regions parties draw support from different social bases. Harrison has called attention to the contrast between the Andhra CPI composition (rural intellectuals, the sons of rich and middle peasants) and the working-class base of the Tamilnad Party and the poor peasant base in Kerala.[33] Bengali middle-classes have turned leftward more consistently than other groups. Bengal has suffered more dislocation than other areas.

The Conservative Wing

While still influenced by the Chinese, Nehru led a proposal within the Congress for cooperative farming. This was quite a daring proposal for Congress to put forward, since its greatest electoral strength lay among the landed peasantry, but the resolution was passed in 1959.

The immediate response was the formation of a conservative political organization to protect the land owners' interests. Not only agriculturalists were drawn, but the business community as well. By 1962 the Swatantra Party. was able to claim over 10 million (or 7.6 per cent) of the votes, sending 25 members to the Lok Sabha. Its gains continued in 1967, with a total of 8.6 per cent of the votes.

The Political Trend

Since February, 1967, no one could be as optimistic about Congress' future as during the past twenty years. It lost control of several states and its margin was reduced at the centre. No one expected it to lose as much ground as it did. Actually, the loss in percentage of votes was not very dramatic--it declined from 47.8 per cent in 1957 to 45.1 per cent in 1962 and to 40.5 per cent in 1967. The seats lost were far beyond that magnitude: while it lost only 5 per cent of the 1962 valid popular vote, it lost about 20 per cent of the 1962 Lok Sabha seats. The reasons have been explained by the Indian Institute of public Opinion: in a multi-party system, the party which rather consistently gets the largest plurality of votes will be able to get a much greater edge in the number of seats than it actually has in percentage points of votes. Thus, in 1952, Congress polled 45 per cent of the votes, but obtained 72 per cent of the seats. This is because the remaining votes were split among the many other smaller parties, so that in few cases was any other party out ahead of Congress. If one takes the percentage of seats Congress obtained, divided by the percentage of votes Congress polled, we obtain a coefficient representing the advantage Congress holds on account of this factor. In 1952 it was 1.65, in 1957 it was 1.57, in 1962 it was 1.65 but in 1967 it was only 1.30 on the average.[34] Why did it drop? Congress continued to get a disproportionate number of seats per percentage of votes in districts which were contested by many candidates--five or more candidates, but In districts which were contested by four or fewer candidates, Congress lost its marginal advantage. In the case of straight fights and three-cornered fights its coefficient falls to less than unity: it lost more often than it won. In good part this reflects the fact that the minor parties had reached accommodations and arranged not to enter races in which they might split one another's vote.

Congress has never considered making such alliances itself, preferring instead to make its pragmatic accommodations inside the party, by trying to be all things to all men and thus acquire all votes. If it cannot build up its votes again (and few observers think it can), it will have to consider coalition governments at the center.

That day may not be far away. If one projects a trend, it looks as if Congress fortunes may decline even more sharply in the future. There are two grounds for this assumption: the first reason is that Congress had a monopoly of power so unchallenged in the past that people who wanted real influence recognized that they had to do so through Congress: it was not realistic to hope to unseat that establishment. Now, of course, other parties do hold power and patronage and there is no reason to expect the Congress egg to be put back together again. Power is dispersed and its dispersal will speed its further dispersal in that there are realistic incentives to join forces with the various smaller parties, both for fun and profit.

The other reason for expecting further loss of power for Congress is from an extrapolation of trends. With every election there is an increase in turnout. In 1957 Congress won 48 per cent of the 90 million votes (which was a turnout of 47 per cent). In 1962, Congress won 45 per cent of the 115 million valid votes cast for state assemblies (a 53 per cent turnout). In those two elections, Congress obtained one-third of all valid votes polled (i.e. the votes in excess of the preceding turnout.).[35] In 1967 the turnout was 63 per cent and Congress won only one-fourth of all the additional valid votes polled. An extrapolation of that trend is one which Congress prefers not to consider. Perhaps there is some comfort for its supporters in the fact that PSP and SSP are losing ground even faster. The Communists seem not to be doing so well, but the conservative groups have made great inroads.



Students have been engaged in various acts of indiscipline and protest since the early period of higher education in India. During the 1880s some students, with the support of the Indian National Congress, mounted a protest against the practice of holding Indian Civil Service examinations in England.[36] In 1905 a group of Bengali student terrorists made an attempt on the life of the British governor-general.

Some 68 out of 186 revolutionaries arrested in Bengal between 190? and 1917 were students.[37] One educator goes so far as to say, "In the so called 'golden age' of about 40 years ago, student indiscipline was as rife as it is today. In 1919, when the influenza epidemic prevailed in Bombay, students went on strike to get colleges closed, their terms granted, and even demanded promotion without examination."[38] One strike of that year protested against the visit of the Prince of Wales and another against the compulsory reading of the Bible in a missionary college. Both events seem to have been spontaneous, not organized.[39] Indeed, in the early period there were no actual political organizations among students. which were really linked to the political system of the country, and of course this was necessarily the case in a colonial country without autonomous political institutions. Whatever outbursts occurred were not systematic, and one Briton noted that "It was not till after the political and racial excitement (of the nationalist movement) that the youth attending schools, colleges showed signs of turbulence and insubordination."[40] But by the 1920s, significant political organs were active and engaged in the nationalist movement. Youth leagues were formed from the debating societies of earlier periods.[41] In the non-cooperation movement of 1920 the students were asked to leave British Colleges in protest and to study in the "National" colleges which were set up in some cities, perhaps parallel to the "free universities" set up in the West now to counter the "establishment."[42] Many students did leave their classes temporarily: Jayaprakash Narayan came to Wisconsin and worked his way through the university rather than attend the hated colonialist colleges of India--but the movement was not successful overall, except in giving students some experience in a mass struggle.

Beginning in Nagpur in 1920, All-India conferences were held annually, with mostly left-wing support, and regional political federations were begun in the Punjab, Bengal and Bombay. In 1929 the All-Bengal Students Association claimed 20,000 members. When the Simon Commission investigated problems of Indian self-government in 1928, students led a nationally coordinated series of demonstrations for independence.[43]

In Bombay there were other important movements. The Students' Brotherhood (founded in 1889) organized extracurricular activities where different religious and linguistic groups and both sexes could associate, sent students to do social service in the slums, and provided scholarships.[44]

By far the most significant student political organization was the All-India Student Federation (AISF). During the 1920s student groups were formed in many different colleges, many of them involved in Gandhi's Civil Disobedience movement. In August 1936, the United Provinces Student Federation sponsored the first meeting to organize students all over the subcontinent. The All-India Student Conference met in Lucknow under the leadership of both Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League. Some 986 delegates from 210 local groups attended and the AISF was the product of their discussion.[45] Their journal, Students' Federation, began to circulate radical views throughout India. The militants and the moderates reached a compromise in their definition of the objectives of the group, stating that they hoped to "prepare the students for citizenship, in order to take their due share in the struggle for complete national freedom, by arousing their political, social and economic consciousness." From this point onwards, however, there are indications that the group came to be dominated by the more militant members. Three months later, the Bengali nationalist, Sarat Chandra Bose, presided at a meeting at Lahore, where he urged students to prepare for the coming revolution by joining their activities to those of the proletarian workers.[46] By 1938 a substantial percentage of AISF members were pro-Soviet, and a precarious working relationship continued for several years between the communists and the Congress Socialists, though it appears the Communists gained strength more during the end of the 1930s.[47] Since 1940 AISF has been under Communist control.[48] The AISF policy changed whenever the CPI line changed and this cost the movement much support. The Communist support of World War II made it possible for AISF to function legally, while the nationalist groups were forced underground but this fact led many Indians to regard the Communists as traitors to nationalism.[49]

The AISF claimed 60,598 members in 1946, 74,000 in 1947, and 100,000 in 1953, but has declined since that time. The leaders are competent and well-indoctrinated, acting as a recruiting and training cadre for CPI.[50] The group took a consistently pro-Soviet line until the Peking-Moscow split, and often tried to capitalize on existing grievances, to the manifest annoyance of Nehru, who sometimes saw Communists as the source of major disturbances. Whether the AISF deliberately causes the student demonstrations or merely inflames them and publicizes them is not clear. The AISF was affiliated from an early period with the International Union of Students, the international communist student organization, and attended the "Little Bandung Conference" in 1956. This was a meeting of Asian and African students called by Communists but composed of a fairly representative distribution of Indian AISF members. The communists failed to induce the conference to take a strongly anti-Western stand, for the final resolutions condemned colonialism "in all its manifestations" and called for cessation of nuclear weapons testing "in all parts of the world," both phrases seemingly applying to the USSR as much as to the Western nations.[51]

The AISF has tried to maintain close relations with other Asian student groups, particularly the Nepalese, but apparently the AISF is not organizationally very powerful, mostly because it is so obviously connected with CPI and is led by professionals rather than by students.[52] Perhaps recognizing these problems, it has recently become more non-ideological and has oriented its activities more to norm-oriented etudialist programs--a health home for students, opposition to tuition raises, support of teacher demands for salary improvements, union rights, better facilities and the like.[53] Nevertheless, it was active in Calcutta in ideological demonstrations which spread through activities in Bihar, U.P. and elsewhere in northern India, directed against government and educational authorities, and spilling over beyond the campus.[54]

It may again be gaining strength as a result of these acts.

The Congress Student Movement

Although the communists had enjoyed the collaboration of the Gandhians and Socialists in the early period of the AISF, by the 1940s the split had grown wider and a new group was formed which more nearly coincided with the program of the nationalist movement as a whole. The All-India Students' Congress was organized in 1945, both as anti-British and as anti-Communist, and became the most important student organization in India for a long period. It was the main agency of student participation in the "Quit India" movement of 1942, when students often replaced adult Congress leaders who were jailed. Students demonstrated every day, were active in sabotage and disruptive behavior against the British administrators.[55]

As soon as independence was secured, the Congress leaders decided that student organizations no longer had a proper place associating with political parties and therefore disbanded the All-India Students' Congress in 1948. Despite this decision, there was apparently some ambivalence on the part of all party leaders about how students ought or ought not to be involved in politics.[56]

A symptom of this ambivalence is the fact that in 1949, just after the Congress student group had disbanded, the party leaders formed an organization to be its successor, the Youth Congress. This group was not so successful in mobilizing student energies as had been the student groups of the pre-independence period. For one thing, it was too clearly a front group for aspiring politicians and did not encourage open discussion. By 1965 it was disbanded because of internal conflicts.[57]

Communal Student Groups

Though not strictly a student organization and not a party, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been a major political influence in Indian universities, as well as throughout the political life of the country. It is an extremist, ideologically intense paramilitary group which was founded in 1925 with the encouragement of the Hindu Mahasabha. Some groups of young men gather near the campuses of north India to march and practice drill even today.[58] The RSS was an instrument of Hindu nationalism, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian in tone, upholding the caste system and other Hindu traditions. While anti-British-culture, it did not take part in the independence movement, but looked to other methods of restoring Indian culture.[59] When a former member assassinated Gandhi, the group was banned for a time. "This contrast between their mass strength and their political weakness forcibly presented to them by the government ban, activated the RSS members in North India to enter politics," Weiner noted. Officially, then, because RSS was to remain out of politics, it created Jana Sangh, the political party which is now the main traditionalist movement of Indian politics.

The RSS is organized along semi-military and hierarchical lines. The basic units are the cells. Deliberative councils composed of elected and appointed members exist on State levels and at the centre. The inner core consists of a group of Organizers who devote their lives to the service of the RSS.[60] The organization has always been particularly strong among lower middle class Brahmins of Maharashtra, It maintained a membership of about 500 members until 1932, but by 1938 it had grown to about 40,000 members in parts of India beyond Maharashtra--but primarily in the Hindi speaking northern regions. By 1950 it had about 500,000 members in Bombay State (some 5000 of them college students) and in 1949 some 50,000 people were arrested in connection with its demonstration against the imprisonment of some of its leaders. Its rather simplistic ideology appeals more to high school students than to college students and it has declined substantially in recent years, along with most other politically-oriented student organizations.[61]

The Hindu Students' Federation was attached to the Hindu Mahasabha and continues active today. One of its exploits some years ago involved demonstrating against a visit of the Pope to India.

The Akhil Bharativa Vidyarthi Parishad (All-India Students' Organization) is another right wing group that has made a great impact upon students since its founding in 1955. Unlike the RSS, it is directed toward students and faculty and not to youth outside the universities.

It is non-political by its own statement but actually seems to be the youth affiliate of the Jana Sangh party. It was founded by RSS-oriented students and teachers and in fact is dominated by faculty members.[62] The Vidyarthi Parishad has placed emphasis on social service involving students and providing facilities for them as well, using moderate tactics to make its demands known. Perhaps because of this relevance to student-orientation, it has gained strength and is no longer confined to north India. It will probably never succeed in representing all Indian regions, however, because it demands the imposition of Hindi as the Indian national language. Its program is otherwise of a kind which meets needs that students throughout India share: it organizes social services, cultural events and discussion programs.

For some time the All-India Muslim Students' Federation was an important organization. It was founded by the Muslim League in 193?.[63] This group did not take part in the nationalist movement but confined its concerns to the welfare of the Muslim community. Since independence the position of the Muslims has been so weak in India that no student group is in a position to demonstrate militantly in the Muslim cause.

In south India, an extreme political party, the Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DDIK) won control of Tamilnad with the enthusiastic support of college students. It represents a defense of the Dravidian (non-Aryan) culture against the demands of northerners for the use of Hindi as a national language, and against the dominance of Brahmins. "The party constituency, largely in the age range of twenty to forty, is drawn mainly from the middle classes, especially workers, petty officials, small traders, urban unemployed, and students, while the leadership is concentrated primarily among writers and journalists who utilize communications media as the catapault to political power."[64] The anti-Hindi agitation of 1965, carried on mostly by DMK-oriented students, resulted in more than 50 deaths and forced the government to postpone the implementation of its language policies. The students' action committees coordinated demonstrations.[65]

Minor Left-Wing Partisan Groups Though ASIF and the Youth Congress have dominated the student left-to-center since independence, the minor socialist parties have maintained student groups. The Congress Socialist Party, founded in 1934, had more influence with students than other Congress people did, perhaps because they were not committed to non-violence, but urged a radical uprising.[66] The Forward Bloc and the Revolutionary Socialist Party have tried to organize students, but without much success. The Socialist Party founded the Samajwadi Yuvak Sabha (Socialist Student Organization) in 1953. At the present it can claim no more than 5,000 members, but has been dramatically effective in demonstrating at universities in U.P. and Bihar.[67]

The Rashtra Seva Dal is a socialist-sponsored movement which involves a great many students in its programs, mostly devoted to social service and athletics, but also tied to agitations as well as supporting socialists in elections. It was particularly strong in medium sized towns of Maharashtra between 1943 and 1950 and during the communal riots organized defense squads to prevent violence and offer aid. It strongly supported inter-caste marriages. By the late 1950's R.S.D. appeal had waned and, though it maintained 10,000 members in Maharashtra, the impact on the college community became negligible.[68]

Students Unions

Since independence, political leaders have been ambivalent about the proper role for students to take in politics. Most parties have agreed that partisan activities have no place on college campuses, but at the same time these parties face the problem of recruiting and socializing new and relatively sophisticated members, so that there is always an incentive to draw upon students and to organize them when possible. Nevertheless, in 1950 during one of the non-political phases, Congress and Socialist leaders agreed jointly to form the National Union of Students (NUS), an organization which lasted about eight years. Factionalism and partisanship prevented its ever becoming the representative, non-political organization which was promised.[69] University administrators opposed any idea about student self-government and many of the local college unions were not democratically elected and were subject to influence from administrators. Many of the NUS representatives failed to communicate with their constituencies and eventually charges were published that NUS was misappropriating funds.[70]

Upon the demise of NUS, a successor was formed which shared all the same familiar problems and more besides. The National Council of University Students of India, (NCUSI) received funds from Western sources and thus became heir to the cold war tensions as well as to local Indian conflicts. Its has attempted to persuade students to work through administrative channels rather than through agitation, but it shows no promise of becoming a representative student association.[71]

Politics and Indiscipline

We have seen, then, that all the organized political groups which once gave students an important position in the political life of the nation have declined in recent years, and have been actively discouraged by political leaders. The ethos of non-partisanship dominates in India, so that oftentimes political party leaders themselves yearn to transcend their partisanship and act as "elder statesmen"--integrating and harmonizing rather than pressing claims for special interests. In keeping with this ethos, student politics has been widely interpreted as unacceptable and less than legitimate. This does not mean that conflicts of interests do not find expression, however. It simply means that the orderly institutions for handling conflicts are undeveloped and that demands manifest themselves in non-institutionalized, non-legitimate ways, Indeed, as partisan organizations have declined among students, anomic protest outbursts seem to have increased. Whether these two trends are related or not is open to speculation, but Philip Altbach has predicted, "The lack of a continuing student movement in India does not mean that there will be no more indiscipline. On the contrary, trends in Indian higher education indicate that the decline of quality and increasing pressure to expand enrollments in the face of limited resources will continue unabated for some time..."[72]

In fact, politics and student discontent inter-penetrate so that incidents of indiscipline which have become so frequent in the past few years are in fact sometimes partisan and also based on university factionalism. We shall recall here a few of the events which have been described at various universities to illustrate the way in which these two areas of conflict have become connected and thus exacerbate one another. We have already adduced the case of the anti-Hindi riots in Tamilnad, which were successfully used by the DMK to win control of the State government in 1967. A similar phenomenon occurred in Calcutta in 1966, when students supporting a United Left Front anti-government movement provoked a crisis which ultimately led to the fall of the state government and a prolonged period of instability. In Orissa in 1964 students forced the resignation of the chief minister, whereupon the government fell. This action was based upon the charge that the chief minister, a Congress man, was guilty of corruption.[73]

Amar Kumar Singh has described the way Ranchi University is affected by political, non-academic considerations. Indeed, the creation of the University seems to have been motivated by a desire on the part of Congress politicians to court the support of tribal leaders of Bihar, who had been active in the tribal Jharkhand Party, which had only recently been absorbed into the Congress establishment. The British Vice-Chancellor may have been appointed as a further gesture of conciliation toward the (mostly Christian) tribals of the erstwhile Jharkhand Party. In any case there was some implication that the Vice-Chancellor was politically compromised to such an extent that his public statements concerning a clear-cut case of police brutality were tempered with a view to placating the Congress government.[74]

Singh also points out that the government has other methods of exerting influence on the university through controlling commissions which handle allocation of funds as well as appointments. Consequently, a teacher or administrator who wishes to be appointed or promoted would do well to have connections with high politicians. Particularlism running throughout the college system is, to Singh's mind, the most important factor stimulating student unrest: students are able to "work the system" by cultivating contacts with important faculty members. He cites a report which showed that the "indisciplined group of students had more contact with the teacher-politicians who used them against their rivals. The students mainly came from nouveau riche families who lacked academic tradition and atmosphere. Their parents were not interested in their studies. The agitational leaders were bad students. Some also were aligned with groups in the city who provided "protection" to restaurants and cinema halls.[75] Singh indicates that the most indisciplined college under Ranchi University is the Birla Institute of Technology, a college with superb facilities, staff, and outstanding students. But Birla students also have exceptionally high opportunities to organize, travel, lobby, and otherwise find ways to coerce the university. "Whatever may be the actual frequency of occurrences (of corruption), there is no doubt that the widespread belief in the existence of favoritism is in itself an important factor acting to vitiate the psychological atmosphere of the university and to cripple the morale of vast numbers of students.[76]

The account Joseph DiBona gives of indiscipline at Allahabad University gives further evidence that the factional struggles can be very serious in a university. The election of a Vice-Chancellor in 1951 was so disgraceful a demonstration of campus politics that a government enquiry committee was formed to investigate. Allahabad has been subjected to repeated incidents of indiscipline. In 1950 the student union leaders mounted a demonstration against the chief minister of U.P., who was physically injured. In 1952 Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt was prevented from addressing the students. In 1953 the government transformed the student union into a voluntary organization rather than a compulsory one, whereupon student demonstrations got so much out of hand that the university had to be closed. In 1955 it was again closed by the action of some 3000 students, who gheraoed the Vice-Chancellor. In 1959 the most serious events occurred: a cinema manager beat a student, whose comrades retaliated in force, with the result that four people were killed and many injured. When one of the young men was refused readmission to the University for his part in the riot. he went on a hunger strike, enlisting the energetic sympathies of other students, who intimidated the council into granting every demand the students made, and then resigning as a body.

In 1963 some 5000 students surrounded the house of the Vice-Chancellor and threatened to cut of f his hands if some students were not re-admitted. The faculty members themselves were injured by students.

As in Ranchi, the University of Allahabad has come to be heavily influenced and controlled by partisan members of the state government. Block grants were once assigned to the university, but now specific items are judged by the state before funds are granted. In the past the university Senate elected the Vice-Chancellor but since the impasse of 1952 the Chancellor (Governor) appoints him in consultation with state officials. Di Bona and Singh seem to agree that it is necessary for the university to develop a different sort of relationship to the government than that which exists today.[77]

A final case, this time from Osmania University, will serve to indicate that government relations with the academic community have become a serious matter. Robert Shaw's report of that Andhra Pradesh institution indicates that there is no provision in the Indian Constitution insuring university autonomy vis a vis the state government. In 1965 the state government changed the mode of appointment from nomination from a list of names selected by three prominent persons not associated with the University to direct appointment by the Chancellor. This of course removed power from the Senate and Syndicate to the government. This action was part of a power struggle which took place over some years between the Chief Minister and the Vice-Chancellor, and which at one time resulted in indiscipline in the student community. Although the supreme court ruled this amendment invalid on the grounds that it was inspired by personal animus, the fact remains that the government can become a policy-making power of the university by passing any act which it so chooses.

It was on this issue that a strike of students centered in 1966. The faculty members, powerless to express their own anger over the replacement of the vice-chancellor by a man not of their choosing, seemingly encouraged students in their violence. Police used tear gas, and lathis to disperse a crowd of 59000 students who had halted all normal activities in Hyderabad and Secunderabad business districts for three days. The students presented "rider" demands which bore no relation to the issue of university autonomy--demands for bus concessions, food ration cards, and the like. The Chief Minister accepted their demands in good part.[78]

Since that strike, three others have closed colleges in Osmania. August 1965 saw students demanding that students who failed in as many as 3 or 4 examinations be allowed to continue at their studies. After a week of violence, during which many were injured, a compromise was reached. In 1966, medical students demanded that examinations be postponed, but the administration of the university did not comply with that demand. In September of 1966 a third strike occurred in the Engineering College to demand special courses for students who had failed examinations. This demand was met. In March of 1967 a number of windows were broken by students who protested increased prices for meals in local restaurants; owners ended up by offering student discounts. In September 1966 the Arts College student union president was forced to publicly apologize for hiring thugs to beat the Science College student union president and some of his friends. These incidents, unfortunately, do not exhaust the list of student agitations which have plagued Osmania University.

Shaw undertook a limited study of leadership in student politics in Osmania and concluded that the average leader in an Arts and Science college in Osmania is of middle or upper class family (commonly of Reddy caste), is not a good student but speaks English well in public, is older than average, and while condoning violence, is committed to the "ethics of absolute ends."[79] In these observations the Osmania student leader seems similar to the Allahabad leaders described by Di Bona.

There are marked differences in frequency of indiscipline from one region of India to another. Government sources indicate that students in Andhra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, U.P. and West Bengal have been active, while those of Maharashtra and most of South India have not.[80] This cannot be attributed either to language or to party support, for the Communists were active in Calcutta where much unrest has occurred, but are also active in Kerala, which has not seen trouble. Hindi is the language of U.P. and Bihar, but also that of the Punjab and Rajasthan, which are quiet.[81]

Fortunately, some tabulations have been kept as to the manifest causes of the student agitations. During 1964 there were '700 demonstrations, 480 of which were violent. Some records were made of about 280 of the student strikes, of which 100 were linked to demands about the administration of colleges and examinations. Sixty began as protests against police or other authorities in government. The remainder cannot be traced to college or political matters. The Communists were involved in strikes about 10 per cent of the time, but the other parties much less often took sides or helped.[82]

Lloyd and Susanne Rudolph have undertaken a systematic study of indiscipline by comparing two groups of colleges, those with high performance and those with pronounced indiscipline, to a third group representing an all-India norm. The norm was derived from 243 colleges in India which are affiliated to universities. Data were drawn from reports submitted by the colleges to the Ministry of Education. In general, whatever characteristics are shared by the colleges whose students have high levels of performance, the opposite characteristics will be shared by the colleges which have high levels of indiscipline. The indisciplined colleges were more likely to be male or coeducational rather than female, government rather than private, arts and science rather than professional (with the exception that Ayurvedic medical colleges--the traditional Indian medical system--have a great many instances of indiscipline), to have some post-graduate students, to have few students in hostels, to be located in urban areas, to be at least ten years in operation, to have low proportions of faculty to students, low proportions of books to students, low expenditures per student, to have many pre-university or intermediate students and to have between 20 and 70 per cent rural students.[83]

We have seen that the various analyses seem to converge on most points. While appreciative of the intent of Indian educators and their contribution to the enhancement of Indian civilization, all observers nevertheless find many reasons for concern.

The Indian university is closely tied to its society and shares many of the characteristics and contradictions of modern Indian life. In no society are academic values completely separated from the norms of the broader society, but in India these distinctions are even less evident than they are in many countries. Caste and regional affiliations are seen as normal criteria for the academic appointments and factional politics within the universities bear a marked resemblance to political infighting in national life. Students attempt to use family influence to gain admittance to the university, or they resort to agitational politics to change an examination result. Thus, while some critics attack the universities for being an "ivory tower", higher education is very much in the mainstream of Indian social and political life."[84]

Thus wrote Philip Altbach. The consensus seems to be that the Indian university is not sufficiently insulated from pressures of outside politics and that a great deal of the hostility which culminates in indiscipline has origins in the multiple alliances that stem from political group membership. On the other hand, it is also agreed that these political relationships are remarkably apolitical, in the sense that they are not ideological and not linked to any larger program or distinctive system of policies. The main interest is in scoring points over rivals. What is not clear is why this is such a serious problem in India. All universities everywhere have positions of formal authority and there are always occasions for various people in the system to struggle for control over the policies and resources which they deem important. Why should the Indian university be worse in this regard than other universities? The answers I have received from knowledgeable Indians about this point in two directions. First, the sheer scarcity of resources make opportunities desperately limited for most college teachers, so that the outcome of various decisions is inherently more important to them and the motivation to acquire some control over the environment is raised. They resort to factionalism as a tactic of self-defense.

We have seen that the structure of the university fosters factional struggles because of its extreme centralization of authority. Faculty members are not hired and promoted through the decisions of their own departments, but through the central administrative body, the Syndicate, which is strongly influenced by the Vice-Chancellor. When political patronage comes into the system, authority leaves. Singh suggests that the authority of the administrators is eroded in the eyes of the students through the actions of the administrators themselves, who show themselves to be susceptible to influence in terms of considerations which are extraneous to academic matters. Whenever political favor is courted, whenever students are admitted for reasons other than meritorious performance, the decision undermines the students' esteem for the college administrators and engenders resentment which may accumulate until it reaches the point of rage and finds expression in hostile outbursts. Dr. Singh suggests that there is nothing wrong with the university regulations: it is simply that they are never followed, even by the authorities who write the rules. He cites very compelling evidence that students suspect the integrity of their teachers and administrators. If there is a basis for such suspicion, it makes the student responses comprehensible.



It is a commonplace observation that India is a land of great diversity, that it is not yet (and may never become) "a people", but that it is an area of many peoples, of many cultures, languages, religious sects, castes and classes. What are not so obvious are the political implications of such diversity. Pluralistic theory leads us to assume that multiple affiliations, and cross-cutting cleavages draw the population into political life, while at the same time moderating demands and ideological zeal. But India is not what the theorist has in mind when he speaks of a pluralist society. Moderation is there, indeed, but it is the paralysis of social non-reform, the inability to integrate and mobilize groups for political and social change. The independence movement and the Bhoodan (land gift) movement have been dynamic phenomena, but they are not gears engaged with the New Delhi flywheel; they are apart from the present nation-government. Nationalism in India exists only in relation to threats of external or colonial power; otherwise it fragments into regional chauvinism or various forms of communalism. This compartmenting of attachments is the chief enemy of the nation as it endeavors to mobilize a citizenry for heroic deeds.

The other sort of moderation--civility and the spirit of compromise--are lacking between these groupings. Attachment to special collectivities is more decisive than is the case in the West. The cleavages are multiple, pervasive and sometimes tragic and there is rarely enough intergroup consensus to repair the wounds. Caste radically separates along one plane, tribal ethnicity along another, language differences along a third, religion along another, and sometimes last in importance, class or economic interest groups along a fifth plane.

Such groupings may or may not have impact in politics at the national level. When a cleavage runs the whole length of the society (as the Hindu-Muslim division does) the issues become national in scope. More often, however, group conflicts become part of the politics of local or intra-party campaigns. Hugh Tinker has written,

"The extent to which state politics are 'local' or 'national' is also quite unequal...More backward states, such as Rajasthan or Orissa, are almost entirely immersed in local questions revolving around local personalities."[85]

A candidate may offer a school or jobs to a caste in return for its bloc support. "Because only Congress politicians have access to the 'pork barrel', Congress is assured of automatic adherents, whatever politics it may pursue, for many years to come. The only reply which opposition politicians can contrive is that of agitations," wrote Tinker only a few years ago.[86] Perhaps that is all changed now.

Although it does occasionally happen that different parties are controlled by different castes and represent their members' interests, this is not the usual case. (The famous Kammas and Reddy rivalry of Andhra is such a case: the Kammas are Communists and the Reddys are Congress leaders and they divide the rest of the state between themselves.[87] 'The effective social unit is not caste in the sense of "varna" but caste in the sense of "jati" or "subcaste." The varna scheme is a hierarchical map derived from ancient texts and adopted by early anthropologists because of its theoretical elegance and because they found it useful in exploring the sociological terrain. It has this much validity in real life: Brahmins are certainly held in high status and Harijans are certainly not, but in between there is difficulty in determining what rank a local endogamous grouping out to be assigned. Thus the varna ranking of a lati is open to dispute; the lati membership, however, is extremely meaningful: when one belongs to a local caste group he knows it and he knows what obligations are expected of him on account of it. The Jatis are regionally limited, rarely extending into several different states and usually of much smaller territory. Moreover, in very few cases does any one caste have such numerical strength that it can afford to appeal politically only to its own members for support. The Jats account for about 10% of the population of Rajasthan, and that is about the highest concentration of any one caste that can be found. Consequently, the parties have to try to appeal to several different castes. This introduces a competitive element into casteism which was certainly not part of the orthodox conception of dharma. Castes now form associations and act as political lobbies, trying to gain power in the political structures. The effect is to make the rewards and penalties of caste position into negotiable contingencies rather than immutable facts. Moreover, the politicians compete for the favor of the numerically powerful castes, so that several parties may vie for the bloc support of one caste, with an effect of weakening the solidarity of castes. These effects are apparently more common than cases of actual domination of political parties by a unitary caste-based clique. The new democratic rules will inevitably change the nature of this ancient ascriptive game. It has changed the nature of politics in India and has built in constraints to what politics can do. Intellectuals agree that present politicians are less devoted and able than were the men who led the struggle for independence. Politics is more now a matter of expediency than a matter of ideas or ideals.

We find that the group a student belongs to will often be a strong predictor of social attitudes: one might not expect to find this, because the student population is so much more homogeneous than the Indian population as a whole that one would have ruled out much possibility of wide variation by the selection procedure of sampling students only. By far the greatest number of students are upper caste and better-off economically than the national average. Still, even within this homogenous sample, the variation in political behavior is greater when we compare social groupings than when we compare different background attributes which might be expected to be more important. Different universities have very different kinds of students. Students in different regions or who speak different mother tongues are very unlike politically. These structural effects are more decisive than anything else.[88] That is why scholars usually give up looking for causal relationships and general propositions in India, so great is the diversity created by cleavages along the different social dimensions: comparative analysis usually gives way to ethnography and case studies.

For example, one would like to form generalizations about the politics of high-caste people as opposed to low-caste people, but this is not generally possible, for while caste orthodoxy has political concomitants, these are limited to specific contexts. Anand Paranjpe has compared the caste-justifying religious beliefs of high, middle and low castes in Poona and has found that there is a transitive pattern of accepting such doctrines among high castes and rejecting them among Harijans: he also found an appreciable number of Brahmins who said they admired Hitler as an "ideal person".[89] If one could generalize that finding to a large-scale and apply it to all of India, the conclusions would be dramatic, but in other contexts it has been found that high-status students are the most likely to hold modern, democratic, egalitarian views. Moreover, even if all Brahmins admired Hitler, they would not be able to run a successful political party all alone, but would have to spread across ideologies which are held by groups with more members. That is why there is no clearly "upper-caste" party in India and that is why the Scheduled Castes Federation is and will remain more a pressure group than a true party.

Although casteism inervates Indian social programs, linguistic heterogeneity is probably a more serious threat to national development. The masses are more "Gujarati" or "Tamil" than they are "Indian" and in fact the importance of linguistic regionalism has increased, rather than decreased since independence. Most states have been reorganized to fit along linguistic boundaries, and rivalry continues to emerge in new areas.

The north-south regional cleavage is one of the most dangerous potential fracture-lines because it is one area where several cultural boundaries coincide. There is the divergence of Dravidian languages from Indo-European, there is the color difference (south Indians are darker, and this carries the same meaning in India as it does in the United States) and there is a strong anti-Brahmin sentiment in the south, which reacts strongly against the north Indian leadership. There is an element of anti-Hinduism in the Dravidian movement, for the dark-skin devaluation is part of the Hindu tradition, which presumably arose as a discriminatory ideology among the Aryan invaders when they encountered the Dravidian peoples who had been the original inhabitants of India.[90]

Western political thought suggests that we focus on the relationships proceeding from class differences or special interests of an economic nature. In India the politics of left-and-right are only one plane and not the most important plane for understanding how political life is organized.



Tables 1-8

India is seeking to extend basic education throughout the entire population and higher education to a greater proportion of the population than heretofore. What are the implications of this for politics? Most writers in the West have been quite cheerful about the political consequences which should be expected of mass education. Seymour Martin Lipset has shown that the European, English-speaking and Latin American countries have consistent correlations of wealth and literacy rates with the stability of democratic government.[91] Karl Deutsch also notes,

"Data gathered by public opinion research agencies which have questioned people in different countries about their beliefs on tolerance for the opposition, their attitude toward ethnic or racial minorities and their feelings for multi-party as against one party systems have showed that the most important single factor differentiating those giving democratic responses from the others has been education. The higher one's education, the more likely one is to believe in democratic values and support democratic practices. All the relevant studies indicate that education is more significant than either income or occupation."[92]

In commenting on these findings, A. H. Halsey offers an explanation of the correlation which is particularly relevant to the Indian situation.

"Mass literacy is an essential pre-requisite for identification with and political participation in a national as opposed to a local or kinship culture."[93]

One is to expect, then, that increasing literacy in India will produce national integration, with higher political participation and with a tolerant and democratic style. However, we must note that literacy is far lower in India than in the nations which have been the base for such generalizations.

We have computed some measures of association between education and political orientation in India. Are those states which provide more education less radical than those other states, as we should expect? We have a rough coefficient of the quality of secondary education for each state, formed by adding the percentage of active teachers who are trained, plus the percentage of students who pass the matriculation examination upon completing school, minus the average number of students per teacher. Data were from official government reports for 1955-56.[94] Scores range from 121 in Delhi to 39 in Assam and 29 in Manipur. The correlation between those scores and the percentage of CPI votes in the 1957 election in those states is +.03--obviously no relation whatever. The correlation between high quality education and CPI votes in the 1952 election was +.i8. The correlation between the average annual cost per capita of population for education of any sort and the CPI voting record in the states was +.20. The rank order correlation between the literacy rate of the states and the CPI record in the 1952 election was +.27.

Moving up closer to present time and including forms of communal politics which at the present pose more challenge to political stability than does the CPI influence, I summed the percentage of CPI support and Jana Sangh support, so as to estimate the level of extremism for the different states. The rank order correlation between that measure and the proportion of the population enrolled in higher education in 1962 was +.09.

In short, we see here no evidence that there is any impressive connection between widespread education and democratic commitment in India. It may be, of course, that states do not vary enough in overall education to make much difference.

Survey data, on the other hand, present impressive but ambiguous results. For example, a survey conducted in 1957 throughout India showed that the direction of the relationship between CPI preference and degree of education were reversed between Andhra and W. Bengal, both strongly pro-Communist states.

While the internal pattern is inconsistent, the relation for India as a whole is a slight decrease in CPI support as education increases: the effect is negligible, however. This is contrary to the results of a 1959 survey by the same organization as in Table 2.

The information presented in Table 5 is equivocal. In 1957 and 1967 the CPI seems to have been disproportionately attractive to uneducated voters, while in 1962 that was not the case. In 195? and 1962 the Jana Sangh was attractive to educated voters, while in 1967 it was the contrary. The evidence, then, does not suggest that extremist parties are disproportionately supported by uneducated people.

Results of national sample surveys of Indian voters used to project election results in the years 1957-1967. N's not specified. The figures for the whole sample may not be a simple function of the figures for all parties shown, since I have omitted smaller parties and non-partisan respondents from listing here. Respondents with no party preference seem to have been omitted from the sample and from the percentage base.

There are indications, however, that educated citizens have a greater sense of political efficacy in relation to their national government than do the less educated. This is generally true in other countries. The Indian Institute of Public Opinion shows that the college educated not only indicated a much greater willingness to try to influence the national government, but they predominantly expressed the belief that some good would come of the effort. More recent tables show essentially the same result, as indicated in table 4.

Do educated and uneducated Indians differ in their attitudes toward communism in general? From Table 5 we must infer that educated people are both more pro-Communist and more anti-communist simply because they are able to articulate an opinion of one kind or another, while the uneducated people seem to be almost completely unable to do so. In fact, the IIPO researchers presented a review of the trends over the past few years in the extent to which there is a gap between educated and uneducated people in their responses to such items concerning political efficacy. They conclude that the gap has not decreased at all--that the educated people are still much more in command of their political environments than are the uneducated.

This is a difficult matter to interpret. A good part of this discrepancy must be attributed to the lack of facility of the illiterate person in the interview situation. An educated man either has an opinion or can devise one when the interviewer asks him to: the uneducated man (and especially the uneducated woman) cannot. However, that is not the whole story: polls indicate that uneducated people vote approximately as often as do the educated, and as table 3 shows, at least for 1967, uneducated people are party supporters in a way that educated people are not.[95]

For those who do not share the optimistic view that education will enhance the democratic process in India as it has done elsewhere, the element which seems most problematic is "anomie"--the gap between levels of expectations and reality. The increased level of education in the West has been met by an increased standard of living, but until now, Indian opportunities have not increased very rapidly. If education serves to heighten aspirations beyond possible fulfillment, then there is occasion for concern about the prospects for the kind of gradualist approach to which the Indian government is committed. Everywhere else in the world, education has been found to heighten engagement in political activity, and if such increased activity is to be undertaken by disenchanted youth, changes can be expected. As Table 6 indicates, leftist partisans have been considerably more likely to report a deterioration in their economic circumstances than Congress supporters.

In absolute terms the graduates less often reported a decline in their economic circumstances than did illiterates, as indicated in Table 7, from the same sample. Furthermore, in terms of relative deprivation, a situation more relevant to the concern about political changes due to anomie, the educated citizens were less often dissatisfied than were the less educated. Table 8 shows that in no case is the proportion of respondents very high who have achieved their expectations, but the proportion is higher among graduates than among illiterates, which fact, if seen in the light of preceding arguments, tends to disconfirm the view that education in India leads to radical political activism via anomic disillusionment.

The evidence, then, about the relationship between education and radical leftist politics does not present a unitary picture. There is no appreciable correlation between CPI support in the states (by election results) and their investment in or quality of education. In Andhra and Madras the illiterates have been the main-stay of CPI support, while in West Bengal the graduates of college have been. In other surveys, the educated show a higher sense of political effectiveness and apprehensiveness about a possible Communist government and a lower sense of relative deprivation than do the uneducated Indians. Education does not seem so far to have changed the direction of politics in India.




Tables 10-14

This second section of the investigation will be concerned with sketching the important outlines about Indian students in the early nineteen fifties, both in comparison to students in the United States and also as a way of providing a base line for comparison with later Indian students, as well as with Indian non-students. Many of the figures will be drawn from the sample of Eleven Universities, drawn in 1952. and described in the introductory passages of this essay.

In the early years of independence. there were good grounds for assuming that India was leading in the direction of a strong left-wing government. Very early Congress declared its orientation to be socialist and its foreign policy neutralist. What seemed more significant to some observers, however, was the fact that the intellectuals and youth were even more leftist-oriented than were the poorer segments of the population. As Table 9 shows, students were more inclined to favor CPI than were the voters of that year. On the whole, the 1952 students seemed relatively liberal and optimistic.

As many as 72 per cent of them expressed approval of "the present foreign policy of dynamic neutrality of the Indian government." It was, in fact, a period when India's international standing was high, when Nehru seemed noble and perhaps even influential enough to foster a rapprochement of East and West.

On the same topic, the students were asked, "With which one of the following blocs would you prefer the Indian government to align itself? " Some 11 per cent chose the Soviet bloc, 10 per cent the Anglo-American bloc, but as many as 65 per cent preferred an "independent Asian bloc," while 14 per cent gave other responses.

The question, "Which form of government is best suited to India's needs?" elicited responses indicating that Communist governments of one sort or another were favored somewhat less than democracy--but not a great deal less. Some 24 per cent preferred parliamentary democracy (as in England), 16 per cent preferred democracy as in the United States, 11 per cent favored dictatorship, 22 per cent preferred People's Democracy (as in China), 7 per cent socialism as in the U.S.S.R. and 19 per cent gave other responses. Inasmuch as parliamentary democracy was the system which the new constitution sought to apply, one might have expected more than 24 per cent of the students to show enthusiasm for it.

It seems that the students considered the greatest danger to the nation to be from the side of communalism, rather than from the left. They were asked whether they would outlaw the Communist party and 36 per cent said yes, while 52 per cent would not and 11 per cent did not give definite answers. However 69 per cent would ban all communal parties, while only 22 per cent would not and 10 per cent did not express opinions.

Accordingly, the students believed in the value of a welfare state: only 23 per cent agreed that the welfare state tends to destroy individual initiative and make people lazy, while 56 per cent disagreed and 21 per cent expressed no opinion.

The Kashmir issue was touchy right from the beginning, yet there was not the degree of hardened pessimism prevalent about it that one might find today. The question. "How can the dispute between India and Pakistan in regard to Kashmir be solved satisfactorily?" was given sanguine responses: 57 per cent felt peaceful means could be employed, 28 per cent expected military action, 8 per cent said economic sanctions, and 7 per cent other means.

On the other hand, there were strong signs of alienation from the government even in 1952: fully 77 per cent agreed that "there is little use in writing to public officials because often they are not really interested in the problems of the average man." Only 15 per cent disagreed with that statement and 9 per cent did not indicate an opinion.

In some ways the students appeared aggressive. When asked whether an insult to national honor should be punished, even by war if necessary, 61 per cent agreed another 29 per cent disagreed and 10 per cent did not reply. One must conclude that they did not know their own minds for it is hard to reconcile their ready defense of "national honor" with the fact that 57 per cent agreed that "human lives are too important to be sacrificed for the preservation of any form of government,"

All told, the survey of 1952 indicated that the students were still very sensitive to the dangers of communalism and were hopeful that further conflicts along those lines could be averted. In contrast, when they glanced to the left, the view they beheld was serene and unclouded. In a little while would come the Indo-Chinese border war, and their mood would change.

The Life of a Student in 1952

With all the difficulties facing India at its independence, the nation had one asset that colonies in some other parts of the world lacked--a corps of educated manpower functioning in institutions which were viable. There were fine colleges, there was a splendid civil service, there was a well-developed legal system. The economy was poor but it was organized. Indians were running factories, plantations and banks.

Everything depends upon the conservation and proper utilization of that "social capital"--a smoothly continuous integration of new youth cohorts into a smoothly expanding institutional structure is almost the definition of political and social development. Any "decay" in the institutional structure of a country has ramifications which tend to impede or even reverse the process of political development. Yet, of course, the overburdened institutions have to accommodate to a rising load of demands which tax the resources and skill and sometimes even the good will of the people involved.

The colleges are a case in point: there is no doubt that they constitute a great asset. The colleges were designed along British lines and had the benefit of English role models throughout the period of institutionalization. Socialization included access to exemplars of academic performance, both in India and even more in the universities in England where so many Indian youth studied.[96] Now, however, there is a distinct deterioration in the efficiency with which the colleges integrate and train new manpower resources, partly because of the relatively greater independence of the colleges from foreign influence, but even more because they are overburdened. Much time is wasted, disorganized and unproductive. Students do not have an easy life, and their energies are frequently dissipated.

How did the Indian students live the 1952? First of all, many of them were very poor, and this fact overrides every other fact. Edward Shils has written,

"The poverty of India is no less present in the colleges than elsewhere. Many of the students live in a state of anxiety-ridden poverty, unable to pay the modest charges of their hostel rooms or digs, unable, regularly, to raise the price of simple meals. The Indian student is infinitely worse off than the British students, who thrive complainingly on relatively generous grants by public bodies, or than the American student, who goes nearly feelessly to a state university or who enjoys scholarships to private colleges and universities, and who can so frequently find remunerative part-time employment to maintain a car and a flat."[97]

Although the students in 1952 were usually from families with incomes much better than the average for India, the students were frequently short of proper food, and proper clothing. There were some scholarships available to poor students, but most students paid tuitions which varied from Rs. 120 to Rs. 250 per annum for arts and science courses and from Rs. 250 to Rs. 400 for professional and technological courses--this despite the fact that the per capita annual income in 1961 was about 330 rupees. The cost of residence and boarding in hostels varied from Rs. 80 to Rs. 100 per month--that is, about $16 to $20. Students were not often employed while in school or during vacations. About 10 per cent received financial aid. Comparative distributions of income groups are presented in Table 10, for the U.S. and India.

Some hostels were available, which varied greatly in quality." A 1955 survey of hostels in Calcutta revealed that 40 per cent of the students were undernourished, that 30 to 55 per cent lived on less than Rs. 30 per month....The majority of hostels, however, are not this bad and many are 'better than most students' homes in their physical aspects.'"[98]

Because primary and secondary school last only ten years, most of the Indian students are younger than American college students. Many students come to college at 14 or 15 years of age. Unfortunately, the lower ages in the Eleven Universities sample were not specified, but comparisons between U.S. and Indian students' ages are in Table 11. The Indian sample included both undergraduates and graduates. while the U.S. sample was entirely to undergraduates, so two Indian tables are shown, one for the total and one for the undergraduates. While only 50 per cent of the American students were as young as 19, over half of the Indian students were that young. There may be no significance to the slightly higher percentage of students over 25 in the Indian sample. but Shils has commented elsewhere on the number of older students in the Indian universities who do not leave college, but linger on, often as the "catalysts who agitate lambs into lions."[99] Some 82 per cent of the Indians were male, while 73 per cent of the American sample were male. Despite its youth, the Indian sample included a larger proportion of married students than did the American sample: 15 per cent of the Indians were married, while only 5 per cent of the Americans were. This is a reflection of the continuing pattern of arranged marriage. The marriages are less often child marriages than before, but students apparently planned to continue the practice of arranging marriages, as 48 per cent disagreed with the statement that love marriages are happier than arranged marriages and 59 per cent agreed that the joint family is still a most useful institution.

We have additional data on the living conditions of students at about the same period as the Eleven Universities study: the government conducted sample surveys in Poona in 1955 and in Kerala and Lucknow.[100] The Poona students (predominantly urban) reported that their guardian's average monthly income was Rs. 320 and that the guardian supported about six dependents. Nearly 25 per cent of this income is taken away for the education of a single child at college. Income at Kerala was even lower--Rs. 135 per month, and 60 per cent of the students there were rural. Some 40 per cent of the Lucknow students were rural. Despite the higher income at Poona, 31 per cent of the Poona students had neither a table nor a cot, while at Kerala and Lucknow less than 10 per cent lacked furniture. Students everywhere saw 2 or 3 movies per month, however.

Some faculties are sure routes to secure jobs, and the students know it. Competition was keen for places in medicine, engineering and Ayurvedic medicine (the traditional Hindu medical system) and these faculties drew students who could afford their higher fees and who had the best grades. Such students studied 4.5 hours a day, as compared with 5.2 hours of study by students in agriculture. Some 82 per cent of the students had been able to join the course of study they wanted. The rejected engineering students often turned to science.

In addition to the four hours of study, they reported that they were at the university about six hours a day. More than half of the students played at various sports regularly, and 14 per cent took extra tuition besides that offered by the university. The studying is not distributed evenly throughout the year, however, but is concentrated in the period just before examinations, when tutors and coaching services do a brisk business. Over half the students used "made easy" notes. Studying was a matter of memorizing material.

Student Attitudes

It is of some importance to compare the Indian students with other students in terms of basic values and generalized beliefs. We do have comparative marginal distributions, but there must be considerable caution used in interpreting them, because of the problem of generalizing from these samples to the national population.

Some comparison is possible between Indian and American students in their attitude toward the economic system. In accordance with the Indian government's ideal of democratic socialism, the Indian students expressed much less enthusiasm for capitalistic ideology than did American students. Despite their economic liberalism, they did not exhibit the degree of respect for the legitimacy and efficacy of governmental authority as did American students. They tended to regard no form of government at all as worth the sacrifice of human life and to regard public officials as uninterested in the problems of the average man. The Indians hoped for secure jobs rather than for entrepreneurial roles. Their religiosity seemed to be no greater than that of American students.



Tables 15-16

The fields of study in which students were engaged are shown by comparative frequency distributions. India had many fewer students enrolled in the sciences, medicine and engineering than did the U.S. sample. The selection of one's academic discipline not only will make his college years agreeable or miserable, but may settle his occupational future. Even in the best of circumstances students must decide somewhat blindly, only guessing at the content and expectations of their major, but in India the competition for college places in desired fields is so intense that students do not have an open option to study whatever they like. Quite commonly, students complete one degree in a field not of their choosing so as to qualify for a place in the field they prefer, where they obtain another bachelor's degree. The sciences are especially selective and students in such faculties are often from urban, financially secure families, as we have seen. In India, as in other countries, good income helps pay for excellent preparation in academic fields.

Morris Rosenberg conducted a study of American students (the Cornell sample, which used many of the same items as did the Eleven Universities study, but which employed a panel design). He found it quite common for students in the United States to change their majors.[101] There are consistent patterns in the direction of their changes which suggest that the student tries to find his niche in an organized enterprise which has objectives, values, and a logic of its own. The student comes into an area with an orientation more or less congruent with the expectations of that discipline; it is fairly simple for him to change his field if he finds its demand inconsistent with his own values (except in the case of technically specialized fields, in which more is lost by the change.)

This is not so simple in India, where even within one's fields the curriculum requirements are spelled out in detail, with relatively little opportunity to choose elective courses. The Department establishes what subjects it will accept as subsidiary subjects along with their own. One is not permitted to take courses in areas wholly unrelated to one's own field. An English literature major might take philosophy and history, but not, say, physics. The pattern of "general education" is being introduced as a radical idea imported from America.[102] For the most part, a syllabus will indicate a list of books to be used for a course (a "paper", as the Indian courses are called) but nothing about the subject matter of the course. The texts are often obsolescent, for the syllabi are not easily changed and the external examination relies upon standardization of readings.[103]

Thus, the students often find themselves committed to majors not of their choosing, obliged to read and memorize texts which are out of date, and unable to take exploratory courses in other areas nor even to change their majors very easily. This situation may be a source of discontent.

Rosenberg's subjects were able to resolve the strain between their own values and the demands of their major by several options which are not available to the Indian students, who must succeed if their work proves onerous or fail altogether. We cannot here explore the mechanisms of reducing psychic conflict which Indian students employ, but we must question whether the limited range of alter-natives available to the student contributes to his dissatisfaction; of course, this may not be the case at all--Rosenberg even speculates that "it is possible that in societies in which the individual's occupation is fixed at birth, people may be satisfied with their occupations because it has never occurred to them to consider any other." One doubts that the Indian students are that unimaginative, but Rosenberg attempts to show that wants are almost as malleable as reality.

If the "revolution of rising expectations" has any real substance, it is most likely to represent an increase in the total frustration level among students whose alternatives are limited too stringently and too soon. Nevertheless, we have seen that the Indian students were slightly more "disillusioned with college" than Americans, and 41 per cent of the Indian students said they were having a very good time in college, as compared with 31 per cent of the Americans. If the rigid curriculum is distressing to Indian students, there is no great indication of the distress in their responses to questions about dissatisfaction.

But the alternatives are indeed very limited, and the information is not always available about future possibilities of employment. Miss Cormack found substantial numbers of students quite unprepared to reply to any questions about their plans after graduation from college. This is despite the fact that three fourths of the Eleven Universities sample indicated that vocational training was one of the most important educational goals of an ideal university. That there is some lack of information is shown by the fact that the amount of money which the students indicated they expect to earn one year after graduation is not far short of the median income of their parents or guardians, while in fact many of these students earn nothing at all for several years.

We know that the academic disciplines both attract different sorts of students and create differences among students.[104] Different evaluations must be placed upon the objectives attached to the respective roles and different cognitive and emotional styles which are required for various occupations. Rosenberg singles out "faith in people" as a personality attribute which is very important in attracting one to a "helpful" occupation, such as teaching, social work and personnel. but which inopportunely disarms the incumbent of a "self-interested" occupation, such as business, real estate, finance and sales promotion.[105] Such a personal orientation as generalized faith both draws one into nurturant or supportive professional roles and, in America, tends to draw people into democratic political participation.[106] Similar findings have occurred with respect to several western democratic nations.[107] The level of such faith differed substantially in India and America: while 76 per cent of the U.S. students believed that "most people can be trusted" only 29 per cent of the Indian students believed so.

In factor analyses, various attitudes in the Eleven Universities study produced dimensions which had all the characteristics of a "faith in people scale."[108] Its two chief component items were "most people can be trusted," (loading .85) and "people are inclined to help others" (loading .74). All of the other items in the factor had loadings of less than .16. Humanities students were somewhat less "trusting" than the students preparing for the professions. There was a consistent upward progression in the proportion of leftists as the "trust" factor decreased.

Rosenberg also pointed to a typology of temperament which he found related to occupational choice in the Cornell study. He distinguished between "compliant" personalities, who move toward people in Horney's terminology, "detached" personalities, who move away from people, and who value the freedom to be original and creative in work, and "aggressive" personalities, who move against people, who are quite interested in being successful and in "external rewards" rather than the pleasures of performing one's occupation for its own sake. Rosenberg found business students very high in the aggression trait, and such subjects often responded that their ideal job would allow them to earn a lot of money and give social status and prestige.

In looking for such relationships in the Indian sample, we found the curious fact that the communist supporters (hardly businessmen types) were the most likely to say it was highly important for an ideal job to provide a chance to earn money and for it to offer social status and prestige. They were also most likely to prefer a job with a good income but which they might lose at any time and which would be controlled by a stranger instead of a secure, low paying job controlled by a relative or friend. The CPI preference is appropriate for a good capitalist. Their responses were quite different from those of the Jana Sangh supporters. who very often asserted that money, leadership, status and prestige were of little or no importance, while it was highly important for them to work with people and be related to religion.

We might imagine that the greater aggressiveness of the Indian communists results from their poverty and the realistic problems they face in assuring mere survival. Plausible though such an idea appears, this was not the case. There were differences between the occupational values of rich and poor students in India but they fit with the observations made by Rosenberg of Americans: the rich want money more than the poor do. One can discern most of the attributes of a "protestant ethic" among the poor students, though it was a more altruistic Protestant ethic than the Calvinist variety. while the attitudes of the richer students approximated the "mobile-bureaucratic personality" in their success orientation, coupled with their attentiveness to "personality" as a means to success.

The students whose parents had more money did better in examinations, regarded personality and the ability to get along with others as important determinants of success, hoped to work in their own businesses more often than did poor students, were eager to earn money, to have a secure future and yet to be creative and original in their jobs. All these values would be quite appropriate for middle executives in corporations, except for the entrepreneurial inclination to own their own businesses.

The poorer students, in contrast, did not hope for so much financial security, but they did find it important for them to know plans in advance. They regarded hard work and respect for superiors as important for success, but their orientations were not as self-interested. They clearly wanted to work with other people and they saw this task in relation to their religion. Work in social services and education are ordinarily more secure means of livelihood than owning one's business, but the low valuation of monetary reward makes security an unlikely motive for these students.

In other countries, also, social work and teaching are key channels of upward mobility for the working classes but at least in the Indian case, it seems that the poor students did not regard their own career choices in such a light. Perhaps they were affected by the traditional idea of dharma. or dutiful performance. The vocational ethic of Hinduism is not, after all, the diametric opposite of the Protestant ethic. but only opposite to one aspect--the rational use of labor[109]; the intensity of the commitment to one's obligations is not necessarily less in India than in the West, even by Weber's conception. He emphasized,

"Among the Hindus, the Biblical emphasis echoed in Luther's injunction, 'Remain steadfast in your calling,' was elevated into a cardinal religious obligation and was fortified by powerful religious sanctions."[110]

Such commitment is not eroded by self-aggrandizement among the poor students; it may be largely lip-service, but even as lip-service it is manifest as an ideal. But the point is that it is not "faith in people" which makes the poor Indians believe in the importance of hard work helping other people, as it is in the United States.

Indians have little generalized faith in one another, the poor students have no more faith than the rich students, and the partisans are not unusual in their level of faith. Yet the poorer students are less interested in making money, status and security than in helping other people, through caste, political. social or educational action. One imagines a modern-dress production of the Bhagavad-Gita, with a contemporary student in the role of Arjuna, trying to act without attachment to the fruits of his action, without faith in the objects of his concern.

These values and preferences directly play into the choices students make about their fields of study. Those students who indicated a wish to work in an educational institution were predominantly enrolled in the humanities, social sciences and science faculties. The commerce faculties were havens for students who wished to own their own businesses, but law and medical students also wished to maintain their own independent practices. Engineering students most commonly wished to work for private firms. Students who valued social service, will power, and hard work were found somewhat more frequently in the social science curricula than elsewhere. In most respects the engineers and medical students showed tougher-minded conservatism and cynicism than other students.

Engineers most frequently regarded vocational training as the supreme educational goal, expected to work for the government and to earn more money than did other students. They showed a more entrepreneurial aspect, however, in that they were more willing than most other students to prefer a job which paid well but which they might lose at any time. They were most likely to think that dictatorship was a good form of government (commerce students were next most likely to do so), most often thought the atom bomb was a better deterrent to war than the United Nations, and most often expected a third world war. They were the most likely to think the most important thing children must learn is to obey parents, even when they think them wrong. They believed the colleges do not prepare for outside life, but while they were not attracted to the soviet bloc or to people's democracy, neither did they want to emphasize Indian values more. They read newspapers less often than other students, and they participated more often in extracurricular activities.

Medical students had rather similar orientations. They were most likely to want to work in their own businesses, feeling that any man can succeed who is willing and able to work. They had a politically hostile stance--they did not want to work for the government, saw public officials as altogether uninterested in the average man's problems, they commonly thought war was essential for progress and that any insult to the nation's honor must be punished, even by war.

Law students, though they were self-interested professionals, were somewhat closer to the humanities. The subject matter of their technical expertise encompasses the imponderables of human action, not merely physiological processes and consumption habits, but human values and the justice of social rules and customs. On most items the law students responded mid-way between the leftist, socially empathic pattern of the humanities students and the rightist, militaristic, cynical pattern of the medical and engineering students. They were not very self-confident for some reason: more often than other students they felt that they had failed to live up to their parents' expectations; they were enjoying college life least of any groups, felt that intelligence was not an important determinant of success, and that fate or social or natural forces beyond control were more important causes of what happens to one than one's own efforts. Despite their apparent misgivings about the natural order of things, however, they most frequently claimed to take a prominent role in groups, they read the newspapers more often than others, and believed that public officials are interested in the problems of ordinary men, although they also supported Congress less than other groups of students, preferring the Praja Socialists most often, but nevertheless firmly adhered to parliamentary democracy as an idea.

Science students were generally rather detached from the controversial issues of human affairs. Although science is pre-eminently a modern methodological process, the substantive content of science does not conflict with traditional values to the same degree as the subject matter of' the humanities and social sciences. We find science students more than another discipline professing a need for religious faith. continuing to accept the customs of their families, feeling it very important that a child obey. Their conventionality may not be the result of their isolation as much as of' their social status as very young and relatively well-to-do boys (the older science students were as left-wing as other students), but they are isolated by their demanding courses of study; fewer science students than others participated in extra-curricular activities or part-time work. Despite this, they showed none of the "aggressive" ambitions nor reactionary political views of the professionals; they were not far behind humanities students in their admiration for "people's democracy."

Humanities students were very much caught up in the political and social controversies in a way that tend to generate heat--they approached human problems from a fairly abstract level, rather than by dealing with the pragmatic specifics of policy-making or social welfare activity, yet their abstract connection with the issues was affectively charged; they were emotionally involved, both because of the fact that they were themselves more often from deprived social strata and because it is normatively prescribed that the humanist care. They did care. They were more often CPI supporters than any other students; they liked "people's democracy" and distinctly did not like dictatorship. They expected little money, were not interested in vocational training as a part of their college education, did not think it likely that any man who is willing and able to work can succeed. They rarely accepted the customs of their families; in almost every respect they are more modern and more leftist than other students.

The Social Science students (Economics, Geography, History, Maths, Philosophy, Sociology and Psychology) were liberal, but not as radical as the humanities students. They were less authoritarian than other groups: they did not regard it as highly important to teach a child to obey under all circumstances; they were not eager to punish any insult to the nation's honor and they approved inter-Baste marriages. They believed, more than any other group, in the value of hard work. Although they were often CPI adherents, their loyalty turned more to the Soviet side than to Peking, for they did not greatly appreciate "people's democracy." At that time, of course, the differences between Maoist and Stalinist Communist strategy were not seen in terms of co-existence so much as in terms of whether to accommodate to the bourgeoisie and the landlords.[111] Most of the CPI supporters in 1952 were pro-Peking; 50 per cent of the CPI groups in general preferred people's democracy, as compared with 16 per cent for socialism as in the Soviet Union.

The Allied Social Science students, particularly, were the most traditional wing of the social sciences; many of them conceived their roles in terms of rather specific, concrete performances. These were the students in education, journalism, library science, diplomatic and international affairs, teacher training, politics, public administration, applied economics, commerce and technology. As others have noted, persons who have applied problems in mind are less utopian and less extreme than persons who grope for theoretical and general solutions to problems. It is the difference between piecemeal reform on the one hand and revolution or chauvinism, on the other. This is largely an aspect of the academic discipline rather than the personal inclinations of the student himself. Martin Trow has suggested that one of the most salient properties of an academic major is the closeness of its linkage to adult career roles. Applied social scientists, by and large, receive "training" in college rather than "education," and in the Eleven Universities sample their values were rather middle-of-the-road. They were predominantly hopeful of working in educational institutions. They wanted more emphasis on Indian values, disapproved of intermarriage and divorce. felt a need for religion and believed the joint family useful. They were not extreme politically: they did not support CPI, did not believe war essential, and were least often excited about politics. They resembled professionals more than humanists.



Tables 19-21, Plate 1

Whether through historical accident or through different administrative orientations, each university develops its own unique life-style. In India the political behavior of students differs more when we compare the universities than when we compare their personal social backgrounds. This is despite the fact that universities are not only single campuses, but widely spread colleges. Just as there are major differences between people of different mother tongues and different regions and states, there are traditions and special conditions within the university community which mobilize or restrain students. We shall compare the different universities with regard to leftism, modernism and the other dimensions of political involvement which have been described already. Whenever possible, we shall look for structural correlates of variation in the political cultures of different universities. Finally, we shall consider in this chapter some of the strategies which might be employed in the effort to develop the student cultures of different universities.

Comparison of the different profiles indicates that all measures of politicization except excitement about politics area interrelated, as seen in Table 18. Usually, the same universities are well-informed, participating, modern and leftist. In order to obtain a list which would show the rank order of the universities on all these measures combined (except excitement, which was not correlated with the other measure) we summed the percentage figures for each university and ordered the universities in terms of their total scores. The result is shown in Table 19. So as to compare the Pearsonian correlations for these variables, we computed the correlation between each variable and the sum. The results are in Table 20.

The result of this procedure is rather analogous to that of a factor analysis, in that we can ascertain that the social context of Indian university life produces effects which systematically vary together. A major factor of political involvement links certain effects in a very close relationship within any one university. Information, modernism, leftism and to some extent, participation are so closely related that they virtually constitute a unitary dimension--modern radicalism.

The universities which have many such radicals are, however, not the ones where the flame of political excitement burns brightest. The most "excitable" university was Nagpur--by no means an outstanding university, and one might think a rather unlikely place for political activism. Nagpur is situated in the very heart of India, in the Marathi-speaking Vidharbha region of Madhya Pradesh, where the city of Nagpur had been capital of the Central Provinces in British days. In 1952 the linguistic crisis was developing which in the following year burst into widespread disturbances of such magnitude that the states were finally re-organized as linguistic pradesh units. It may or may not be relevant that this university was one of the first (1950) to permit examinations to be taken in the regional language--Marathi and Hindi.[112] The disposition of the Vidharbha area was to become especially problematic, Local feeling was intensely resentful of the political decline of Nagpur, as reorganization made it subordinate to Bombay.[113] The Nag Vidharbha Andolan Samiti was to develop as a movement demanding a separate state.[114] Although these problems were only beginning in 1952, it is possible that already the keen excitement about political matters which the Nagpur students reported was connected with the linguistic reorganization issue. Apparently the nature of political animus was not based on leftist ideology.

At the other extreme of the excitement continuum, Delhi University, located at the nation's capital, was as little given to such excitement about politics as was stable, traditional Madras.

In some cases the differences between the universities have a logical progression. The rank ordering by information level is not surprising: Travancore led the list, as might be expected of a university situated in a highly literate and yet desperately poor Communist-oriented state. Calcutta, the long-time center of protest and social unrest, followed. Least informed about politics were the students from Agra and Nagpur, where there is neither outstanding scholarship nor proximity to the centers of power.

Participation (measured by an index of less than ideal face validity) shows Osmania leading the list. On several of the measures of political involvement Osmania apparently was more active than one might expect.

It is not a notable intellectual center. The university campus proper is situated in a spacious area five miles outside of Hyderabad, a city of over one million population.[115] Many of the students there were Urdu-speaking Moslems, but by 1952 the Moslems were no longer politically agitated, as they had been before the partition of India, when the principality had attempted to opt out of the Indian union.

Osmania, however, was affected by the states re-organization act, for the entire princely state of Hyderabad was divided between Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Moreover, Hyderabad had been the scene of a communist-led insurrection of peasants against landlords just after independence in the Telangana region.[116] That was an entirely agrarian rebellion, however, and could hardly have involved or directly affected many of the students. In general, the regions which had been principalities were more old-fashioned than the other parts of India, but the Osmania students appeared quite modern and politicized, though not as far to the left as some other universities.

In the rank ordering of the sums of the four scales, Madras and Nagpur appeared as considerably less politicized than other universities. Madras is quite unlike Nagpur, apart from the conservatism which they share, for it is known as an excellent university, with high standards and there are many Madrassis in key positions of the government. It is normally a quiet region and the students are conservative and traditional.

Delhi, Agra and Aligarh Universities appear to be somewhat more politicized than Nagpur and Madras. Delhi, a university with a good reputation and many outstanding scholars on its faculty, is located in the capital region. Aligarh and Agra are two unexceptional universities located in Uttar Pradesh. Agra consists of about one hundred scattered colleges of very diverse character and quality. Aligarh is a residential Muslim University with no affiliated colleges, but with good buildings and support from the Central government Communal problems are, however, never far away in Aligarh. Nevertheless, the students there equalled the students in Madras in expressing the belief that the university was doing a very good job.

Lucknow, Banaras and Bombay were still more politicized, although less so than Osmania, Lucknow is one of several universities supported by the state of Uttar Pradesh and finances are never ample, though the students themselves are mostly from the middle class.[117]

Although Bombay is one of the areas most influenced by the British, few of its colleges are prominent. Bombay University affiliates colleges which are usually sedate places but which were to become centers of agitation during the controversy over state reorganization.[118]

Banaras Hindu University, by contrast, is a lovely, well-financed institution five or six miles from the city, which was founded to sustain Hindu culture and the study of Sanskrit literature, but which has come to provide good technological education as well.[119]

Calcutta and Travancore (now Kerala) Universities are in the most radical areas of India: Calcutta has many affiliated colleges of varying excellence and the university proper is extremely overburdened with students living in desperate urban conditions. The students most often believed that Calcutta University was doing a very poor job. Resentment against Travancore University was less. Communist and Anti-Communist groups there have organized hundreds of thousands of people in mass activities, and the state was the first one to elect a Communist government, shortly after the survey was completed.[120] The Travancore students in the Eleven Universities sample were younger, on the average, than those at any other institution.

Political involvement differs more from one university to another than it does in terms of any of the variables which theory (or evidence from other studies) might suggest as explanatory. Because of this, most of the succeeding cross-tabulations which we shall present must be performed independently for highly and for less politicized universities, so that the effects produced by the university situation do not obscure the association of the independent variables being examined.

The present consideration, however, is why the different universities differ so much in political character and in modernism of prevailing social values. We have touched upon some of the special local issues which were relevant in 1952 and which may have caused some of the variation. These historical accounts can only be speculative, however, and do not explain the consistent long-run differences between universities.

The data from India show less variation in political behavior between social classes in India than in the United States, but greater variation between social contexts, such as different universities, home states, mother tongues, and the like.

The question arises as to whether the greater diversity among Indian universities results from the fact that the students who attend the universities are differentially recruited from home states where political convictions are radical. To examine this possibility, we have ordered the states by the percentage of votes cast for CPI and its front parties in the 1952 elections and have computed the correlation between the states' CPI votes and the percent- ages of leftist students who came from those states. The fluid boundaries of Indian states makes this effort a bit questionable. but the correlation was but +.04. However, the CPI totals were so low in some areas that the computation of correlations is not sufficiently sensitive. There is a possibility that the vote of the state in which the university is located (rather than the student's origin) might be more closely linked to the preference of the students. This proved to be the case, although not remarkably so. The rank order correlation between the Congress party preference percentage of the university and the Congress vote of the state in which the university is located is +.55. We have controlled the home state of the students according to its CPI voting record to see whether the range of leftism between universities is decreased. It is not.

The highly politicized universities remain high even when we hold constant the political origins of the students who assemble there. This suggests that some factors within the operation of the university contribute to the variation in political behavior, although we cannot be confident that that is so. We must systematically examine varying circumstances which might account for the different political styles of the eleven universities.

When one seeks to explain the variation between universities, several possible reasons present themselves. Seymour Martin Lipset has advanced several generalizations which are relevant here, derived from his review of the political responses of university students throughout the world.[121] We are able to determine the correlations between the sum politicization score of the Indian universities and several other variables which Lipset has suggested may be crucial for the development of radical activism. No definitive tests are possible, but the direction of the relationships may be noted.

One of these variables is the student-teacher ratio, not because there is any intrinsic link between the over-burdening of the professors and the political activity of the student, but because it is one of the limiting conditions which make personal contact with faculty quite difficult to institutionalize. We have computed the student-teacher ratio from the raw data presented for 1959-60 in the publication of the Indian Ministry of Education, Education in the Universities.

The correlation between the student-teacher ratio and the political involvement sum score for the university is +.45, a figure which is at least consistent with the assumption that any weakening of the student-teacher relationship is a potential grievance which may find political expression. The correlation between leftism and the student-teacher ratio is +.50.

There is also the possibility that universities which are able to maintain a staff of professionally competent, dedicated and respected professors will be able to compete successfully against politicians for the attention and enthusiasm of the students.[122] There is, manifestly, no numerical index for scholarly charisma and we must make do with a pallid figure as a substitute: we have computed the percentage of teachers at each university who are paid more than the median figure for all of India, which in 1954 was 242 rupees per month. The rank order correlation between the height of the universities' pay scale and the level of politicization is -.14 --in the direction of Lipset's hypothesis, but too small to support it. Other indications exist that a high level of expenditure of the university tends to reduce student activism--it is generally asserted that the better colleges have less indiscipline. The correlation between the university's sum score on political involvement and its recurring expenditures per student per year is -.31, while its leftism and recurring expenditures correlate at -.34.

Lipset suggests that the "location of a university in or near a capital encourages political activity because national political organizations and personalities are more on the minds of students and are also more available as the foci of thought, agitation and demonstrations. Staff members are likewise more politicized and students are more accessible to political agitators. Thus it was the Bengal, and particularly Calcutta, became the first centre of student political agitation--Calcutta was the capital of the British Raj until 1912.[123]

Contrary to his argument, Delhi University is not a center of protest.

"Like a vast factory," Lipset further observes, "a large campus brings together great numbers of people in similar life situations, in close proximity to each other, who can acquire a sense of solidarity and wield real power." If size is an important variable, we might expect the largest universities to show more political involvement, and indeed, when we compute the association between the sum score and the number of students in thousands, we find the correlation to be +.41. However, we must recall that Indian universities are (except for Aligarh) administrative organizations supervising a number of colleges. When we compute the mean number of students per college, the picture is quite different: the mean is not great. The correlation between political sum score and mean number of students per college for the universities is +.20.

There has been a common-sensical theory that extra-curricular activities exercise a moderating influence on student behavior in two different ways--by reducing political or protest activity and by reducing purely academic involvement. Sports have been introduced by college administrators around the world to "burn off" and control the excessive exuberance of rowdy boys, while on the other hand other administrators reduce the frequency of athletic and social affairs to improve the intellectual climate of their colleges. Presumably, social and political reform, social and extracurricular activities and serious studies compete for the students'. attention.[124] If this is a significant factor, we should expect to find a correlation between the percentage of a university's students who take no part in extra-curricular activities and the university's level of political involvement. There is some tendency for this to be true, though the association is too small to deserve attention; (+155).

These calculations cannot be more than suggestive of the importance of various variables. One additional procedure enables us to single out some of the characteristics of the student populations of the highly politicized universities. We have compared the high, medium and low scoring universities with respect to several different characteristics. The highly politically involved universities had more students (as we might assume) who were Bengali, Malayalam, or Telugu speakers. They had fewer students who took first division grades on the high school matriculation examination. Their students were less likely to accept the customs of their families and to need religious faith. Leadership and adventure opportunities were not as important as to students in the less politicized colleges. They included more science and humanities students and fewer professionals. The students more often lived in "private lodgings", were older, employed or seeking employment, were graduate students, often of low income and non-Brahmin caste from rural areas. Some of these characteristics would probably apply to politicized universities in other countries, but at least in the past few years most agitations and political movements around the world have been in centers where students have been admitted on the basis of high grades, and ordinarily students from high income families.

The chief problem university administrators face is the alienation and hostility of the students: the student-faculty relationship is one of virtual enmity, according to all accounts. The rank order correlation between the university's sum political involvement score and the per cent of the students who think it is doing a very poor job is +.48. It is a difficult problem to shift the climate of feeling, so that students come to identify positively with their colleges.

Trow and Clark have discussed student cultures in America in terms of a typology based on the degree of student identification with their colleges and the degree of their serious involvement with study: those who both identify and who are interested in studies constitute the valued type of student--the serious intellectual. Those who identify with the college but who care little about the intellectual content of the school program are the part of the collegiate culture: in American colleges they are called "rah-rah" boys, sociable more than serious. Those who are involved with their studies but care nothing about the college are the vocational students, often working their way through college, where they appear only for official business, while their basic commitments are elsewhere. Those who neither identify with the college nor are involved with studies are the nonconformist cultures, always the source of protest impetus in student groups, rebels in search of a cause. Trow and Clark believe that the "collegiate" culture is declining and the "vocational" culture increasing. (Their paper was written before the Vietnam war and attending social malaise wrought the great changes on American campuses and introduced a period that must surely be regarded as non-conformist.)

There probably never was a collegiate culture in India developed to the extent that was reached in the United States. The Indian tension is caused by the large number of students in the non-conformist camp, but the term is not particularly apt, because their non-conformism occurs only in sporadic outbursts, and is not sustained by any "contra-culture": Indian students are not hippies. The effort educators make is oriented toward moving the majority of the students into the "vocational" culture, for there is no realistic prospect of creating an intellectual set of students with a flourishing academic culture for some time to come--by rejecting the recommendation of the Kothari Commission to create an elite cluster of universities, the Indian Government has ruled out that possibility, whether they know it or not. And, in fact, the vocational culture is probably the best goal to emphasize anyway, if the training articulates well with role requirements in the society. Vocationally oriented students are politically stable--neither volatile, engage nor extremist, on the whole, and they have every prospect of higher social productivity than would a number of intellectuals without any clearly defined role expectations. However, if the vocational training leads nowhere, it has not even the appealing and offsetting feature of having been fun while it lasted: unemployed technicians probably can be as hostile as unemployed intellectuals. The correlation between the university's sum political involvement score and the percentage of its students who regarded vocational training as the main educational goal was +.12: the strength of the association is negligible but the worst part is that it is going in the wrong direction, according to the theory.

However, if administrators want vocationally oriented students, there is little in the way of strategy that can be expected to work toward that end. Educators ordinarily try to increase the student's commitment to intellectual activities, which can be raised both by curriculum changes and by selective recruiting, but probably not by exhortation, which is about the only technique open to the administrators. Pressure from outside demands the admission of as many students as a college can accommodate. An official has no defense against a hunger striker demanding admission. Of the two defining dimensions of the student culture typology it may be less feasible to foster interest in studies than identification with the college. It is not likely that either a predominantly "collegiate" nor a predominantly "academic" student culture can emerge, but it would seem reasonable to make a major effort first to shift the identification of the students toward the faculty, at least toward a relatively benign relationship between students and teachers, instead of having it taken for granted that each camp is the "enemy" as Gusfield and other observers suggest the situation is now.

It is not easy to explain why there should be a gulf between teachers and students in India: one sees a similarity between their estrangement and that described by Michel Crozier with reference to the French educational system. But the Indians are not at all like the French: where the French resort to impersonal relations between superiors and subordinates as a means of preventing their "cardinal sin"--favoritism, and for the sake of securing autonomy of the subordinate from interference, this reason can hardly apply to the Indians. They are anything but bureaucratic and formalistic; they delight in cliques and informal groups, they seem quite willing to sustain their engagement in particularistic relations with would entail favoritism. Yet note the similarity between the Indian colleges and the French system, where,

"There is a very strong pattern of opposition between the teacher, who soars above his pupils and delivers the truth in an unquestioned, uninterrupted way, and the 'delinquent community' of the children, who can resist the strong pressures of the system only by resorting to an implicit negative solidarity and occasional revolts, the famous chahuts (uproars)."[125]

Indian administrators and faculty, like the French, habitually discourage communication with potentially dissident students, which factor (according to students) is a major source of indiscipline, shutting off identification with the college or faculty before it has begun.

There are other strategies for increasing identification (although they could not get at the root of the problems): sports and extracurricular programs, to provide some meaningful relationships for students and self-help programs. Teaching and examination modes are criticized widely but apparently are not easily changed.[126]

If the bureaucratic processes were changed so that certain schools and colleges might begin to raise their own standards above those minima required by the entire university, then oases of excellence might appear. Such a possibility is not to be expected, however. Trow and Clark suggest that a major source of student identification with the college is student government:

"Weak student authority, we suggest, thus forecloses a main avenue of involvement--a road that encourages identification with the college and involvement with ideas, hence is supportive of academic subcultures."[127]

Lacking are ordinary, intermediate channels of communication between students and administrators. This is also the chief recommendation of Kabir:

"There must also be a democratization of the school atmosphere so that pupils have a greater sense of freedom and initiative. The mentality of' defiance which has grown up in recent years among large sections of the youth is partly due to a reaction against their former blind acceptance of authority."[128]

Although educators have occasionally made such statements for years without much effect, in 1969 tentative plans for structural reform along these lines have begun to take shape. The University Grants Commission formally recommended that progressive association of students with management of universities be undertaken, and some administrators have reacted favorably.

"While they oppose the presence of any student representatives on statutory bodies like the syndicate, senate, academic council or board of studies, the universities are generally in favour of allowing students to have a say in bodies looking after student welfare, library facilities, hostels and discipline. At least five universities including Allahabad, Berhampur and Kerala agree that the time has not come for permitting students to participate in higher levels of university management. According to Allahabad University, the average Indian student today is not so mature as his counterpart in the West. Moreover, in the party-ridden student politics of today, student representation invariably means representation of the extremist section."[129]

This latter observation is to be expected of administrators: they are aware that they hold the tail of a tiger. Given the present state of alienation, any increase in sensitivity to student demands would assure increased agitation on the part of the students, and heighten resentment on the part of teachers, who could only interpret such a gesture as betrayal of their own rights.



Tables 22-27

We have found that older students differ from younger students in terms of several dimensions -- modernism, leftism, as well as the modes of political involvement -- excitement about politics, participation and information. For the most part, the association with age takes a curvilinear pattern, although there are so few students over 25 years old that this is not certain. Older students are leftist, modern participants.

It is also apparent that different classes in school vary in involvement according to their advanced status, with more seasoned students somewhat more politicized.

(S. M. Lipset has said that in the United States and Japan, studies show that lower classmen are more active, but upper classmen are more leftist. Here the upperclassmen seem more politicized and more leftist, however.)

How are we to account for these findings? What is there about growing older that makes people change their political orientations? Is it intrinsic to the maturation process, so that anyone growing up in India might be affected in the same way by it? Or is it rather a matter of exposure to particular college experiences over varying period of time? If it is the latter, its effects should vary according to the kind of university context the students live in. We can make an approach to the question by asking whether some attribute of political involvement, such as leftism, varies with degree of schooling, differentially in different political contexts.

Apparently, the less politicized context reduced the amount of variation between the beginning and advanced students' political views. We have performed a similar operation upon the data from the U.S. universities, and have obtained comparable findings. The universities with lower percentages of leftists (in America, very weak leftist) opinion, also showed less variation between the different years of school, although the pattern of change was similar to that of India, even similar in the drop in leftism at the upper end of the academic career. The Indian graduate students are in each case more leftist than the undergraduate (B.A. I and B.A. II) students within universities of similar position. However, in the apolitical universities, the difference between graduates and undergraduates is negligible, while it is equal in the medium and highly politicized contexts. There is a decline in the percentage of students who are leftist in the lesser politicized contexts, but this is to be expected, since leftism was one of the variables which entered into the construction of the politicization index. But the fact that class in school did not differentiate leftism within the apolitical university would be consonant with the interpretation that the differential between upperclassmen and lowerclassmen is a function of the more prolonged exposure to a politicized social group experienced by the more advanced students. In the non-politicized universities, prolonged residence does not heighten leftism, since there is no great left-wing pressure.

One difficulty in the above analysis is an assumption which cannot be avoided but which makes interpretation more problematic: that is the fact that the upperclassmen differ systematically from the lowerclassmen in a way that may bias the results--the lowerclassmen include all the people who will drop out during their course, while the upperclassmen include only people who have not dropped out. We do not know anything about the politics of drop-outs, so can say nothing about how this affects the two groups.

Modernism had a similar effect. It is associated with class in school, but when controlled for politicized context, the effect is greatly diminished in the less politicized universities, which are centers of traditionalism, With respect to both modernism and leftism there is little or no difference between the graduate and undergraduate students in the less politicized contexts. Apparently special socialization experiences account for most of the difference between advanced and novice students.

Since the older students are usually in the advanced classes and the younger students in the beginning classes, the effect of age may be spurious in relation to politics and modernism. To consider this, we look within schools.

The schools are dichotomized specifically on leftism and not the other attributes of involvement. Age is dichotomized at 20 years. There is considerable evidence in Table 26 that the effect of age is spurious, that what is really important is the number of years spent in the special politicized context of the university. Students enter the university at different ages with different degrees of leftist orientation but younger undergraduates are more leftist than older undergraduates and this is particularly true in the less-leftist universities, where the young undergraduate group is the most leftist one in the university. The subsequent socialization there seems to reduce the leftism. Young undergraduates enter both of the university contexts with approximately the same degree of leftism; the context from then on produces differentiation. Older undergraduates enter both university contexts less leftist than the young, but already differentiated by university context: they are already more leftist at the very leftist universities than are those older undergraduates entering less leftist schools.

In the very leftist universities, both young and older graduate students have become much more leftist than the undergraduates, while in the less leftist universities, the graduate students are less leftist than the undergraduates who are young but more leftist than the undergraduates who are older. This must result from differential political socialization rather than other factors directly linked to ageing. Within most groups the difference between the younger and older students is negligible.

Universities provide social climates which reinforce political orientations in distinctive ways. They are short intervals in the life of an Indian student. Are we to infer that political involvement can be changed in important ways with long-lasting effects as one goes from one context to another? Are political attitudes and behaviors picked up as a chameleon's coloration, or are early experiences still relevant in the later life of a political actor? If a student learns his politics from whatever social groups he passes through, then the "background variables" which are the sociologist's stock-in-trade may be of less weight than the immediate social control of particular university cultures. One would like to be able to compare the weight of primordial influences versus contemporary social influences. Such an estimate can be made by comparing the force of two different sets of social allegiances--the student's mother tongue, and the university context in which he finds himself. Mother tongue has proved to be an important variable differentiating students of different political styles, and its meaning can only be interpreted as a "primordial" influence. in that whatever social contextual differences it represents must have begun early in the student's life, before his arrival at the university.

Within the different politicized university contexts we compare the effect of the most leftist mother tongues (Bengali, Telugu, Malayalam and Urdu) with the effect of the least leftist mother tongues (Tamil, Gujarati, Marathi, English, Punjabi and Hindi) on the per cent of the students who are leftist. If the student is altogether flexible politically. the difference between the high and the low-leftist mother tongues should be erased completely, while if he is completely rigid, university contextual differences will disappear when mother tongue is controlled.

We find substantial differences remaining between the university contexts, but these differences are found only among those students whose mother tongue is characteristically the language of more politicized students. One may infer that students from politicized backgrounds who attend serene universities moderate their leftist involvement, while the students whose social backgrounds are apolitical do not catch fire to an equivalent degree when they move to politicized universities.


Tables 28-35

It is of some interest to consider the orientation of Indian students toward some of the important political issues of the 1952 period, many of which have remained important problems in development for the nation until the present and which may not be solved in our generation. Fortunately, we have some data concerning the students' attitudes with regard to modernizing social customs (such as the changing family system), as well as their political interpretations of unemployment, and toward communal parochialism. This chapter will be concerned then with the relation of students to the problems of building a new Indian society.

The Hindu Code Bill and The Role of Women

At the time of the Eleven Universities study, the modernism controversy wasafire in India about the Hindu Code Bill, a proposal to which Congress was committed, which would reformulate the laws concerning the Hindu family, so as to equalize marriage and property laws between men and women to rule out dowries and to make it possible for women to inherit property on an equal basis with men, among other changes. The Hindu laws of marriage, property, guardianship and adoption had not been uniform, but the code bill was designed to produce unity, left-wing support for changes from ancient Hindu texts. It permitted inter-caste marriage, allowed divorce for Brahmins, but restricted the grounds for divorce in lower classes in which it had been so loosely applied as to injure family life.[130] It restored women's right to inherit property equally. The Muslims in India were not to be affected by the reform and even now family laws for Muslims are still influenced by Islamic tradition. Presumably there was concern that the Muslims might feel religiously persecuted if any universalistic family laws were put through to apply to all Indians: of course, the Hindu reforms were applied much more in theory than in practice, but it was nevertheless able to arouse great controversy. In fact, the codification encountered the mobilized opposition of conservative groups: "...many of the bitterest enemies of equal social laws for men and women have encouraged the latter to participated in public life on equal terms with men: even the illiterate villager finds nothing strange in women's activities in public affairs. Yet many persons are unable to see anything illogical in encouraging women to occupy positions of great responsibility while keeping them subject to iniquitous social laws of marriage and property.[131] Hindu laws regarding women's equal rights and marriage obligations have varied at different times and places; in fact, a good deal of the inequality apparently began in the British period. In the Vedic period women had participated in public life on an equal position with men, even officiating as priests. They never lost the right to hold property under Hindu law, although under British law (until the nineteenth century) they did not have that status.[132] Nevertheless, the conservative Hindus in 1952 were not egalitarian and their rationale was that of Hindu tradition.

Several of the questions put to the Indian students were directly relevant to the Hindu Code Bill controversy. In almost every case the students proved to be quite "modern", adopting the position which would be normal in most of the secular states of the West. The women students were not remarkably different in most of their political responses from the men--in general there would be an inclination (of less than ten percentage points difference) to accept a more conservative political position (although 59 per cent of the women and only 46 per cent of the males preferred the Congress Party). The overall social values are slightly more traditional for women also, but often not to a statistically significant degree of difference. Some 56 per cent of the male students and 50 per cent of the female students, for example, had broken away from their family customs. Likewise, 77 per cent of the males and 72 per cent of the females would encourage intercaste marriage and 64 per cent of the males and 59 per cent of the females would encourage inter-faith marriages.

However, in most matters touching the hearth and other interests of their own, the women students were a bit more modern than the men: only 51 per cent of the women believed the joint family is still a most useful institution, as contrasted with 60 per cent of the men. (I asked one Indian lady how she felt about the joint family and she smiled and countered, "How would you like to have another woman in your kitchen?")

Only 45 per cent of the students would break their engagements if they found their fiancés had had previous sex relations; 72 per cent of them would allow women to inherit property equally with men and 56 per cent would allow divorce in all Hindu castes. In all these items the women were slightly readier to depart from tradition than were the men: of course, in traditional societies, women who attend universities are more deviantly modern than men who do so, and this may explain some of the effect. Perhaps it is more surprising that their responses are not overwhelmingly modern. An Indian girl goes as a bride to a man she does not know and takes a subservient role in his family. It is not expected that her husband will ever be as close to her as to his parents and brothers. It is the young women who bear the psychological burden which makes the joint family possible. Suicide is not rare at that time, and it is almost always a time of great suffering. An American woman who attended a women's college in Calcutta told me that all the girls she knew there were miserable at the time of their marriages and many wept hysterically. Yet the women respondents were only slightly more inclined in the Eleven Universities study to respond with preferences for modern family norms than were the boys. Moreover, it would appear that after the few months or years of adjustment have passed, the woman's situation in the family is not ordinarily unhappy, as a general thing, and not really passive and subservient.

Sex, then, was only slightly correlated with modernity but party preference was considerably more correlated with modernity. The students were asked to indicate their preference for one of the national parties. Congress is clearly the center party, with PSP slightly to its left and CPI further to the left, and with the communal parties of f to the right of Congress. And accordingly, we find 26 per cent of the OPI supporters, 37 per cent of the socialists and 46 per cent of the Congress supporters accepting the orthodox customs of their families, while 54 per cent of the Hindu Mahasabha supporters, 43 per cent of the Jana Sangh and 41 per cent of the Muslim League supporters did so. Similarly, on the question of women's inheriting property equally with men, 79 per cent of the CPI supporters approved, 75 per cent of the PSP, 72 per cent of Congress, 71 per cent of Muslim League and only 58 per cent of the Hindu Mahasabha and 53 per cent of the Jana Sangh backers approved.

Unemployment and Radicalism

Unemployment in India is not a new phenomenon, but it is getting worse instead of better, as the nation's economy moves toward the urban, industrial pattern. Throughout most of the Asian countries very high rates of unemployment prevail and are most notable for the urban, relatively well-educated segments of the population. The rural extended family has maintained a sort of "hidden unemployment" for a long time by supporting family members whose level of productivity was far below that which was possible. Now, however, the population pressure, the breaking up of land holdings, increased communication and education have served to bring peasants into urban areas at an increasing rate, where there are not enough suitable jobs. Most of these urban immigrants are male (the four large cities are about 60 per cent male now) and are literate. The planning commission treats unemployment as an aspect of the economic structure which only more capital can cure, for the growth of industry has not been able to absorb a sizable proportion of this labor force. The worst may still be ahead, for as Wilfred Malenbaum explains,

"India now has not only a large pool of unemployed, but also a much larger pool of persons who can be expected increasingly to seek entrance into the regular labor market. This point follows from the hope engendered for new and better job opportunities in an expanding economy, from the reductions in the average size of land holdings in rural areas (unemployment becoming more apparent within the household), from the spread of education, and from the growing social independence of women, both rural and urban, in the working age group. As they emerge into the open labor market, they tend to migrate to the cities. The pool of openly unemployed is essentially urban, perhaps comprising 20-30 per cent of India's urban labor force."[133]

The educated youth almost always leaves his village for urban centers where he can find other educated people willing to talk and where (he believes) the unemployment opportunities are greater. There is very little in the village that is attractive, but it does need educated youth for leaders and teachers, while in the city the youth may remain idle for years, awaiting the career he desires there.[134]

D.M. Majumdar conducted a study of unemployment among the University educated in Lucknow in 1953, of whom he says,

"These young men and women are excellent material for filling the ranks of those political groups who may be only too ready to smash the existing social structure."[135]

It is known that in other countries, unemployment is indeed correlated with leftism, and it is presumably from the left that Majumdar imagines the smashing forces to swing. Majumdar's sample consisted of 900 unemployed persons who had received Masters degrees during the preceding five years. Although almost all of the students indicated that their reasons for entering the university had been vocational, they met disappointment in this:

"about one-fourth of Arts and half of Commerce group respondents got their first job more than one year after leaving the university. The better placed in this respect are the Science and Education groups, respondents from which groups often succeeded in getting their first job within three months of their leaving the university... A large majority of them have been depending upon their families for support rather than borrowing...Only a little over half the respondents had achieved financial independence....Of the 1953 students, one-third were unemployed, another third working but not earning enough to meet their needs and only one-third satisfactorily placed...More than half of the students hold 'government' and 'society' responsible for their finding it difficult to get a job, and only a small proportion of them attribute this to 'bad luck.'"

Government service was most often desired; entrepreneurship of any kind was avoided, as was any occupation which would take them back to the village; one-third of the unemployed said they would not take a job in the village if one were offered them. Less than one-third were willing to do manual work. The unemployed grew increasingly bitter as time passed; after two years of joblessness more than two-thirds sometimes felt their education to have been a waste of time.

In 1953-54 John and Ruth Useem sampled returned American and British-trained men who had been back in India as long as eighteen years. Their sample was drawn in Bombay State and they reported that "less than 10 per cent even have jobs in which they work full time, in the field for which they have taken specialized training.[136]

Majumdar did not question the unemployed graduates about their political preferences, but data from the Monthly Public Opinion Surveys answer some of the immediate questions about the relationship between unemployment and leftism. The pattern, in short, is not consistent everywhere. Calcutta and Travancore were the centers of poverty and protest, while Delhi was opulent by comparison. Travancore, with the highest educational standards of any state, had the most grave unemployment problems in urban areas. "Describing only those who are on the lookout for employment as 'unemployed' the extent of urban unemployment may be estimated to be 12 per cent. About two thirds of the unemployed are in the ages 15 to 24 and almost 90 per cent are educated."[137]

A comparison between the sources of CPI strength in Calcutta and Delhi indicates that while the Communist Party in West Bengal tends to come from the unemployed and the student group, in Delhi it comes much more from office executives. Thus, although unemployment does not carry the same political implications in areas where it is uncommon, in Calcutta 30 per cent of the unemployed and 19 per cent of the students supported the Communists, as compared with 7 per cent in the total sample.[138]

Here, as in so many other areas of Indian life, we find the greatest difficulty in explaining why people have not exploded from sheer exasperation and toppled all the social institutions. In the case of the masses, we may suppose that they are unaware of any alternatives, but for university students this explanation does not apply. True, students do explode from exasperation but their protest is not ideologically coherent. As opinion leaders, the educated are in much stronger positions than are illiterates to articulate protests. As unemployed, wasted, idle people who regard the government and society as responsible for their plight, they would seem to have both more motive and more opportunity to protest in politically significant ways. Most Indian writers expect more political opposition from these sources; indeed, some reports have suggested that the new Shiv Sena movement in Bombay has its main strength coming from the educated unemployed.

Gunnar Myrdal's discussion of unemployment in South Asia is extremely interesting and may cast light on the patience with which most Indians have tolerated high levels of unemployment. He suggests that it is not meaningful to speak of unemployment among the college graduates and the masses as if it were the same thing for both groups. While among the educated, the pattern is similar to the Western experience, so that it can be discussed in terms which are applicable in the Western context, that is not true of the mass of idle people in India, of whom the term 'unemployed' is a misnomer. The very concept of unemployment presupposes that such persons constitute a 'readily available labor supply' in the sense that the provision of work opportunities is the main condition necessary for the elimination of idleness. It presupposes that the idleness is involuntary, and that the status of being employed or not can be considered a quantity, apart from considerations of quality (such as labor efficiency). Myrdal indicates that these presuppositions are not fair assumptions, but that to raise them as questions is to arouse a now quiescent ideological dispute.

Apparently it is quite a recent thing to find an over-supply of labor as a problem in India: throughout the British period, the problem that was always present as a difficulty was the shortage of labor. True enough, there was an obvious supply of labor around, in the sense that many people were not very productive, but the British found it impossible to induce them to work through the use of incentives which might have been expected to be attractive. In fact, some South Asian colonial administrators were forced to import coolie labor to get jobs done. More commonly, however, coercive strategies were used when labor was needed. To justify such use, as well as to account for behavior which seemed non-rational to Europeans, there evolved a "colonial" theory, which held that Asians were innately different from the Europeans, "lazy by nature", though perhaps of unsurpassed spiritual sensitivity.

It was in protest against that quasi-racist theory that the contemporary view arose and is (at least publicly) maintained. Unwilling to hold any longer that there are any innate character differences among different groups of human beings, unwilling any longer to appeal to climatic factors as explanations of different levels of productivity, the modern theory simply asserts that idle people are 'unemployed' in the proper sense of that word--i.e. ready and eager to work within any of a wide range of job possibilities. On the contrary, Myrdal argues that all experience indicates that the number of constraints which most such people see as ruling put various options is so great that they do not in fact belong to a labor pool which could be an available resource for use under any foreseeable circumstances. There are several reasons for this--the climate is a factor, health is a factor, low nutritional levels and the great imperfection of the labor market in reaching suitable people and allowing their movement, all these are important factors. Moreover, it is true that institutional exceptions are quite different among different groups of people, and though liberals find it rude to mention them, these expectations seriously limit the activities which people can be induced to undertake.[139]

For all these reasons it is quite hard to estimate the extent of unemployment and underemployment, though Myrdal makes the attempt. He is, no doubt, a sympathetic visitor to India, but he is capable of speaking with unmatched outrage and he reserves his most intense protest against the attitudes toward work which he sees as the main impediment to social development in the East. The disdain for manual work is his cardinal sin.

The political implications of his argument would seem to be that, while among college graduates unemployment is rather similar to that elsewhere in the world, the ordinary workers do not always know when they are unemployed and mal-employed; their traditional social relations conceal that fact and make it seem normal, thus calling for no strong political change. In fact, it is a debatable point whether the educated people have the kind of perspective on unemployment which would be common in most other countries. Indians seem not to find dependency so galling as do Europeans, nor do they seem to notice the waste of human energies around them. Myrdal seems to be one of the rare Westerners who sustain over a long period of residence in India the anger which most Westerners report experiencing at first when they find the division of labor making such a cheap commodity of the work of the lower classes. At first they are angry at seeing a peon on duty whose task consists only of carrying the businessman's brief case for him; very soon, however, they come to use such services with the lavish abandon that middle-class Indians do. Indeed, Indians generally feel that such employment is one's duty when one can afford it: it is one's responsibility to employ a large number of servants, for otherwise they have nothing else to do and one should give a simple job to as many people as possible. This notion, as so many other traditional attitudes, both protect government stability by fostering complacency, and prevent the kinds of pressure from building up which might result in useful and productive institutional changes.

If we take Calcutta and Kerala as harbingers of things to come, the prediction would probably hold up that unemployment among the educated yields a left-wing radicalism, with a high level of activism. Yet unemployment is also high for educated persons in other areas also and in general we do not discover an extraordinary degree of deprivation and alienation from the government among educated persons, Were college graduates predominantly well situated, their satisfaction might be more comprehensible, but despite their unemployment, a higher percentage of educated respondents said they had achieved their expected standard of living than was true of illiterates and semi-literates. Likewise, fewer educated persons said their economic conditions had deteriorated.

The most common explanation offered as to why the educated unemployed are relatively acquiescent is that the cleavages and the multiplicity of options are so great as to dissipate any momentum of protest. As Barbara Ward has noted,

"There are enough constraints, contradictions and divergent interests here to put a brake on extremist politics. Only if the economic experiment were to falter and a majority of students found themselves facing the overeducated, unemployed dilemmas of Calcutta or Kerala would student extremism or anarchy or nihilism be likely to take the place of the present hardworking, somewhat self-absorbed and relatively acquiescent mood of Indian youth."[140]

All the factors which maintain social stability can be supposed to have a similar moderating effect on politics. Certainly the family structure is a very powerful force and the joint family continues to be the pattern, even in urban areas. The argument is usually made (and we cannot dispute it) that the extended family cushions its members from some of the effects of unemployment, and while it may undercut the incentive for personal achievement, it may also undercut the political responses that might be expected of desperate young men. If it has this effect for people who have graduated, it did not seem to do so for the student still in school, however, The Eleven University study showed as many leftists among students whose families were joint families as among students from nuclear families. One might interpret this as resulting from the rural origins of students whose families are joint, but this is not a valid objection, for joint families are equally common among urban students.

If one persists in holding the theory that the joint family is a major source of political stability (and I, for one, am convinced that it is), the failure of the data to show big differences is an embarrassment. I am not prepared to concede that it is disproof, however. It is simply that the bonds of the traditional family are not particularly weaker among nuclear families than among joint families. It is hard to overemphasize the degree of difference between family responsibilities in the West and among even the most "modern" upper-class Indians who may not even live under one roof. Almost no Indians are emancipated from family ties to a degree typical of a Western family member. For instance, it is quite normal for an Indian child to live with grandparents or an aunt or uncle rather than with his parents: it requires no explanation at all. A relative would not ask the parent's authorization to take the child: it is assumed that a child belongs equally to all members of the family. By the same token, the child can expect to be supported by any member of the family who can do so. A man would feel nearly as obligated to send his nephew to college as his own son if he could afford to do so. Relatives may visit indefinitely without questioning whether they are welcome. One very modern couple I know took a honeymoon trip--but the groom's mother accompanied them. These people do not belong to "joint families" because nominally their households are separate and their financial arrangements are independent. In reality, however, no one would expect to keep money for his own family while his relatives needed money. One must conclude that there is almost no one in India who would fall into the category that we mean by "nuclear family" because almost everyone has the security of close relatives and the social constraints of being obligated to them. This constraint cannot apply to all other areas of life and fail to apply to politics. Youth do not have to bear their poverty alone, but neither do youth feel justified in setting their own course independently, whether it be with respect to politics or other matters.

An additional factor which probably constrains the graduates from radicalism is that the students who are most disadvantaged in obtaining work are usually those from deprived circumstances, usually with a rather traditional orientation. Although the communal parties offer opportunities for protest, their economic proposals are not meaningful. Students with modern backgrounds express dissatisfaction in leftist terms but such students do not experience as much deprivation, ordinarily, for they manage to struggle through science courses or other disciplines which have fairly good employment prospects. Hence, the most disgruntled students are the ones whose social backgrounds least often suggest left-wing modern solutions for their troubles. Simple extrapolation would yield the prediction that communalism, rather than communism, would proceed from distress. Such a prediction may be accurate in the short run, but of course, everything modern that becomes accepted weakens that possibility.

Unemployment, then, has not produced the leftist political response in India to the degree that one might expect for several reasons. The tradition-minded parties have been more familiar to the students in greatest danger of unemployment. (For example, students who took first division scores in high school examinations were the most likely to like the CPI, while students who took thirds were most likely to like the communal parties; also commerce students have the worst employment prospects but were most likely to prefer communal parties.) The joint family has sheltered them from the humiliation and deprivation which are commonly experienced by unemployed persons in industrial societies. Moreover, the marginals reveal that unemployment is less common among those whom it most impels toward leftism (the students who have high aspiration levels) while it is more common among students with low, realistic aspiration levels, among whom this frustration does not induce greater leftism. They may be leftists with as much probability as anyone else, but it does not seem to be specifically because of unemployment.

National Integration

It is clear that regional, religious, and ethnic identification are important factors in politics in India. One issue that is open to dispute, however, is the relationship of the CPI to these factors. To Marx, of course, the class struggle was the meaningful conflict of history. People whose conflicts ran along different planes could be acting only on the basis of false consciousness and it was the office of the communist movement to bring such persons to awareness of the true nature of the conflict.

It can be argued that communism has not always tried to get people to transcend their parochial attachments and unite in the class struggle, but that in some places the party is the captive of (or at least the willing exponent of) regionalism and other extraneous identifications. In fact, one interpretation is that in India, communism simply is one manifestation of communalism--nothing more. The best exegesis of this view was made by Donald S. Zagoria, who has maintained that communism throughout Asia is built from just such local attachments. He holds that we are misguided in interpreting it there in the same notions of "class struggle" that comprise the vocabulary of western communism. Rather, we are to attend to the ethnic basis of the conflict in the Orient. He says,

"...Communists have not been unaware of the political importance of communalism. Indeed, they have in fact been successful in only three of the fourteen Indian states-- W. Bengal, Andhra and Kerala. In all three they form the principal opposition to the Congress Party: in all three they received 20 or more per cent of the vote in the latest state election. But this cannot be explained on the basis of poverty or the Chinese influence, both of which are spread throughout India. Rather, it is to be attributed largely to the fact that the Communists were able in these three states to exploit regional demands for linguistic autonomy and to play on the fears and suspicions of religious and caste groups....

"In Kerala the CPI were among the most militant advocates of separate Malayalam-speaking state. In Andhra they argued for an independent Telugu speaking kingdom with the right to secede from the Indian federation, and even titled their newspaper "Greater Andhra;" in Bengal they fought against partition of the state when Pakistan was created and during the 1954 boundary dispute between Bihar and Bengal they were at the forefront of Bengali chauvinism."[141]

Zagoria further points out that the two million Catholics dominate the Congress Party in Kerala, so the three and one-half million Hindu low caste Ezhavas turned to the CPI en masse.

"In sum, nowhere can Communist strength in India be explained purely in terms of class or economics, let alone as the result of subversion sponsored by Peking."[142]

Even the split between Moscow and Peking Communists runs along communal lines, with the right-wing of the party supporting Indian nationalism, while the left-wing branch supports a regional strategy, possibly because Balkanization of India would be to the advantage of China.

This argument is certainly not without merit, though it perhaps accentuates the importance of linguistic and regional cleavages and omits such considerations as the position of the landless peasantry, which is important too. As applied to the student population the significant question it raises is whether the CPI adherents are in fact as concerned about traditional sorts of invidious distinctions as are other partisans. The answer seems to be that they were not in 1952. The CPI may be a captive of the social structure, to the extent that it becomes embroiled in the locally relevant issues, and even uses the existing cleavages to play for power, but it is also a captive of its own ideology, so that its supporters are not merely communalists.

As applied to the general electorate, however, there is no doubt much validity in the assertion that the Communists appeal to communal and ethnic loyalties. The other parties do so also, and perhaps to a greater extent than do the CPI people. Political ideology is not as emotional an issue as communalism; on one ballot people may support communalist candidates and on the next they support Communist candidates. It is significant that even the CPI cannot avoid getting embroiled in communal, regional and linguistic clashes and the like, despite their basic commitment to the class struggle alone. They are not unaware that these side issues only hamper their main pursuits but it cannot be avoided wholly. The important fact is that if the CPI uses a local linguistic issue with success in some places (and that may or may not be the basis of their success), by the same token its basis of appeal is confined to the local area and cannot sweep across India. To the extent that Zagoria is right about India, one cannot expect its Communism to reach really great proportions. A nation-wide movement would have to know who its enemies were--but in India there are too many enemies for any of them to get undivided attention. The implication of this is that all the cross-cutting cleavages--caste, ethnicity, linguistic and the like--create impediments to drastic wildfire political movements for the whole polity (such as the CPI endorses) but also impede even moderate governmental programs. In 1952 the issue seemed to be whether India would choose communism or stagnation. In 1969 it seems somewhat clearer which way it is choosing.

Village Politics and Land Reformism

Since India is still an agrarian society and since rural people are beginning to send their sons to college and into public affairs, it is important to consider at some point in our analysis what politics differentiate the villager from the townsman--and especially what the politics of the rural student is like. Villagers comprise about 85 per cent of the Indian population--that part which appears to support the Congress Party most faith-fully, From this fact one is too likely to infer that the rural population will continue to display conservative politics. We take it for granted that leftism is an urban innovation which, if it penetrates the countryside at all, does so through the influence of urban leaders and urban exemplars. We should not forget that, contrary to Marx's prophecy, most Communist societies have been created through the mobilization of rural masses. We should also recall that peasant mobilization is not unknown in India, where satyagraha movements have found support. Are radical left-wing political formulations alien and unattractive to the Indian villager? If so, why? Such formulations have been attractive in the Chinese and Vietnamese countryside, a fact which should at least instruct us about the range of opinions which rural folk may entertain.

Internal changes in the social structure are continuing; on the one hand there is a progressive urbanization (though at a slower rate than in nations which are developing more rapidly) which makes urban politics somewhat more significant than heretofore, while on the other hand, the rural Indians are entering the political arena as means of communication develop and particularly as villagers become educated.[143] Rural people regularly vote somewhat more often than do urban voters. On balance, the rural people are probably gaining influence more than are the townsmen, the parochial gaining influence more than the cosmopolitan. The center of' gravity is closer to the village now than ever before. As rural voters become politicized, their influence may not be as conservative as it has been. Some studies show the rural people to be as attracted to leftist programs as are urbanites and more attracted when they are educated. It is true, as Weiner has observed,

"Out of the cities and the larger towns of India have come the personnel of politics. Even the political recruitment of young people from rural areas takes place in the urban centers where they have gone to study or work.

His footnote, however, poses the important question:

"What is the present political relationship between the rural and urban areas in India? To what extent are the rural areas developing their own leadership and their own political organizations which may become a threat to the present dominant position of the urban leadership?"[144]

It appears that the rural élites have much more access to the levers of power than formerly: the panchayati ral is a system of giving decentralized power into the hands of locally elected village leaders. Mr. Ambedkar, the leader of the Harijans, opposed this plan because he felt the village élites were the worst oppressors of all. Others have claimed since the plan was implemented that the panchayats are automatically dominated by the village oligarchs, whose power might have been escaped under earlier systems. Hoselitz has written,

"The urban elite in the large centers is Westernized, has a European or at least European-style education, often uses English as a language of communication, and is far removed in attitudes and style of life from the peasants and the mass of poorer urban workers. The elite in the rural areas and in smaller towns is less removed from the common people, it speaks one of the vernacular languages, and in its religious practices, its social views, and even its ordinary daily behavior patterns, is closer to the masses."[145]

What, then, can be expected of the rural élites? In the short run, probably no remarkable change will occur: there is, after all, very little support for radical programs: besides, the villager is still caught up more in "old-fashioned" extremism (communal politics and the like) to become exclusively preoccupied with the class struggle. However, comparisons between rural and urban public opinion poll respondents have generally shown the rural leftist support and political interest to be at least as keen as that of the urbanites. For instance, a national survey in 1959 is shown in Table 29.

The rural-urban difference is not noteworthy, but the effect of education is, and the rural graduates were the most likely to support the CPI of any group. The rural people were also more involved in politics than in other countries. In 1961, 68 per cent of the rural illiterates and 59 per cent of the urban illiterates expressed intention to vote in the national elections. Other responses in the same survey showed the rural illiterates consistently as much or more politicized than the urban illiterates. These data were cited in conjunction with figures from a 1959 survey showing similar effects, as in Table 31.

The only change between 1959 and 1961 of any note here is that the rural graduates seem to have decreased in political interest from overwhelming preoccupation to keen concern. All told, education among those of rural origin seems to heighten political interest and acceptance of left-wing radical programs.

This proved to be the case for the Eleven University students also. The tables show a small positive association between rural origin and leftist political preference among the students. The magnitude of this association is not impressive, but it is consistent with the pattern found in the nation as a whole (using the polls rather than electoral evidence) and is consistent with the general pattern of communist strength in the rural areas of Asia, which notably departs from the pattern found in most Western nations.

Insufficient attention has been given the pattern of rural leftism in developing Asian countries, possibly because it runs counter to the pattern consistently found in so many other investigations. For example, Seymour Martin Lipset reports that larger cities have a higher leftist vote and his evidence includes public opinion data from twenty countries, chiefly advanced democratic polities.[146] Both the national opinion polls in India and the peasant-based communist guerrilla wars in Asia suggest that it is not only among students that the rural resident may be a radical leftist. The effort to mobilize the peasantry is more problematic than the effort to mobilize urban residents, but it has been accomplished from time to time. At the present time, Congress finds the strongest support in the villages but possibly the extension of communication and facilities to the countryside may diminish the party's ascendancy in rural areas. Having noted the Congress rural strength, Weiner observes the "rural students have a larger political arena in which to operate and are, in the long run, politically more dangerous to the Congress government than are urban students." On the political involvement of rural populations, he observes further that in the most "politically conscious area" of India, Calcutta, the rural districts are most political.

"1n the 1952 elections the voting turnout in Calcutta's twenty-six constituencies for the legislative assembly election was 37 per cent. In contrast, a sample of ninety-four totally rural constituencies had a voting turnout of 44.6 per cent. In the 1957 elections the Calcutta vote rose to 46.9 per cent, but the rural vote had risen to 52.2 per cent. This disparity demonstrates that the popularly believed proposition that illiteracy results in a low voting turnout and literacy in a high turnout, is patently false."[147]

We should not overstate the case: apart from such volatile areas as Andhra, Indian villages are generally the least revolutionary places on earth. The significant question remains why Marxism is so little received there in any absolute sense. Our argument here is only that, relative to cities in India, the rural populations are both more politically responsive and more leftist-oriented than one would expect on the basis of generalizations from the West.

For a list of Indian states we have computed the correlations between the per cent of students in their entire educational system at all grades who come from rural areas and the per cent of votes for the CPI in the 1956 and 1959 House of the People election. In 1956 it was +.12 and in 1959 it was +.18.[148]

The special issue which selectively draws rural people toward the left (when it does) is not really clear. Proletarian slogans have no appeal here, obviously. The Kisan Sabha, a national left-wing organization representing peasants! interests, maintained (unlike Congress) that the class-struggle must be fostered in the countryside. Weiner reported that such an objective was of no interest to villagers and that for this reason the Kisan Sabha lacked effectiveness. Indeed, over the years, its "class struggle" policy has given way. of much greater importance to rural people is the issue of land reform; possibly this wedge is the most useful one for CPI. Chester Bowles, U.S. Ambassador to India at the time of the Eleven University study, wrote,

"After first-hand study throughout all of non-Communist Asia I am convinced that the breaking up of huge landholdings is the single most needed reform in most Asian countries. It is needed, first of all, on its own merits as an indispensible step in establishing democracy in Asia....The argument that small holdings of land in the hands of individual owners will mean less production is simply not valid. It confuses the cost of production per ton in America with the amount of production per acre....Wherever land inequalities are great or tenancy is high Communists find a fertile field. Inside India itself the correlation is dramatic. In Madhya Pradesh, where the inequities are less, the Communists won not a single seat in the state legislature. Directly to the south in Hyderabad, there is a relatively broad ownership of land. The Communists elected only one member of the legislature. In Madras, immediately to the West, with one of the worst land systems in India, the Communists elected sixty-two members and have a mass following. I have seen the same close correlation between land ownership and the success of the local Communist parties in country after country, all the way to Japan."[149]

The Congress Party was able to abolish the system of absentee landlordism instituted by the British, who used to appoint "Zamindari" to collect taxes for areas, which in effect gave them ownership of the land.

Abolition of the zamindari was an issue which was especially alive at the time of the Eleven University study, when the nature of compensation to the landlords was disputed. The southern Communists simply took over the lands by force and gave them to peasants. There is also a law limiting the size of land holdings to very moderate proportions but it has not been particularly successful: land owners have merely put different parcels of their holdings in the name of various members of their families for legal purposes without losing any control whatever.[150]

The question of importance here is whether or not the relatively (not absolutely) high leftist radical support in rural areas is based upon the appeal to landless peasants, as Bowles suggested. The situation in Andhra is consonant with his argument; the CPI was strongest in the 1946, 1951 and 1955 elections in the fertile delta of Andhra, while the poorest region failed to respond to the CPI. The fertile rice-producing delta, however, had an extremely high population density and 35 per cent of the total agricultural population there is composed of landless laborers, one of the highest proportions in India.[151] In this case, the success of CPI seems to have been based on factors other than sheer poverty; specifically, on land-hunger and casteism.

Further evidence on the importance of the relationship between radicalism and land-reform demands comes from the Eleven Universities study. One question asked what the students regarded as the most important problem facing the Indian nation. Thirteen multiple choice answers were coded (more than one of which could be selected). Table 35 indicates the numbers of times which each response was selected as among the most important three issues. Of the students who selected "implementing land reform" as the most important issue, 31 per cent preferred the CPI, while of those who selected other issues, the CPI preference was but 20 per cent.

When we analyzed the leftist-land reform relation further, we found it particularly noticeable in the contexts of universities with the largest proportion of politicized students. That is, when we group students according to the degree of leftism prevalent in the university which they attend, and when we use the index of leftism and not merely CPI preference, we find that the "land-reformist" students are considerably more leftist than are other students and specifically more so in the high-politicized, generally leftist universities. These leftist land-reformer students were, however, more attracted to the Socialist Party than to CPI, despite the fact that the CPI was leading forcible land seizure in the south at that time.

Of course, these land reformists are students and are not representative of villagers as a whole. In fact, not all evidence supports the interpretation that land redistribution is of crucial CPI appeal to rural people. An All-India sample survey of 2868 respondents in 1957 showed farm laborers tied with big businessmen for the rank of agreeing least often of all occupational groups to the view that the CPI is the "best friend of the landless peasant." Only 8 per cent of the farm laborers regarded CPI as the peasant's friend, as contrasted with 24 per cent of the high officials interviewed.[152] Thus, while the educated rural population was radical, the ordinary villager was not.

A survey conducted throughout the Lucknow area at the same time as the Eleven University study indicated that urban people were more aware of the land reform problem than might be expected and the young respondents favored abolition of the Zamindari more than did the uneducated and the older respondents. Socialists were more pleased to see the Zamindari go than were other partisans.[153]

There is an additional factor to be taken into account in interpreting the relationship between ruralism and leftism among the educated: inasmuch as most of the rural people who become educated live during their period of education (and often afterwards) in the city, the fact that they find the CPI attractive may result in large part from the experience of being uprooted and cast into an urban setting, rather than result from the nature of their rural life as such. To examine this possibility we have controlled not only rural-urban home town but also the living arrangement of the student during his college or university education. It is specifically the rural student who does not live with parents or relatives but in a hostel or digs who is more likely to be leftist than his urban peer. The fact that one is "uprooted" or away from the social constraints and supports of his home setting is, itself, correlated with leftism. The association of leftism and ruralism is by no means spurious, but is specified by the condition of uprootedness which most rural students experience (and which an increasing number of urban migrants from the villages also experience).

Although we have no adequate data to answer any questions about the phases and sequences of the process of alienation which occurs when students leave home and come to colleges and town life, evidence from other sources suggest that the disillusionment does not occur right away, but after the migrant has begun to integrate into his new community and has shifted his reference group somewhat from the villagers he has known to the more affluent people who are around him in the town. Amar Kumar Singh has established that new factory workers are more satisfied with their lot than are workers who have been employed in industry for a longer period of time.[154] Myron Weiner analyzed voting results in Calcutta and demonstrated that the districts where the most migrants were located tended to support the Congress Party, while the CPI gained strength mostly among people who had become more integrated into Calcutta life, after living there a longer period of time.[155] Thus, it can reasonably be assumed that uprootedness has a somewhat delayed reaction of despair after the migrant has had a chance to give his new environment a fair try.

One may conclude that in 1952 the inequitable distribution of land was a salient issue, which among the educated and the uprooted students generated more than other issues an affinity for leftist politics.



Tables 36-47

Leftism orients people along rational class or economically self-interested lines. Indeed, we have argued that India is not leftist because there are so many alternate considerations to those of rational economic self-interest (e.g. caste loyalty, ritualism, linguistic nationalism, non-attachment as an ideal) and because Indians are so often unaware of the existence of their most basic interests. We assume, as Marxists in the West also do, that people want more. People do not engage in the class struggle until they know that they need more than they have and until they desire more, but such ideas may never have occurred to a traditional villager. Kusum Nair, who traveled a year through India's villages, wrote of "poverty's millionaires--they do not want more" who cannot be induced to use those resources available to them in pursuit of even the minimum requirements for survival.[156]

To raise aspirations is to undercut such non-rational obliviousness, which is to invite a politics of class and no longer a politics of caste, language nor religion. Where such things happen in India, leftism is nourished. Mrs. Nair regards the chief problem of India's development as that of spurring on aspiration. In the foreword to her book Gunnar Myrdal writes,

"People, even, and not least, the poorest people, often set their sights, not upon individual progress, but upon mere survival, and then they can still less be expected to have the inclination, and the daring, to aim at an intentional, concerted, cooperative effort to remake society."[157]

Education, especially university education, is the creator of aspiration and new appetites. Where such appetites are whetted but not sated (because of unemployment or other frustrating conditions) drastic social programs have become attractive. Seen in another light, traditionalism (even the blind and impenetrable obliviousness Mrs. Nair found) is a deterrent to leftist activism. The traditional way has its political rear guard, Hindu communalism, and the modern way has its advance guard, leftism--for that was the way the political universe appeared in 1952 to the Indian student. His politics, just as most other elements of his life organization, was implicated in the conflict concerning westernization or modernization, which is never fully resolved in the minds of either the old fashioned people or the modern.

Almost every aspect of one's style of life may undergo "Westernization" -- food, clothing, language, use of tools, attitudes toward the family, religion, beliefs about social equality, and endless other practices.[158] The university student, in particular, is caught in the necessity to decide which of the Western, modern modes of living to adopt and which traditional customs to retain. The world of academic work is international; when the student decides to become part of it, he acknowledges standards by which he and his nation are judged "underdeveloped." How he comes to terms with those standards is sometimes a story of alienation. The student in India is himself the arena in which the historic tensions of his period are played out. He must decide daily to reaffirm or disavow primordial loyalties, to opt for or against a modern way of doing things. As a student, he is committed to two worlds, and the rightness of their claims on him are ambiguous. He must be the vanguard of the new life and he must attend dutifully to the heritage of the old. It is easy enough to say that his society should adopt only the best features of Western society and keep the best features of its own: hew does one assess what is essential and what irrelevant about one's own tradition and about the social organization of advanced economies? When is he advancing modernity and when is he "selling out" to Western culture?

This is hard psychological work to determine--not just for the student, but for intellectuals and social scientists who wish to speak of modernization without ethnocentrism or chauvinism. On the part of a liberal Westerner, the most generous way of avoiding expressions which might seem contemptuous and arrogant is to deny that there is anything that can be called modernization. If that is so, there is nothing that can be called traditionalism, and thus one need make no invidious distinctions which might be hurtful. The implication is, however, that one must become selectively inattentive to the similarities which characterize India. For a social scientist that may be a small price to pay, for indeed one can do excellent work by focussing more upon the traditionality within industrial nations and the modernizing aspects of traditional practices in the underdeveloped countries than the other way around. They can raise very valid objections to the use of the concept of "development" as a continuum, with all the ethnocentrism which it carries.[159]

For the Indian, however, that does not solve the problem, because one must choose between options and one must develop a rationale to guide and interpret the choices made. Mary Matossian has detailed the intellectual strategies of the political leaders in developing countries in devising ideologies designed to establish a satisfactory posture vis a vis the West.[160]

There is, however, only one universally recognized concept which can be set up as a polar opposite to traditionalism which nowhere carries the same meaning as "Westernization" and which therefore is often particularly acceptable to Indians who want to look forward without looking westward. That concept is "Marxism." Moreover, its ideological corollaries have been worked out, so that if one wishes to reject "Westernization," but not "modernity," he need not be prepared to undergo the hard intellectual work of making ad hoc valuations every day without basis in any generalized principles.

He can opt for a pre-formulated system. This is not a disparagement of leftism. It is simply to indicate that there is a logical affinity for leftism among modern oriented people in developing countries where Westernization is not wholeheartedly embraced.

Poverty and Tradition

It has been noted in many societies that the poor are very likely to be traditional, and that their traditionalism defines their political action. Lipset says,

"The most powerful deterrent to leftist political action by the impoverished workers and peasants of backward areas, however, is the extent to which their minds are dominated by traditionalistic values--resignation to a traditional standard of living and loyalty to the 'powers that be'.... Backward, agrarian areas sometimes burst into flames of revolt, however, and once shaken loose from the acceptance of traditional values, they may swing to the most radical extremes."[161]

Many of the questionnaire items submitted to the Indian students are useful indicators of modernism or traditionalism. When we cross-tabulate these responses with the income level of the student's family we find that the traditional response is regularly associated with poverty. Table 36 shows this effect.

Of the several items presented, the matter of inter-caste marriage and the permissibility of divorce in all castes are least whole-heartedly welcomed; endogamy is, after all, the last fortress of the caste system. Once it has been breached, there can be no retreat backward. The percentage difference between the well-off and the poor is also diminished on this matter. There is, in short, less agreement on this that modernism is the proper answer, but despite the reduced modernism, the prevailing opinion even in the poorest group supports the modern orientation.

Poverty and Leftism

We have seen that poverty predisposes students to accept the status quo in social institutions; it does not, however, have the same effect with respect to political and social institutions. Poverty presses for leftism, for political and economic change, for a sharp break with the status quo. This can be seen by comparing the leftists among the relatively affluent and the truly poor students while controlling the university context, which as we have seen is so strongly associated with political involvement as to obscure other associations. Table 37 illustrates the pattern which is found in almost every country, the leftist relationship with poverty. The effect is much more marked in the highly politicized universities, which tend to be leftist strongholds.

The various items which reflect the choice between leftist rightist ideologies show differing degrees of relationship with income level.

It is apparent that the magnitude of the association with income is greatest in the case of those preferring "people's democracy." The other indicators of political sentiment were less correlated with income, possibly because their connections with ideology and party loyalty were more ambiguous. Democracy, to a socialist or communist, does not depend upon Capitalism, but on the other hand, not many conservative partisans think that it does, either. Similarly, the issue of Indian neutrality was extremely vexing to the Communists qua opposition party. No one could decide what kind of stand to take on foreign policy. Limaye notes.

"...Nehru's astute foreign policy initiatives continue to throw the Communist Party into confusion. For no sooner had Mr. Ajoy Ghosh uttered these brave words about the Communist determination to wage war on the British economic dominance over India and its ally, Mr. Nehru, than the latter made a whole series of foreign policy statements or moves (Indo-China, Hydrogen Bomb, Korea, U.S.-Pakistan Arms Aid Pact, Indo-China agreement on Tibet, etc.) with the result that Communist leaders felt compelled to come out with a statement not only in favor of these proposals but also of the National Loan floated by the Government and to call on the public to strengthen Nehru's hands in his fight for peace."

Thus, while it is clear that different ideological attributes of leftist politics vary in their differential attractiveness to the well-off and the poor students, nevertheless, in highly sensitized political contexts, the differences between dichotomized income groups in the degree to which the overall leftist scale is preferred is some twelve percentage points.

Urbanism and Modernism

We have observed that there are important relationships among the left-right partisan politics, income differentials and the orientation toward modern or traditional values. The pattern is even more complicated by the relationship which rural or urban home-town residence bears to these phenomena.

A village is a bastion of traditionalism, and we should expect the students of rural origins to reveal a greater attachment to traditional social institutions than do urban students. Table 39 shows that that is so. But since we have also shown poverty to be associated with traditionalism. the slight tendency for rural students to be traditional may be spurious, may in fact result only from their poverty. To rule out that possibility, we examine traditionalism and modernism, while controlling for poverty.

We find that rural origin remains, in the highly politicized contexts, somewhat associated with traditionalism, although the effect of poverty is much more substantially associated with traditionalism--more so in the less politicized universities than in the highly politicized contexts. That is, poverty does seem to explain away most of the association between traditionalism and ruralism in the less politicized universities, but a very minimal effect does remain in the politicized contexts.

Ruralism and Leftism

Having established that the rural students tend to be more traditional on social issues than urban students do, we next look to see what effect their rural origins makes with regard to their political preference. If we consider the relationship as a whole, the connection between rural origin and leftism holds up (we have already discussed this). The association is not at all remarkable in the highly politicized contexts and it disappears in the less politicized contexts.

Relations of the Factors

It should be noted that we have found two variables which are correlated with both leftism and traditionalism. That is, poverty and rural background both predispose to leftist politics and to traditionalism. Is it possible that poverty and rural origin in combination produce leftist sentiments through their connection with traditional values? Such a possibility is, of course, highly improbable from every subjectively plausible line of reasoning, for as we have mentioned, leftism is everywhere seen as a very modern, anti-traditional orientation. This is not less true in India than elsewhere.

The association in Table 42 is not large, but again in the expected direction: the university contexts do not differ. Similarly, of the modern students, 16 per cent expressed the hope that India would align with the Soviet bloc, as compared with 9 per cent of the traditional students, who were of the same opinion.

It is apparent, then, that if anything, traditional thought acts as a restraint to leftism, rather than fostering it. We have seen, further, that a good many Indian students are subject to rather contradictory inclinations: many of them are poor and rural in origin. Insofar as they are poor or rural, they are inclined to be leftist and to be traditional, but their very traditionalism itself restrains their leftist inclinations. We have found these two variables to be correlated to a very minor degree, for in fact they act to cancel one another. There is a conflict situation here in which the rural student's traditional mentality restrains the appeal which radical new political ideas otherwise have for him; the urban student's conflict would seem to be less problematic, in that his relatively modern orientation is consonant with radical socialism, but other factors in his life situation render that extreme political position less attractive than it is to the rural student. Table 43 demonstrates these interacting, conflicting effects of ruralism and modernism upon leftism.

In a similar way, the poor are ordinarily more traditional than the richer students, but they would otherwise find radical leftist ideas more persuasive. Those relatively few poor students who are no longer traditional account for the largest portion of the inclination of the poor toward radical leftism. Traditionalism restrains leftism, and it makes more difference for the poor students than for the well-to-do. Apparently, if the poor students were not so traditional they would be very leftist.

If one should extend this reasoning to make macroscopic inferences, it could be argued that India's political moderation in the face of poverty is sustained because of the continued traditional way of life. In those few cases in which the poor do take on modern orientations, they are more inclined to entertain radical notions than are those financially secure persons who are modern. Traditionalism acts as a brake, and this may explain the greater leftism of the students than of the electorate: students are much more modern than the population at large. Tradition is more salient in playing into the political choices among precisely those groups who would be most likely to take up radical politics--the poor and the rural. Whether this is as true of the entire population as it is of the students is not established, but it is a plausible possibility.

We note further that modernism-traditionalism is less relevant to the political choices of urban and well-to-do students than poor rural students. Perhaps the rural student who does adopt modern social values must undergo a clearer break to integrate the modern ways into his life than do the more fortunate students. Perhaps his reaction against his social background must be stronger to enable him to sever from the much more solidly traditional rural and impoverished social milieu. If such a student casts apart a great many primordial bonds to attain a modernity equivalent to that which his city cousin enjoys inside his relatively liberal family, then those bonds he breaks can no longer moderate his reformist zeal where political matters are concerned. Possibly urban students maintain more permissive and modern social relations from the very beginning, which nevertheless dampen their reformist intensity in politics.

In an effort to examine this possibility, we have looked at the proportions of leftists among the modern and traditional students, controlling also for their acceptance or rejection of the orthodox customs of their families. In line with our hypothesis, the modern students who have broken away from their family customs are much more leftist than are the modern students who still accept these customs, and for whom, presumably, modernism was not purchased at the price of great personal conflict. In fact, such "effortless" moderns are not more inclined toward the left than are the traditional students who have broken their family customs.

A further possibility must be examined. Poverty and ruralism each lead to traditionalism and to leftism, but when they fail to sustain traditionalism, they produce a heightened propensity for leftism. However, poverty and ruralism are themselves positively associated. It is therefore possible that the connection between rural background and leftist politics is spurious, resulting only from being confounded with poverty. If not, we should expect that the effect of ruralism and poverty, when acting together, should increase the percentage of leftism above that found when ruralism or poverty are considered alone. From Table 46 we see that the link between rural background and leftist ideology cannot be attributed to the poverty of the rural students in the highly politicized universities. In fact, the importance of rural origins is more apparent in this table (at least for highly politicized contexts) than before. Its effect on political preference is, however, not of a magnitude comparable to the effect of modernism or poverty. The simultaneous treatment of these variables illustrates the great differentiation among the political positions of different students; the poor, rural but modernistic students in highly politicized universities are 58 per cent leftist. while the richer, traditional, urban students in less politicized universities are but 22 per cent leftist.

Sources of Modernity

Modernism here emerges as the most significant variable in accounting for leftism. It is especially decisive in the case of the poorer rural students. It is particularly important, then, to take for the next analytic question the problem of specifying the correlates of modernism. We know that the poor rural student is the most likely CPI candidate if he is modern, but we do not know what elements in his life organization impress him with the value of modern social customs. Most poor rural students remain traditional; perhaps certain other characteristics occur frequently among those who do not.

We do find such differences. Modernism is more common among older students who are more advanced in their academic careers, among male students, non-Brahmins, unmarried students from nuclear families, and those who consider that they are getting along poorly in school. There is a fairly substantial positive association with age. The students who are 19 years old or less are 33 per cent modern, while those 20 years old or more are 42 per cent modern. The most plausible interpretation of the increase in modernism is the attenuation of the relationships of childhood and a heightened sensitivity to the demands of the new roles upon which the young adult is entering. Likewise, the young students are but 30 per cent leftist and the older ones slightly more leftist--3? per cent. One would have to rule out the interpretation of modernism and leftism as an artifact of generational conflict, which (when it occurs) is most intense before the age of 20 years. As we have noted earlier, visitors to India remark upon the fact that there is not the kind of generational conflict there that is common in the West. It appears more likely that rather than rebelling. the very young are closely attached to parental conservative values, while only the more mature student is politically "emancipated" from his family to such an extent that he could entertain leftist notions or other modern social values which depart from his family's views. This is consonant with he finding that the very young students were far more likely to support communal parties, either as a first or second party preference, than were the older students.

The students were almost exclusively from upper castes. Although there was some variation among the castes in modernism and in political preference, there was no notable pattern or trend, except that the Brahmins were the least modern (35 per cent), while the Kayasthas were 41 per cent modern, a level matched only by those who refused to state their caste, whether because of ideological opposition to casteism or because of reluctance to mention their caste in view of its less favored status.

Because in the Eleven Universities sample the highest caste respondents were somewhat poorer than the students from agricultural and trading castes (53 per cent of the Brahmins were poor, as contrasted with 41 per cent of the trading and agricultural castes), it occurred to me that their conservatism and traditionalism might be a function of their poverty. To examine the effect of two stratification systems which were creating contradictory effects, we have controlled within each university context both the caste level and the income level of the students, as in Table 47. The least modern students were the high caste poor students, while in two of the three university contexts the high caste richer students were the modernists.

Speculation suggests that the poorer upper castes derive relatively more of their status benefits from the traditional value patterns than any other group and consequently see less merit in modernism. Apparently not all upper caste persons regarded the old traditions as valuable to them; these who do well in other terms are generally willing to part with their ascribed privilege. Unfortunately, we do not have sufficient numbers of tribal or scheduled caste students to carry out analysis with these categories.

A typical modernistic Indian student, then, might be an unmarried son of an urban, financially secure Kayastha nuclear family, studying English or History without much success at Calcutta or Bombay and quite open to arguments for radical political changes.

Summary of Part II

The 1952 Indian students were not radical, but a sizeable number favored Communist governments. They tended to worry a good deal about communalism. Students were mostly in humanities courses because admission to other courses was limited. Courses were more specialized than in the United States, so the student had less choice and could not easily change his major. This did not seem to produce a disproportionate level of frustration among Indian students, however, few of whom seemed to have any clear idea of the kind of occupational future for which their college life was preparing them.

Different political attitudes were associated with different values: CPI supporters valued a good income and were willing to take a certain about of risk in a job, even preferring to work with strangers instead of having a secure job with a relative or friend. Jana Sangh backers preferred for their jobs to be related to religion and allow them to be close to people. Interestingly, the students from well-to-do families were the most interested in security and money, while poor students were more interested in social service.

The students in different disciplines differed in values substantially: humanities students were less "trusting" and more leftist than others. Professional students were not all oriented in the same way. While medical and engineering students were self-oriented, cynical and politically conservative, law students were oriented more in the way humanities students were. Science students were young, conventional and not very political. Social science students were somewhat less radical than humanists.

Political behavior varies less between different social classes in India than in America, but more between different social contexts, such as different universities, home states and mother tongues. The highly politicized universities remain high even when we control for the political characteristics of the region from which the students came, thus we conclude that much of the political style develops in the context of the university and not because of differential recruitment. Nevertheless, students from apolitical cultures do not become terribly political when they move to a politicized university.

Available evidence is inadequate, but nevertheless consistent with the belief that student politicization was associated in 1952 with difficult student-teacher relations and with inadequate resources in the colleges. Evidence is also consistent with the hypotheses that large colleges have more activism and that colleges which specialize in sports have less activism. Highly politicized universities had fewer first division students and more science and humanities students and less professionals than did the less active colleges. It is likely that administrators would do well to encourage a vocational orientation among students if they wish to minimize activism. It is hard to see how identification with the college can be heightened, given the vicious circle of estrangement that now exists between faculty and students.

On the issues concerning social, economic and political development, the 1952 students were divided. About half would accept more modern institutions, such as divorce, premarital sex, and the nuclear family; three-fourths would allow women to inherit property equally with men. The communal party supporters were, of course, most traditional on such matters, with Congress students moderate and leftists most modern. Unemployment is a major problem today for educated youth and was so even in 1952. At that time many of the unemployed were strongly attracted to revolutionary parties, especially in Calcutta and Kerala, but in other areas unemployment has not had the political consequences one might expect, perhaps because cultural expectations about employment are not the same in India as in the West. In part also, the close Indian family structure absorbs the strain of unemployment so that a youth does not suffer its effects alone: even "nuclear" families in India have many of the bonds intact that were developed in the joint family, and these bonds are supportive.

Another problem which will confront India for a long time is the difficulty of national integration, or "emotional integration," as it is termed there. Parties can derive local strength from playing on parochial loyalties, and to some extent the CPI did so also. It is inaccurate to say, however, that CPI is just another communalist or regionalist party, for its supporters in the student population were less concerned with traditional criteria of stratification than with class.

The leftists were more committed to land reform than other partisans were, and this issue might have become useful to them except that too many of their strategies were in error. Also, the Congress establishment was able to accommodate rural political interests by instituting the panchayati ral system, thereby perhaps channeling off some rural protest energy. It should not escape our attention that rural people can be quite politicized and radical: the rural graduates were the most likely to support CPI of any group, despite the fact that, overall, Congress has derived its best strength in villages. Landless laborers have been a major base of support. Rural students likewise were slightly inclined to be leftist, and this is particularly so for rural youth who are quite uprooted, living in a hostel or digs instead of with kin. In other studies of non-students it has been shown that in-migrants to urban areas are content for a time before disillusionment sets in and brings political protest, so that the effect of uprootedness is still not completely understood. More work is needed to specify the effects of rural-urban migration.

Among the students, as among others, the poor tend to be traditional (but somewhat leftist), and the rural tend to be traditional (but somewhat leftist). However, there is an inherent incompatibility between traditionalism and leftism: insofar as the poor or rural youth is traditional, his leftism is thereby restrained. But let such a boy become modern and his leftist tendencies are unrestrained. The few poor rural youth who had become modern were by far the most likely of any students to be leftist.

On the basis of this evidence, one might have projected that a great radical upsurge would occur in India, as after independence ever increasing numbers of poor and rural youth enter college and, presumably, the process of modernization. However, since this has not occurred during the 17 years which have followed the 1952 study, we need to look at several variables in the equation. Have a much higher proportion of rural and poor youth entered college than before? Have large numbers of them been uprooted, coming to live away from kin in a large city? Have the rural students modernized a great deal or have they, on the other hand, tended to transform the colleges into traditional centers with old-fashioned Indian cultures, as opposed to small replicas of Oxford or M.I.T.? Have high concentrations of students continued to study humanities courses, rather than professional training, such as engineering? To answer those questions we shall turn to newer sources of data and begin Part III.




Tables 49-56

Which way to the future: In the 1950's the image of the world's future would have looked very much like an extrapolation of American youth culture on a grand scale: not only were there reports of jazz and rock-and-roll records being smuggled into the Soviet Union, but there were undeniably American-inspired leather-jacketed motorcyclists roaring through the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Surely modernization was to be Westernization, and the importers of it were the youth.

That is not so clear in the late sixties. True, for a few short Kennedy years there was a prospect that the Peace-Corps culture might become the most significant post-war ideological export, but the ensuing malaise of American society removed that possibility altogether. Who are the avant-garde of the sixties? For America, Eldridge Cleaver. For Britain, the Beatles. For China, the Red Guard. For the world, Maharishi Yogi. In the sixties, German students demonstrated against a nationalistic newspaper, American Students demonstrated against warfare, Indonesian students demonstrated against communism, and Indian students demonstrated against cow slaughter. By the end of the sixties, both foreign aid and military aggression had failed to establish American influence in Asia and American youth had looked again at the future and had seen in it this time an Asian influence. "Hare Rama," they assented. "Hare Krishna!"

For the theorist the matter is not solved but only sharpened up. What is modernity? Is it a unidimensional constellation of attitudes consistent with the experiences one may have in any industrial society, wherever it may be? Or, on the contrary, are there traditional and culturally-specific components of every modern society and modernizing influences in many traditional customs? Are the diverse and conflicting orientations taken by modern youth in different societies basically and fundamentally different ways of approaching the future--or are these merely local adaptations which should not obscure the basic movement of all industrializing societies along certain similar lines? Certainly, both similarities and differences exist. What one sees depends upon what one looks for. One finds that the educated people do tend to agree on certain inter-related social attitudes and policies. On the other hand, we shall argue here that these attitudes do not add up to a coherent social philosophy, ideology, or "social movement" with a dynamic, sweeping the Indian subcontinent toward a new and radically different form of social organization. What modernizing reforms have the Indian students demanded during the sixties? Very few. The student indiscipline problem has been concerned with various local demands. which do not really challenge the normative order; the students ask for amenities, not a new way of life. There is little ideology and these movements which do gain some support are traditional in orientation and parochial in their appeal.

The students do tend to be more modern in their social policies than do less educated people, but can we say that the student population as a whole actually has moved further along toward the modern end of the modern end of the scale in the past fifteen or twenty years? On the face of the limited evidence, a negative conclusion seems justified.

The 1952 students gave very strong support to inter-caste dining and even to inter-caste marriage as a general principle. They strongly supported more freedom of association between men and women students. By 1958 only one-third had actually dined with lower caste people and only 36 per cent expressed an unqualified willingness to do so. We have no later data on inter-dining.

Intercaste-marriage is a somewhat more ambiguous question. While 62 per cent approved of the idea in principle in 1952, the Baroda undergraduates in 1958 were predominantly determined to marry only in their own caste. Di Bona's Allahabad sample, however, showed that students are not unfavorable to the principle--they were asked to rank thirteen practices in terms of how they evaluated them as serious and evil: outmarrying was ranked as least serious of all, which would indicate that they did not actually find it "evil", since some of the other items in the list were quite trivial. On the other hand, very few people do marry outside their communities and if they do not disapprove of such marriages, the explanation must be sought in terms of other values which they do hold dear. They very much prefer living in a joint family and they still believe (and in 1952 believed also) that arranged marriages are as happy as "love marriages." Di Bona found that almost none of the radical student leaders who were jailed for leading demonstrations which produced violence were themselves opposed to having their marriages arranged for them by their parents. Most importantly, students are wholly committed to a respectful and obedient relationship to their parents. Disrespect for parents was considered by far the most serious "evil practice" in the list--much more serious than bicycle theft, adultery, abortion and a number of other questionable practices. One is struck by the extraordinary tractability of the students: Sirsikar's sample of postgraduates showed that 90 per cent have had no "occasion to disagree with their parents." Only 12 per cent of these young men would select their occupations by themselves against the advice of their fathers; the father was not expected to make the decision alone. and in most cases the boy had the upper hand in the decision, but not to the extent of expecting complete independence in the matter. This is the most significant reason for the students' social conservatism. Moreover 75 per cent of the Allahabad sample lived at home with their parents: this is the same percentage as in the 1952 Eleven University sample.

Robert Gaudino's lyrical and perceptive book about the Indian university takes an appreciative perspective toward all the members of the college community except the students, about whom he remarks,

"The child and young adult is allowed emotional quarter, given every advantage possible, permitted everything but his own decisions. Responsibility based upon free individuality is uncared for. It is hard to distinguish between the parents' wishes and those of the student. The difference is certainly there but hidden below, churning under a bland exterior. Neither side talks honestly with the other. They avoid confrontation.... The young tend to keep their untraditional behavior to themselves, are not likely to exhibit it to parents and elders as a form of revolt or as a symbol of emancipation. They do not necessarily like to be seen doing unconventional things. They do not intend to shock their parents into granting them their freedom. They are too sensitive and responsive to their parents' feelings. They feel that open antagonism is unnecessary and wasteful, causes too much hard feeling and tension. Besides, for them there is no principle of abstract freedom at stake."[162]

It appears that the conservatism is primarily connected with the more private aspects of family life. The joint family is strong, and with it go customs of marriage and dining. Many students dine with members of other castes on public occasions but have never done so at home. Many eat eggs and meat in restaurants, but not at home.

Equal participation of women in public life is much more acceptable than are other non-traditional practices: it is likely that the proportion of male students who would approve their own wives working is not far different from the proportion of western men who would approve: 47 per cent. Certainly, this one matter is the outstanding example of India's greater "modernity" than that of Europe or America. Although on social occasions men and women segregate themselves and do not talk freely, Indian women who take up careers outside the home encounter (by all accounts) much less discrimination than do western women who work. Madame Pandit and Indira Gandhi are not the only examples of prominent women political figures: the states have many examples of women political leaders. In at least two states, the husband is the elected representative of one party, while his wife is in office representing another party.

These matters are not occasions for movements or campaigns in India. If there have been changes since independence in the direction of greater freedom of relationship between the sexes, more opportunity for youth to choose their own wives, more independence of newly married couples from the demands of kin and more intimate relations between members of diverse castes, it is likely that the changes have resulted from the exigencies of a more urban life and not from the ideologically inspired demands of college-educated youth. In no way do the attitudes expressed by students in different samples demonstrate a progressive attitudinal shift since 1952 toward social norms more typical of the West.

The Student's Way of Life

We have relatively few items in the various surveys which deal with the current way of life and the aspirations of the students, but the few items here do not constitute evidence that the way of life is rapidly changing. One does not find the revolutionary zeal among Indian youth that would parallel, let us say, the youth of Cuba or China. The students in 1952 were almost unanimously religiously-oriented in some degree and the Poona post-graduates interviewed by Sirsikar in 1961 included only 13 per cent of the sample who counted themselves as atheists and Sirsikar judged that these also included many who ought to have called themselves "agnostics" instead.

Indian students are inordinately fond of films:20 per cent of the 1952 sample and 12 per cent of the Allahabad --sample go to films once a week or more often. The Indian film industry has been a big business since the early phases of the technology developed: in footage, India produces the most movie film of any country in the world. These movies are very long and lavish, on the whole, with story lines that appeal only to escapist motives. Students become totally absorbed in these fantasies and discuss them during the week more than any other topic.

Other organized activities are not as successful, apparently. In the Eleven Universities and in Poona in 1961 and Allahabad, most of the students do not take part in extra-curricular activities or belong to youth groups. They are not isolated, however, but are happiest in groups, whiling away a great deal of time in idle sociability. Gaudino comments that the faculty members of the colleges also are "too domesticated" to do much sustained intellectual work. The claims of family and friends for interaction and sociability are incessant and there is no privacy or insulation for reflection and study.[163]

Aspirations for Security

The survey data tend to confirm the image of complacency, in that the organizations devoted to social service receive very little support from the students. In the Allahabad sample only 6 per cent had taken part in social services since entering the university. Sirsikar reports that almost none of the Poona postgraduate students had taken part in social service activities designed to uplift the masses, though 80 per cent of them would like to see such social service made compulsory. The government of India had entertained the possibility of instituting a compulsory service corps but had abandoned the idea because of the complexity of arranging for armies of young people. The Gandhian ideals of social service have not caught the imagination of the young generation to any great degree. The most clear-cut descendant of the Gandhian movement in post-independence India is the Bhoodan movement, led by Vinoba Bhave and now also by Jayaprakash Narayan, which proposes redistribution of land by voluntary methods. Narayan has developed a strain of thought which he calls "zarvodaya," and he attempts to persuade villages to re-organize along communal lines, sharing resources and giving labor for common purposes. He proposes a system of indirect democracy, with local leaders to be selected at the grass-roots and with these leaders to be given authority to select higher-level officials from among themselves, and so on. Before leaving his Praja Socialist Party for Gandhian techniques, Narayan was widely thought most likely to succeed Nehru and he is now held in high esteem. Among the students, however, his ideals are not very popular: only slightly more popular than "benevolent dictatorship." When asked to list their ideals in order of preference, Sirsikar's Poona post-graduates indicated the following ideas as first, second or third in their preference: democracy was first, second or third in the choice of 70 per cent of the sample, the socialistic pattern was the choice of 42 per cent, nationalisation in 40 per cent, Hindu sanskriti (Hindu revivalism) in 27 per cent of the sample, planning in 24 per cent, world government in 20 per cent, Akhand Bharat in 18 per cent (i.e. nationalism), Sarvodaya in 14 per cent, unitary government for India in 12 per cent, benevolent dictatorship in 10 per cent and communist society in 5 per cent of the cases. Speaking in the United States in 1968, Jayaprakash Narayan asserted with great disappointment that the Indian middle class had failed in social responsibility and had lost the ideal of service.

The aspirations of the students tend to remain hopes for secure jobs in salaried, preferably government jobs. In 1952 some 10 per cent wanted government jobs, and that is the same number as Sirsikar found among the postgraduates who wanted civil service jobs--which was the most popular occupational choice. Di Bona's sample was even more inclined toward government service-- 47 per cent of the students wanted such jobs. Shah's Baroda sample showed 73 per cent of the students hoping for employment in government or semi-governmental agencies and public companies.[164] Many of the students explain that it is security and prestige that they long for. Although 43 per cent of the students in all institutions of higher education are of rural origin, almost never do they intend to take up agricultural pursuits in the villages.

The Language Issue in the 1960's

Some evidence is available concerning the attitudes of the students in regard to the controversial problem of the medium of instruction in the universities. Apart from the four national universities, the decision has begun to be implemented to replace English with the regional language as the principal medium of instruction. Allahabad University has long been affected by demands for the substitution of Hindi for English. The Eleven University sample in 1952 yielded the finding that 60 per cent of the students agreed that educational standards would go down in the event that English is replaced by Hindi. Di Bona found that the students of Allahabad generally wanted both languages to be used in the university as a medium of instruction: 22 per cent wanted English, 11 per cent wanted Hindi and 65 per cent wanted both. Sirsikar found that 50 per cent of the post-graduate students at Poona in 1961 "strongly favor the use of English in both administration and education." Poona is in a Marathi speaking region and most of the non-Hindi speaking areas are more attached to English than are Hindi-speaking areas because they consider that as long as English is a major "link language" for the educated people, they will not be at any particular disadvantage, but if it loses ground to Hindi, their opportunities will be more restricted than native Hindi-speakers. Another major variable entering their considerations is the extent to which the regional languages have published materials worthy of use in higher education. Books have not been published on any scale which warrants the substitution of regional media yet, and one cannot expect such materials to be available for many years.[165] The students are not alone in their ambivalence concerning the adoption of regional languages in university instruction; most academic people foresee a long period of confusion because of the problem.

Shifts in Student Attitudes Toward Politics

The evidence suggests that the social principles and plans of the Indian students have remained substantially unmoved for the past fifteen years or so. Despite radical tactics of protest, the content of their ideology is not revolutionary or even liberal. The same can be said for their political beliefs.

Sirsikar and Di Bona have shown that very few of the students believe that it is proper for students to take part in politics at all. This has been the position taken by the parties, though in fact the parties have continued to sponsor student groups, attracting fewer youth each year. Some 46 per cent of Sirsikar's students believe that parties are to blame for student indiscipline. He indicates that 7 per cent belong to the Rashtra Seva Dal, the cultural front of the Praja Socialist Party.[166] Ten per cent of the students were members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (R.S.S.) and a few women were members of its female wing, the Rashtra Sevika Samiti. Even these low figures should not be taken as representative of students throughout India. Poona is the center of the most homogeneous orthodox Hindu area of India and the support for R.S.S. is at its maximum there. Moreover, most of the R.S.S. students are not politically active but are most interested in social affairs: while 10 per cent of the students belonged to the R.S.S., only 4 per cent expressed preference for its sponsoring party, the Jana Sangh.

Although participation is declining, student interest in and information about politics remains high: while only 16 per cent have taken part in demonstrations in Poona (Sirsikar1s sample) and the same percentage claim to have taken part in demonstrations in the student group of the All-India political poll, as many as 73 per cent of these students express an interest in politics, 49 per cent have attended public meetings and 59 per cent have heard political speeches. Their level of information is thus higher than their level of commitment to partisan political activity.

If any one historical event of the post-independence era can be said to have shifted the orientation of Indian politics decisively, it is the border war between India and China. The war with Pakistan was no surprise, but the war with China was. Since that time the concept of neutrality was never abandoned, but the faith in India's power was certainly impaired. Among the 1952 sample of students, 71 per cent expressed agreement with the "present foreign policy of dynamic neutrality of the Indian government." By 1961 Sirsikar's Poona sample showed only 46 per cent agreeing with the policy of non-alignment: people did not move over in the direction of disagreement with this policy; they simply "dropped out." It is as if the idealism of the early period has been displaced by a sober conviction that political action is so complex that one is not warranted in holding any conviction very intensely. Caution is the order of the day. In 1952, 58 per cent of the students supported compulsory military training for all students after they complete their education: by 1961 Sirsikar found 77 per cent of the Poona students supporting compulsory military training. This may reflect the conservative political climate of Poona, but more likely it is general throughout a wider student population. I have been told that almost all intellectuals in India support the development of atomic weaponry and ICBMs now, fully expecting the conflict with China to renew itself again.

There has been a continuous erosion of the position of the Congress Party, until in the 1967 elections, several states fell into the hands of coalition governments. In every state the "Anti-Congress" coalition was made up of such disparate groups that within a few months each government collapsed and was replaced by "president's rule" until fresh elections could be held in six months.

If one compares the party preferences of the various samples of students, the decline of Congress can be seen for all groups except Sirsikar's 1961 Poona sample, which showed 59 per cent supporting Congress, while only 47 per cent of the Eleven University sample had done so. Sirsikar's sample does not reflect the extent of conservatism prevalent in that area of Maharashtra, a trend that has progressed even more since the 1967 elections and is now causing some alarm among responsible political leaders in India, who decry the emergence of a new quasi-fascist movement, the "Shiv Sena" in Bombay. Sirsikar's sample shows no manifestation of that attitude.



Tables 57-75

In the years since independence, the Indian government has maintained a firm commitment to the extension of equality throughout the society. Always mindful of the depth of the cleavages between the communities and classes, the center has promoted various systems of progressive discrimination in favor of backward groups. Not only are seats reserved in the legislative bodies in proportion to their population for representatives of these groups, and positions in the government service, but places are reserved at the universities and scholar-ships are made available to the youth of scheduled castes and tribes. Though their admission is secured under a certain degree of protection, the drop-out rate is much higher for such students and rather few manage to stay the course and receive degrees.

The impression of most observers, however, is that the Indian colleges are becoming much more egalitarian, drawing in a greater proportion of students from very poor families and from remote villages and tribal areas and from lower castes. This is generally cited as the reason for the alarming drop in standards.

In this chapter I want to try to estimate the degree to which college populations have changed in socio-economic composition; I think this is a worth while enterprise just because it is so hard to do. The relevant data are very hard to locate and I have pieced together numbers from several sources. Though these are the best estimates I can reach, one must read these findings with some caution, particularly since they contradict the impressions of many people who know the universities at first hand.

Although the universities are expanding rapidly (they increased in number from 2? in 1950-51 to 80 in 1968), this increase can mostly be attributed to the increased population of younger people, rather than to an expansion in the proportion of youth who attend college. Table 48 reveals that while the proportions of children attending primary schools has skyrocketed and the proportions of youth in successively more advanced secondary levels has increased substantially, the proportion of Indians between the ages of 18 and 23 who attend institutions of higher education has increased moderately from 1.2 in 1950-51 to 2.1 in 1965-66.[167] Because of the population explosion quality has not kept pace with the expansion in absolute numbers, while in proportions, the increase is not as remarkable as it would appear at first glance.

Nor can much be claimed for the progress of equality in opportunity in the colleges and universities, at least if we are to rest our inference upon the changing distributions of classes and ethnic groups represented in our survey samples. According to the 1961 census, of the 439 millions of Indians, some 64 million belonged to scheduled castes and another 30 million or so belonged to scheduled tribes, which together account for about 21 per cent of the population. Rudolph and Rudolph estimate that one-fifth of the population of India consists of twice-born castes (the Brahmins, Kshattriyas and Vaisyas), while three-fifths are "Sudras" and the remaining one-fifth are the lowest group, the erstwhile untouchables, now known more charitably as "Harijans" or "children of God."

While we must be guarded about interpreting the results of the Eleven University study and the Allahabad study as accurately reflecting the distributions of castes among the entire university student population of India (neither study is a random distribution of the entire universe of Indian students), nevertheless, the proportion of Sudras and Harijans in these two samples are so different in order of magnitude from the proportions in the census that the true caste parameters of the student population of India must depart considerably from the proportions of the entire Indian population. The 1952 Eleven University study showed 52 per cent of the students to be members of the three upper-most varnas, while by 1963 the Allahabad student population had 62 per cent in the same three varnas. A survey of 200 males in Baroda university in 1958 revealed that 88 per cent of the students of that Gujarat institution belong to the three upper castes- Banias, Patidars and Brahmins.[168] One must not infer that the proportions of lower castes in the colleges had actually decreased over time: some 26 per cent of the earlier Eleven University students had declined to identify their caste and so we have that much uncertainty in the early study, while fewer of the Allahabad and Baroda students were so reticent about answering such questions. There is also some ambiguity about where to place the Kayastha group, whose ritual rank in Hinduism is not a settled matter. Originally scribes, Kayasthas have always been a learned group and in some areas are accorded deference appropriate to Brahmins, while in other areas they may be regarded as sudras. They comprise 8 per cent of the large 1952 sample and 19 per cent of the 1963 Allahabad sample. In Allahabad they have been long-time rivals of the Brahmins for controlling influence in the University.[169]

Lelyveld's report of Allahabad in 1968 notes that there are 119 Harijan students living in a hostel, segregated from other students--in fact, though not in theory. Since there are 8000 students at Allahabad, this would come to about 1 per cent Harijan, by our calculations.[170] Nancy Silverman interviewed all the Harijan students at Pilani University during the summer of 1968 and they numbered 12 out of about 1000 students.[171]

I have data from two surveys done at Poona University in 1961, which asked students about caste. The results are consistent with those reported above, in that 59 per cent of the arts students and 57 per cent of the science students in one sample are Brahmin. The second sample (all graduate students, in composition) were 54 per cent Brahmin and only 17 Harijans (or 2 per cent) were in the entire student population of 733.[172]

The best evidence comes from the Report of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.[173] This document urges that universities reserve 20 per cent of their seats for scheduled castes and tribes but notes that these are not always filled. The intention is to do so and to give a 5 per cent reduction in minimum marks prescribed for admission. Some states do better than others: Mysore falls far short of this plan, Maharashtra also, and Rajasthan has not reserved 20 per cent of the seats in a single institution.

The Commission apparently has no data as to the actual numbers of Harijans enrolled in institutions of higher education, but they do present the numbers of scholarships awarded to Harijan students for "post-matric" study--a category which includes vocational and trade training schools. It is reported in other sources that almost all the Harijans in higher education do have scholarships, for practically no Harijan families can afford the expense of educating a son.[174] Consequently, if we are willing to make the realistic but undemonstrable assumption that the number of Harijan scholarships for all post-matric education equals approximately the number of all Harijan students enrolled in institutions of higher learning, then we can make the calculations using the figures of the Commission.

The Government of India has published elsewhere data on the numbers of students enrolled in institutions of higher education.[175] During 1960 the figure was 986,111.

Therefore, the number of scholarships for that year for Harijan students was approximately 5 per cent of the enrolled student population, a number considerably less than the target figure of 20 per cent. This 5 per cent is not an appreciable increase over the proportions of Harijans enrolled in the Eleven Universities in 1952. We cannot quarrel with Indians who claim that great progress has been made in recruiting low-caste students, but we have no evidence that confirms that claim. Again, the problem is in population growth: one could draw graphs showing astronomical increases in absolute numbers of low-caste students without representing any increase in the proportion of low-caste students. Big numbers may mislead.

Fart of the reason that such rough methods of estimation have to be employed is that scholars who might like to know about the changes in opportunity structure for the lower-castes are reluctant to broach such a touchy topic. It is a matter of extremely poor taste to inquire about caste: one may ask how much money the other person earns, but in educated circles, never about what caste he belongs to. Even in the anonymity of the questionnaire, the subject may be avoided, for, as one Indian sociologist told me, a low caste student would feel very bad to have to check himself off as such on a form. The Government of India has outlawed any reference to caste in most official contexts. This is a suitable protection, for the most common social and psychological defense against the self-contempt that goes with ritually low status is denial. Instead of attacking the concept of ascribed pollution head-on, it is usual for one to attempt to persuade himself and others that his group belongs to a higher varna than that to which it is usually attributed. Such pretensions may become accepted in time: such is the historical process of caste mobility, which has been described at length by many Indian sociologists.[176] But apparently the "reflected appraisals" of the vast majority of one's associates carry such weight that individuals alone do not try to challenge the conventional ranking system: low-ranking castes change their names while struggling for acceptance as Kshattriyas (which is what they usually try to become) and similarly, when an individual moves up and claims rights which do not normally belong to his caste, he will ordinarily change his surname so as to escape his humiliating identity. Most surnames are caste names and apparently some status inconsistency can be alleviated by adopting either a higher-sounding name or one of the unidentifiable names.

Unfortunately, in order to take advantage of the special privileges reserved for Harijans, one must certify himself as such, and this act serves to ratify the "reality" of the category he seeks to escape. Many people would find that too painful to endure and thus choose instead to escape to the anonymity of the city, where a new name will give one a claim to a new identity. Brahmins and other upper-castes are very much over-represented in urban populations--a finding which most sociologists explain in terms of "passing" rather than the alternative explanation--selective recruitment of higher castes.[177]

The setting in which one is located may differ considerably in the degree to which casteism becomes a basis for social discrimination. Though still very real in the villages, it is less so in the cities and is actually taboo in high circles. Lelyveld reports that the Harijan students at Allahabad continue to be socially isolated, residentially segregated and even subjected to overtly hostile slights.[178] Di Bona, on the other hand, said that he would not be privy to the conversations in Allahabad in which ridicule of other castes occurred. In any case, it is possible that some additional Harijans are enrolled in institutions of higher education beyond those we have been able to calculate, but are living in a new identity, as Kshattriyas or some other such higher caste. There is no way to estimate how many this might be.

Rural-Urban Differential Recruitment

The students were, and continue to be, much more heavily recruited from urban areas than the general population of India. Only in Allahabad does there seem to be any change in that pattern. Di Bona has discussed its implications in his paper on student indiscipline in that university and Lelyveld reports that about one half of the students now come there from villages. The Education Commission Report shows 42 per cent of the students in technical, vocational and professional institutions in 1965 were from rural areas. In the Indian population as a whole, about 80 per cent are rural.[179]

There does not seem to be any disproportion in the representation of various religious communities in the student sample: such differences as we find in the survey may be attributed to sampling variability.

Income Distributions of Students

Estimating the extent to which colleges are becoming economically egalitarian is virtually as difficult as estimating changes in caste composition. we need to compare the percentage of students from families of some low income level with the proportions of the families in the general population earning the same sum, at two points in time. Such figures are not easy to determine. A good many economists have devoted much attention to the effort to estimate the income distributions for all of India, and apparently the matter is too complex for any of them to have much confidence in their results.[180]

Though they may disagree on methodological grounds with one estimate or another, all the writers seem to agree on the important substantive issue--that income distributions are less egalitarian in India than in most developed countries (including the United States and Britain) and that while per capita income has increased somewhat for India in the past few years, the distribution of income has become no better and probably worse, so that the poorest group has gained nothing whatever and may be even more desperately poor because of price increases.[181]

With many caveats as to statistical accuracy, George Rosen offers results from National Sample Surveys over the period 1951-1957 which indicate that "the share of the ten per cent of the urban households in the highest expenditure classes as a proportion of total expenditure rose somewhat, whereas the share of the similar 10 per cent in the rural household population remained roughly constant."[182] The Mahalanobis Committee concluded that "available estimates and data suggest no significant change in the overall distribution of incomes, though they do indicate a slight probable increase in inequality in the urban sector and some reduction of inequality in the rural is not possible to be definite about this conclusion."[183] Swamy is less sanguine. He claims that (a) inter-sectoral inequality in the economic structure widened with economic growth, (b) the inequality in the size distribution of India widened, (c) the level of inequality in India is higher than in any of the either developed countries considered."[184]

Though of enormous intrinsic importance, these figures are not all relevant for our purposes: all that concerns us here is the fact that 95 per cent of the population of India received household incomes of less than 3000 rupees per year. It will not be unwarranted to take this figure as a constant base for comparison throughout the post independence period. That would mean less than 250 rupees per month. Let us compare that proportion with the university survey results to see whether colleges have become relatively more egalitarian since 1952. In 1952, 33 per cent of the students came from families with incomes of Rs. 250 per month or less; the Three city sample in 1961 showed 36 per cent of the students with family incomes of Rs. 200. The All-India Political poll in the same year showed 43 per cent of the students in the same income level and for Di Bona's 1964 Allahabad sample, the proportion was also 43 per cent. Deshmukh's 1961 survey of Poona University showed 34 per cent of the students coming from families with incomes of 165 Rupees, while Shah's Baroda students have 30 per cent coming from families with less than Rs. 250 per month. He compares this to a survey of Baroda City as a whole which demonstrates that 90 per cent of the population of Baroda have incomes that low. He sums it up well when he notes that the lowest income group of families send approximately one-ninth as many students to the university as they might claim the right to do on the basis of their proportions in the population.

The largest sample and the best is the survey of vocational, technical and professional institutions in 1965 by the Education Commission. One has to interpolate to arrive at the percentage of students with family incomes of Rs. 200; it is more than 50, possibly as high as 60 per cent. This is a very comprehensive survey and would indicate a real increase in equality of' opportunity, as measured by that enrollment figure, except that it includes some institutions which cannot be considered as colleges and these account for the largest proportion of poor youth.

Thus, 83 per cent of the students in Industrial Trade Institutes are from families with Rs. 150 per month or less, while only 7 per cent of the students at the excellent Institutes of Technology are that poor. Most of the engineering colleges and medical colleges have about 35 per cent of the students from such poor families. Roughly, this would not seem different from the proportions in the sample surveys, either of 1952 or later. Give or take ten percentage points, the proportion of very poor students has remained about constant.

The same conclusion applies when we compare the distribution of students by their social class identification. No changes can be seen of any magnitude: the middle class students substantially over-represented and the proportions are almost identical for the 1952 Eleven University sample and for students in both the Three-city and the all-India survey. Only 23 per cent of Allahabad students say that none of their relatives have attended a university; 64 per cent claim to have relatives who occupy positions of high authority. Given the other socio-economic variables we have considered, it is likely that they do indeed have well-placed relatives.

Inequality and Educational Policy Today

Independence, then, brought no social revolution to India and since higher education is the criterion which determines which social groups will have control of the decision-making positions in the occupational structure in the future, the fact that students from the same classes are attending the universities now as before would lead one to expect no radical change from that quarter.

But since there is also a great deal of real democracy in India, this too must change. New universities have been opened in response to public demand, not because of government plans. Di Bona quotes a dean as saying, "I would not dare to limit admissions, it would mean endangering my life."[185] A long-standing notion among middle-class Indians has been that secondary education is but a preliminary phase of college education: if one attends a high school it is assumed that he intends to and has a real claim to go to college as well. Since the lower-level educational system has actually expanded, many Indians feel that when the bulge of secondary-educated youth reaches college age, there will be a loud cry for a nearly-equivalent expansion of college facilities and openings. In fact, twice as many college students are expected fifteen years from now as attend today.[186] As that happens, the expansion cannot continue to be from the upper stratum which attends college now: considerable equalization must be expected.

The effect of this expansion on standards of performance can hardly warrant optimism, particularly if the expansion continues to be guided only by agitational pressure and not by coordination with manpower requirements. Continued burgeoning of humanities departments would produce something less than a population of urbane and rational humanists.

On the other hand, we should not overlook the fact that there are some pressures countering the forces which would impair standards of excellence. A great many people recognize the occupational necessity for, and seek to attain, high levels of competence. Demands of both sorts may be made, often at the same time. While at the university many students demonstrate to eliminate English as medium of instruction and examination in favor of vernacular languages, yet in other contexts the demand for first-rate English education has increased. Baldev Raj Naya's unpublished study of the language situation in India shows English to be the second-fastest growing language, right behind Hindi. There has been a very great expansion of education in English at the primary and secondary level, often as a result of demands from parents for the kind of education which will equip their children for the best opportunities. English will remain a valuable asset for many years to come, and many parents realize it.

Still, excellent education cannot be provided right away on a mass scale, and more and more Indian youth still scramble for any sort of college degree in such numbers that high levels of education are becoming required in competition for meagre jobs as clerks and bank tellers. In the United States, of course, many firms hire college educated men for their polish and not really for their augmented competence, but India can hardly afford that form of "conspicuous consumption" of educational resources. If it is clung to as a matter of public policy, most youth will not receive the sort of training they can best use.

Unfortunately, vocational training programs have grown less than they might; perhaps that should have been predicted from the earliest phase of primary expansion, when people rejected the "basic education" school Gandhi had promoted. No one seemed to want to send his child to a school where soap-making, weaving and other village crafts were stressed. They were not being irrational--the colleges which prepare students for well-paid technical and professional careers are in great demand. If the vocational schools have not expanded rapidly, it is in part because they are more expensive per student than are arts courses. The average cost annually per student in 1965-66 was Rs. 107 for secondary school, Rs. 417 for vocational schools and Rs. 328 for Colleges of Arts and Sciences.[187] Priorities cannot be established in utter disregard of popular demands, whether for the sake of safeguarding standards of academic performance or for the sake of integrating economic programs. Mary Jean Bowman suggests that the most promising form of educational expenditure from an economic standpoint in India would be learning on-the-job.[188]

But these are considerations of the economic and political decisions of tomorrow: the time is not yet at hand. The old elite remains a major segment of the new elite, whatever changes may be forthcoming in the next fifteen years or so. Our limited evidence does not suggest that the composition of the student population has changed very much in the post-Independence period in India.



Although we have touched upon some of the changes in political orientation which have taken place in the student population, this consideration has not been systematic. In this chapter we shall examine the survey results on party support. Which parties have gained more support, and how intensely have students in India come to identify with particular political programs? We shall compare student samples and the entire electorate.

Table 57 allows us to look for shifts in the direction of political partisanship among the students over the years since 1952. We must proceed with some attention to the limitations of the data. The samples are obviously insufficient, though they are the only ones available, and I have no evidence which would contradict the conclusions which these tables yield.

In the case of the two all-India samples, the all-India political poll and the Three city study, I have selected out a subsample of the whole for the sake of comparison; these "control groups" are of the same sex distributions and within the same age range as are the students and of the same marital status distributions.

We see here some evidence of the shift to the right which has already been mentioned: while in the 1952 sample the Jana Sangh and the Hindu Mahasabha had only 5 per cent of the students' approval, in the Three City sample of students they won 6 per cent (while among the control group they had only 2 per cent) and in the all-India political poll of the same period, the rightist Swatantra Party was approved by 6 per cent of the students, as opposed to only one per cent of the control group, plus another 1 per cent who preferred the Jana Sangh. In Allahabad, the Jana Sangh and Sawtantra together won 13 per cent of the students' approval, and in Sirsikar's Poona sample the right wing won g per cent of the students' approval.

The range of opinions about Congress is extremely wide among our samples. When there is that much variation among different groups, it is hazardous to try to guess at the true parameter for the interval of time covered. Only Sirsikar's sample exceeded the figure which the Eleven Universities yielded: that seems because students there were more given to answering the question than were some of the other groups. In the Three cities sample the students were considerably less fond of Congress than were the control group members. In the All-India poll the situation was reversed.

The left-wing parties showed losses in all samples. CPI dropped from 21 per cent in 1952 to 4 or 5 per cent in all subsequent surveys. PSP dropped from 13 per cent in 1952 to some place in the range between 2 and 7 per cent in all other studies. If one adds the Socialists' support to the PSP base, the total would range between 4 and 7 per cent for all post-1952 student samples, and the students do not seem to depart markedly from the control groups in their acceptance of the socialist wing.

Clearly the leftist parties have declined, while the rightist parties have picked up a little support from the students; but the main difference, however, is that the number of students who expressed no preference for any party is substantially higher in later studies than in 1952. In part, then, there has been evidence that students have politically "dropped out" at an even more extensive degree. It is true that not all areas of India have the same inclinations; with the 1962 elections, the desertion of Congress showed no clear mandate as to how the people wanted the government to turn--approximately as many people turned to the left as to the right. It is to be recalled that the Jana Sangh is the fastest-growing party in India; its strength is primarily in the northern Hindi-speaking regions, although the possibility has often been discussed of merging it with Swatantra, which is an economically conservative party rather than a communal party. If those two styles of right-wing politics should fuse, the resulting party would be more appealing nation-wide and less extreme either in its communalist ideology or its economic policy. At the moment, however, the Jana Sangh alone seems to be claiming a good many supporters among the students. Aitbach reported that the Vidyarthi Parishad, a Jana Sangh affiliate, was the most significant student political movement in India as of about 1965.

In the Eleven Universities study of 1952, the important factor concerning student opinion was its left-wing nature. That is what we attempted to explain in earlier chapters because that seemed to be the "wave of the future" as far as the educated young people were concerned. In recent years, however, that orientation has not been at all the most significant characteristic of the students. Consequently, the issue we shall want to treat here is not the social basis of leftism and radicalism, but in later samples, of rightist politics and political retreat. Table 58 indicates the reason for concern about the kind of political system the communalists would prefer.

There is clearly a greater support for dictatorship among the communal parties than either the leftist parties or Congress: that was true in 1952 and appears to remain true of the Jana Sangh supporters in Allahabad. It is not possible to say with much confidence whether the proportion of people in India who prefer dictatorship to democracy has increased. It averaged 10 per cent in the Eleven Universities, but the range was quite great between different universities (22 per cent among the Lucknow students down to only 4 per cent in the Travancore group, where communism was preferred.) Di Bona's sample from Allahabad also seemed to have averaged about 10 per cent. I found about one-third of the Cambridge sample preferring dictatorship, however, and Joseph Elder records that he asked such a question and also got quite high proportions of dictatorship approvers.[189] Elder does not report his total marginal response figure, but it is possible to reconstruct it from his table at approximately 35 per cent. He also found that "as far as political authoritarianism is concerned, education appears to make little difference in whether the respondents are pro-dictatorship or pro-democracy. In the total sample there are roughly equal percentages of educated pro-dictators and uneducated pro-dictators "[190]

The Un-politicized Student

If I had written the first part of this analysis fifteen years ago, shortly after the Eleven University study had been conducted, I think I might have predicted some very dramatic left-wing movements on the part of the poor rural students, who were then said to be increasing in the colleges and who could only be expected to pick up modern ideas in the process. I would have been very wrong. There have been agitations among the students on various issues since 1952, but they have as often as not been traditional protests and in no case has an ideologically-oriented left-wing partisan movement made headway in more than a local area. The students stand politically about where they stood in the early 1950's. Neither have they developed any apparent commitment to modern social norms. There has been no revolution of any kind and hardly any effort to start one. except for the periodic tantrums of the students, one would be likely to conclude that the politics of Indian students is remarkably uninteresting and irrelevant to the problems confronting the society. Nothing important has happened.

And yet, that in itself is interesting. Particularly, one wonders why nothing important has happened among certain special groups of people. Why did those people do so little in the post-independence period?

An Indian sociologist told me that the upper and middle classes in India do not vote: "They do not like to stand in line with dirty people,?' he explained. One might be inclined to discount that impression, for it is one of the axioms of political sociology that political participation is everywhere highly correlated with socioeconomic status, whatever indicator of class or status one wishes to use.[191] Nevertheless, all survey data from India corroborate impressions that upper-class Indians not only do not vote, but more often than members of lower strata, have no party preference. This is true in the student population and it is true in the general electorate: the people who might be expected to be the political leaders are the least active of all. This is such an unusual fact that one is forced to analyze the survey data with the intention of finding out why it is so.

For each of the available samples we have constructed measures of political apathy: for the Three City and the Allahabad samples this is simply measured by whether or not the respondent had been willing to say he had any party preference: in general, people whose answers were ambiguous were not counted as apathetic. Most of the surveys had a category specifically stating the respondent had no preference, not that he was merely undecided or unwilling to answer. In the case of the Eleven Universities and the Singh-Inkeles data, it became necessary to construct measures which depart a bit from the "no party preference" criterion. In the Eleven Universities we included (besides no party preference) a question about whether it was very important for a job to make it possible for the respondent to be politically active. The Singh-Inkeles survey failed to ask about party preference at all, but we have used the negative response to the question, "have you ever been so concerned about an issue that you wanted to do something about it?" as the indicator of political apathy.

On the basis of the Three city study it would appear that there two sources of political apathy. As one would expect, there is some apathy among the very poor, uneducated lower classes. But poverty and lower-class status are not everywhere associated alike with apathy, but only among the uneducated. On the contrary, among the educated, the lower and working classes and the poor are considerably more active in politics than are their well-to-do peers. We find that the well-educated, upper or upper-middle class person is least likely to have any party preference.

This raises the question then, as to what attitudinal characteristics are especially typical of this upper-status educated but apathetic group of citizens. The subsequent tables make it fairly clear what kind of orientation they have. The educated people who consider themselves to have influence on the government are the ones least likely to prefer any party. They are not new rustics fresh from the countryside and full of chauvinism, for they are very likely to be people who admire the whites in India, and one would presume, western culture. This is again an attitude which characterizes the educated apathetic but not the uneducated person. Further, the educated apathetic is extremely likely to think that the parliamentary system is working well in India, while the economic situation is in a wretched state of affairs.

We are confronted with the puzzle of a group of educated and relatively financially secure citizens with western learnings in some unspecified sense, who see the economic situation of their country as desperate and who imagine they are not without influence, but of whom about half have no preference whatever as to the party which would do best at running the country. One can only wonder what sort of procedures they would support for making the Indian polity function. There are few clues in the rest of the Three City study and we shall observe other surveys, but the purpose has been served in establishing some confidence in the assumption that the apathetic Indian students are not particularly atypical, but could very well have been members of that educated group in the general population which has no enthusiasm for any party.

Who are the apathetic students? Tables 60, 61 and 62 would suggest that they are the people most likely to be in positions of relative personal security. There are several grounds for this inference. (1) There is some indication of a slight relationship with income. The well-off students tend to be apathetic. (2) In religion, the only effect observable is that the Muslims are consistently less apathetic than are students in other faiths. (This effect was observable in other survey data I examined, apart from those of students.) In post-partition India, the Muslims are in a very insecure position; very rarely do they have an opportunity for their political weight to be felt, but they nevertheless consistently tend to vote more or express party preferences more often than members of other religions. (3) Apathetic students are the unmarried students ordinarily, and there is more security in India for such students than for those who have the chancy responsibilities of a family.(4) Women are more apathetic than men. Despite the disadvantage of being a woman in India, it is clearly a more secure role than that of the males. (5) The same security goes with youth and we do find that the younger students are more apathetic than the older ones. (6) The urban students are more apathetic than rural ones and one would find more opportunities and more amenities in the city than in the village. (7) There are other indications that the secure students are more apathetic: those who belong to organizations, whose parents and relatives have been educated, and who know friends or relatives in high places in government or in the ruling party, all are more likely to have minimal political commitment.

Tables 63 and 64 suggest that the politically apathetic are the students who want to earn a good deal of money and who would not do manual work or would not be particularly eager to take a position of responsibility in working out the affairs of men. We have a picture here, rightly or wrongly, of a person whose political apathy is one element of a generally self-serving disposition.

Tables 65, 66 and 67 suggest that not only are the apathetic students the secure, money-oriented students, but they are also the bright students who have received superior educations. English-medium schools are still the schools for the elite and their students are particularly unpoliticized. Students who took first divisions in their examinations are considerably more politically apathetic than are seconds and seconds are more apathetic than thirds. Apathy was most pronounced among students who took an elitist stance and who, one might assume, were themselves part of the established elite whose special prerogatives they sought to maintain. We have no items in the subsequent studies which would bear upon that point, but all the data concerning social composition suggest that the apathetic students come from similar social groups in the 1952 and the later samples and if does appear that that group is the old elite, to use the term in its loosest sense.

A word about the variables in table 70 is in order. These scales have been developed by Professor Inkeles and his colleagues for cross-cultural comparisons. In their research, overall modernity ("OM") ordinarily contains as components some of the other political items. I changed the scales to be careful to keep the OM scale uncontaminated by political variables so I could see how modernism and political attitudes were empirically related. The political interest scale was based on questions about which sorts of news the respondent found most interesting. The effort was to separate out students who were concerned with major world or national political issues, rather than local or religious or sports affairs. Rationality was measured by several items having to do with whether problems ought to be solved by applying some universal criterion as rights or instead by particularistic (and possibly humane) considerations, whether the more important qualifications for high office were education, personal popularity, tradition or family connections, whether the most important reasons for progress were God and luck or work and plans. Overall modernity was measured by acceptance of birth control. innovative agricultural practices, respect for persons on achievement bases, a willingness to take on many responsibilities, and a capacity to empathize and like to know foreigners and strangers.

Unfortunately, the marginals for this dependent variable "Never wanting to do anything about anything political," are so unbalanced that there is a ceiling effect imposed on the variation which can occur in the tables. What does occur, however, is consistent with the findings of the other surveys. The apathetic students are, if anything, better informed politically than are the partisan students. The difference is insignificant but it is consistent with the finding that first-division students are the most apathetic, and the less interested.

Again, we find the apathetic students to be from the less modern group. What we have demonstrated here is very similar to the finding in chapter 11 when we were concerned with specifying the sources of leftism. It will be recalled that the radical leftist students were generally the most participating, activist students and that they were very modern. It should come as no surprise, then, that apathy is greatest among the less modern students. It was also observed at that stage of the analysis that the poor rural students who became modern were the most leftist of all people in the sample of the Eleven Universities and, presumably, this applied to other aspects of their politicization also. We have here an opportunity to try to replicate that relationship, specifying here political apathy instead of its antithesis, leftism. Unfortunately, all of the students in Bihar were rural in origin and were chosen by a stratified sampling procedure so they were quite poor, on the average. Moreover, the Inkeles measure of modernity contains completely different items from the measure used in the Eleven University study. Nevertheless, it is possible to look at the relationships of political apathy and poverty, controlling for modernism. In table 71 we find, as before, that the most politicized student is the poor one with modern ideas. The most apathetic student is the poor one with traditional ideas. Again, modernism really only distinguishes the degree of apathy as between the poor students. For the more financially secure students, modernism or traditionalism is not a significant determinant of apathy. (See table 71.) What is continuously apparent is that the well-to-do students are consistently more apathetic than at least a significant section of the lower classes--i.e. that modern (or for the general population, substitute "educated"--see table 59) segment of the poor population.

Now refer again to the finding that the apathetic students are often the rational students, in the sense that they adhere to universalistic norms and achieved, rather than ascribed criteria for judgment. The students who are most politically apathetic are well-informed, not much interested in politics, not very modern but are highly rationalistic. Our problem now is to determine what kind of political system they would regard highly, in view of the fact that they will have nothing to do with party politics. I suggest that a clue to the answer can be found in table 69, which shows that the apathetic students are those who consider the government administrative service to have high prestige in India.

The Politics of Civil Service

The reason for this theory cannot be learned solely from the survey data. One would have to be in the company of Indians for a long time to come to sense the special place that they accord to the government officers. The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) is the best-known branch of the bureaucracy, and can be taken as the most respected element in the polity now, as indeed it has been for a very long time. It is simply a re-named agency which has been in continuous existence throughout the British period, when it was called the Indian Civil Service (ICS). It must be remembered that essentially Britain governed India through the Indian Civil Service and built up a high cadre of civil servants--at first Englishmen, but gradually admitting more and more Indian graduates of the best Indian colleges and of the British universities. The Civil Servants were paid extraordinarily well, as be fitting their rank as top colonial administrators. These men were not permitted to take part in politics, but were to govern India with justice, universality, rationality, with respect for local tradition and in accordance with highly elaborated rational-legal principles.

One could almost say that those are the men who still rule India. When independence came, there was initially some talk of throwing out the ICS men and starting the government over afresh. However, just at that moment, the communal riots swept over the subcontinent, bringing the most urgent requirements for the government administrative agencies to organize for action instantly and effectively. The ICS, one of the most outstanding bureaucracies in the world, was so useful during the riot period that without their immediate mobilization, millions more refugees might have died. After that there was little talk of dismissing them just because they had been loyal to the British crown.

The agency was transformed into the Indian Administrative Service, though some of the senior members are still ICS men, the remaining members of the old cadre. They are certainly the elite of India and are still paid at a very high scale and enjoy a great deal more autonomy than any civil service agency in the United States would have. They are recruited nationally through competitive examinations. They may be attached to a local politician or they may be assigned to a post as magistrate in some far-off region. The politician can arrange to have them transferred away if they refuse to carry out orders, but they cannot be dismissed by politicians. This autonomy means that they have the possibility of working out positions of real power vis a vis the elected government people, alongside whom they serve. The best educated people in India still win the appointments to the IAS. The politicians, on the other hand, have come to be drawn from social groups of much lower socio-economic status and lower cultural background. While the IAS men speak English as well as the Queen, many of the politicians speak it not at all. It is generally believed that the IAS men are ordinarily less likely to be corrupt than are the politicians. They were called the "backbone of the Empire," and they remain the "backbone of the Republic." Thirty per cent of the Allahabad students said they hoped to be employed in the IAS or in other government service; 22 per cent of the Eleven University students said that they felt the most important value of a college education was to help them pass the examination for administrative service. This is to pass an examination to enter a service which has only about two thousand officers in the entire nation!

Of course, other agencies of the government are expanding considerably and some of them have considerable prestige also. The public services sector of employment is the most rapidly expanding sectors, just as it is also in many of the other developing countries which have a need to absorb manpower and hold back unemployment. But it is not the jobs as police officers or mail carriers that the students aspire to--it is that of successor to the colonial administrator--a role which is a familiar, traditional (the British ruled India three hundred years) and rational system of government, one which was carried on by members of the old Indian middle class for a very long time. To a good many people, government is not Parliament or even the Prime Minister, but it is the IAS. It is bureaucracy, not democracy, which they believe to rule India. And in part they may be right. Whenever the opposition parties have gained control of the governments, they have almost always fallen and have been replaced by "president's rule"--government by the IAS. Order has been restored and maintained and the middle classes wish things could go on that way without new elections and new troubles.

More importantly, the emphasis on government by bureaucracy rather than by democracy is congruent with the emphasis on the importance of planning. India is committed to democratic socialism, an ambiguous term which, if it means anything these days, at least suggests that planning is to be important in government. And if the planning commission is manned largely by IAS officers, that is fine. One can have the cake of custom and eat it too -- the traditional elite can be the agents of social change.

One of the tenets of planning is that large governmental programs must be undertaken after deliberations on technical grounds and that experts, not politicians, are best qualified to make these deliberations. Very well, the civil servants have long been trained to "stand above" politics, and a new cadre of engineers and other technical experts will be perfectly willing to make political decisions on non-political grounds--or so the reasoning goes. The concept of having civil servants wholly subordinate to elected officials is not held as a matter of profound conviction among members of the old middle class.

In discussing politics with Indians in the United States, it became apparent that the concerns which really command their attention have to do largely with various alternative development plan3. The place where the vitally important political decisions are made is in the Planning Commission in New Delhi, not in the formulation of one or another party platforms. Such questions as whether to invest more heavily in major or minor irrigation programs have been the crucial issues for coping with the real problems of the state, such as the recurrent droughts. To be for or against any party is, in a sense, to be preoccupied with the wrong matters. To people who think of the problems of the Indian polity at that level, to be partisan is to be irrelevant.

This, at least, became my hypothesis as to why the intelligent middle-class students were so apathetic. In these terms, political apathy is not mere laziness or lack of concern. Whether bureaucrats generally make more reasonable political decisions than do elected politicians is a moot question, but I suspect that traditional people would give respect to the bureaucracy and its advisors more than to ordinary party politicians.

None of the surveys at hand had included questions which might enable me to test my hypothesis, and I decided to conduct a small scale survey of my own, focussing specifically on the relationship between party apathy and attitudes toward the bureaucracy as an alternative to pure democracy. In April, 1968 I sent out 150 questionnaires to the members of the India Association of Greater Boston, a local club for Indians and for people interested in India. Many of the members were not Indian citizens and I discarded those from the sample. I was left with 69 usable cases, all male except for one, almost all college graduates and predominantly people with doctorates in engineering or a science. All were between the ages of 20 and 40 years. Twenty were students working toward doctorates. Seven of the respondents had been in the United States less than one year, 32 between one and five years and 16 had been here longer; the others did not specify now long they had been here. However, it should be noted that India does permit citizens to vote by absentee ballot and all of the respondents were old enough to qualify to vote. Nevertheless, only two respondents had voted in the 196? general elections in India. (That is about 3 per cent of the sample.) Moreover, only 4 per cent of the respondents claimed to have ever voted in a local election in India. When asked about their preferences for parties in Parliament, 20 per cent said they had no preference whatever; 23 per cent had no preference for parties for the legislative assembly. Thirty per cent had taken part in student politics, however.

The respondents were asked whether they agreed with nine different statements which all touched upon the question of their relative regard for the processes of democracy and bureaucracy in their government.

There were two items which dealt precisely with the attitudes which seemed to me most central to the position of the politically apathetic (or better, "non-partisan") Indian middle classes--those were items 3 and 4 in table ?2, the items which emphasize the importance of planning, good administration and technical expertise. The response was overwhelmingly in line with my expectation. None of the other items received support comparable to these two. My initial intention was simply to cross-tabulate items 3 and 4 against the items which asked whether or not the respondent had voted in the 196? general elections, but the marginals for those items are so skewed that one would need an enormous sample just to secure enough democracy-supporters or practicing voters to permit percentaging.

On the other hand, not all of the other items would fit my theory: most Indians do not seem to construe democracy and bureaucracy as constituting an "either-or" choice, and for that fact I suppose one must be grateful. While the respondents seemed to agree, on the whole, that the civil servants are well-informed, are able to think in long-run terms and are less corrupt than politicians, they seemed also to consider them less attentive to the needs of the Indian people than are politicians. There is nothing inconsistent about holding all these opinions.

Yet, despite their relatively greater admiration for the ability and integrity of the administrators, the respondents were not altogether unfavorable to the political system and the men who are responsible for it.

They are not convinced that all the parties are corrupt (not quite convinced, apparently), they think the panchayati raj has bright aspects and they are slightly optimistic about the possibility that parliamentary democracy may prove adequate to move India ahead.

Nevertheless, as table 73 shows, the sample was quite conservative. That table presents the marginal distributions of support for certain major possible orientations which the Indian government might take.

My theory was that a belief in government-by-experts explained the high political apathy of the Indian students, and indeed of the entire Indian middle class. The marginals to my most important test items tend to give credibility to the theory: only 3 per cent of my sample had voted in the last national election and 92 per cent held that planning and administration are more important than partisan politics. (In fact, the latter position appeared so obvious to many of the Indians that they questioned my intelligence about raising it as a question. "Come, come, my dear!" wrote one respondent in the margin beside this item, "Isn't this rather obvious?") Nevertheless it was important for me to construct an index of the bureaucracy-versus-democracy orientation, so as to cross-tabulate it with political apathy. The index was made of the whole array of items and was dichotomized.

One would not be well-advised to place a great deal of confidence in the results of this small study; it is too small and not all of the tables show effects of the kind that I would expect. On the whole, however, the relationships are consistent with my interpretation. In addition, I was able to check for some of the patterns that had appeared in earlier studies. As shown in Table ?5, some of them hold up in the Cambridge sample, but urban origin and father's income and education do not show the kind of relationship found earlier with regard to political apathy.

The Indian's political apathy (or "non-partisanship") is a unique combination of modernity and traditionalism. modern because it appeals to an appreciation of bureaucratic rationality, universalism, and long-range planning; tradition, not only because of its continuity with the prolonged colonial administration but also because of its consonance with indigenous Indian political thought.

Politics, in the Western sense of the word, is truly alien to Indian philosophy, even the contemporary indigenous political theory enunciated by the Gandhians. The primary difference lies in the fact that Indians have never looked upon conflict in the way that it is commonly regarded in democratic countries of the West. European and American political theorists take conflict as a given fact of life, regard it as legitimate, and seek to arrive at procedural, institutional arrangements by which the conflict situation will yield decisions which can be taken as fair and legitimate solutions by the parties involved. Indians, on the other hand, are not quite sanguine that any set of procedures can be elaborated such that the conflict which they regulate can be counted upon to produce justice. Conflict, open antagonism, is suspect in India and it is never completely an acceptable part of the political process. As Weiner put it, India lacks a "bargaining culture." If, in India, politics is "who gets what and how," the fact is regretted and whenever possible, concealed.

Examples are easy to enumerate. Gandhi's first appearance in a British courtroom as a young barrister was a moment of total failure. He was unable to function in the adversary system because it contradicted the norms which he had learned in Indian society, which prescribed that one should solve differences between people by bringing about a consensus, by mediation, by compromise, by conciliation.[192] His life story is a perfect illustration of the techniques of such conflict resolution. In the truest sense, Gandhism is anti-political; it relies upon the good offices of a mediator, someone who can settle conflicts without being partisan, someone who can "stand above politics", someone who can stay clear of pressure groups and the claims of organized interests.

However, by the same token, since the legitimacy of the politics of power is open to question in India, the result of conflictful political processes may not be taken as final. In situations where real conflicts exist and where no impartial administrator (no IAS man and no Gandhi) stand prepared to mediate consensus, there is more latent tension than there would be in other political cultures. Thus, many Indians say that it would be disastrous to try to settle the Kashmir issue by a plebiscite, because the legitimacy of that procedure is not deeply enough felt in public opinion to contain the feelings which would be laid bare by the undisguised demonstration of conflict between the two religious communities in India. There is no legitimate form of conflict and hence conflict is feared.

It is in this light that one can understand the special prestige and the important work of the Indian civil servant; it is precisely because he is non-political that he is useful. Political figures, when they can, seek to assume the style and position of non-political figures; there are some demagogues, and there are Marxists who practice the politics of conflict, but they are the ones the others fear. It is to miss the point to say the obvious truth that administrators have to administer decisions that someone makes and that whoever makes the decisions is necessarily dealing in matters of politics; with a good administrative system it may be unclear where the decisions emanate and it may appear that they proceed as technical instrumentalities toward unassailable national goals. Sometimes that may be the case; at other times it may be just as well that it appear to be the case.

India won independence through the successful application of its non-political tradition, not through revolution. Traditional leaders, not revolutionaries, rule India today. The elite which functioned during colonial days continues uninterrupted, though its door is ajar and members do circulate to some degree. The bureaucracy has expanded, but that is probably not the reason that the elite is not resented. A good deal of the authority of the elite and its security from challenge by outsiders must derive from the ideology of planning and the assumption that the competence of government decisions can be grounded upon technical expertise rather than caste prerogatives or some other such invidious criteria.

Summary of Part III

One can hardly conclude that Indian students' attitudes have modernized appreciably over the past seventeen years. Inter-caste relations have not become markedly more intimate, though perhaps they are formally correct on public occasions. College students do not seek freedom from parental authority (indeed, they view disrespect to parents as a heinous misdeed). Though they accept women's rights in principle, few boys and girls actually speak to one another freely and dates are unthinkable. Arranged marriage is as much the norm as ever. The college youth are sociable, enjoy escapist movies and long for secure jobs with the government, but do not take part in party politics, nor social service projects.

At the same time that partisan activities declined, student demonstrations increased, however, and there have been sporadic outbursts of strong feeling on the language policy of the Indian government. All these facts add up to one important conclusion: that the Indian student population, on the whole, has become no more modern than before and has become politically inarticulate, though its overall attachment has shifted over to parochial and traditional politics instead of to the left.

In considering the democratization of the Indian college, it appears that more has been claimed than the evidence supports. Our data can hardly be conclusive on any point, but we see no dramatic increase in the proportions of very poor youth in colleges, nor in the proportion of lower-caste students, nor in the proportion of rural students.

In Part II we suggested that India would have a strong left wing student movement if it maintained a large proportion of poor, rural students studying humanities courses in colleges away from their families who, for some reason, came to change their values from traditional Indian beliefs to modern ones. But there are no great concentrations of poor rural students in the Indian colleges today, and more of the students have been diverted into professional courses instead of humanities. Most students live with their families and are not uprooted, and, as we have seen, they are not markedly modern, but instead are transforming the Indian campus toward a center of traditional Indian culture.

Perhaps for all these reasons, they have mostly lost interest in party politics, though their inclination is to favor communalism more than in 1952. But the main orientation they share is a disdain for the politics of bargaining and conflict, and a belief that the traditional elite bureaucrats can transform the Indian economy sufficiently while many traditions can remain untouched. It is the philosophy of planning to which they give political allegiance, and this planning has few revolutionary elements.


Chapter 15; CONCLUSION

Why has India failed to explode politically? In part, because the middle classes have viewed government in terms of bureaucratic administration and rational planning, while the lower classes have been too traditional to seize upon radical formulas. The elite must face the dilemma, however: the stability of the regime has rested in good measure upon tradition-mindedness, but if the leaders can manage to perpetuate that tradition-mindedness, it can only be at the cost of preventing social innovations which are obviously imperative. On the other hand, traditionalism has its own forms of political excess, too and it appears more likely at the present that India is in danger of fragmentation through chauvinistic movements more than it is through a concerted force of modernistic leftists emerging.

A great deal hinges on the question of how much Indians move toward modern ideas: the poor traditional man behaves quite differently from the poor modern man. Education will foster modern notions; we know that from this study as well as from Inkeles' work. But there is a good deal of variation in what happens in the process of education. If political stability is the main consideration, the idea of the rural university must be encouraged, so as to avoid uprooting the rural youth to send them to college. On the other hand, constraining modernism and its correlates ought not to be the largest goal in sight: there is no evidence that the great mass of Indians (or even a minor segment of the Indian population) is becoming overwhelmingly modern. One is hard put to imagine what could possibly unsettle that civilization: a free television in every village might do so, but one can easily guess which members of the society would ]be likely to choose the program selections; it is doubtful that anyone would be shocked by their ideas. The middle classes may be modern in comparison to the village poor, but in comparison to the revolutionary leaders of many other nations they would stand out as incredibly reactionary. Modernism is not the direction from which the challenges to the Indian polity come, but from the many intense parochial attachments which take priority over people's allegiance.

These groupings criss-cross one another to such an extent that it is unlikely that any of them might become the base for a nation-wide political movement. it is possible, however, that the regional politics might become more salient than national politics and the country might fragment. So far as the working classes are concerned, the idea could perhaps become quite agreeable. It is the middle classes who feel the greatest commitment to nationhood; Indian political scientists have commented to me that that is the main circumstance they can foresee in which the middle classes would quite willingly, even eagerly, employ a military dictatorship to hold the country together.

The politics of bargaining will not hold the country together, nor other conflicting interest groups together either: the role of the non-partisan administrator is apparently still essential. When conflict emerges without the mediation of such a figure, it becomes extremely hard to contain: whether it be a communal riot, or a student demonstration. The students demonstration may be a good case in point: the Indian students, unlike the others around the world, are not really pressing for "student power". On the whole they do not believe students should take part in politics (in fact it is doubtful that they believe that anyone should take part in politics), and they acknowledge that the university administrators ought to run the colleges. However, if Singh is correct, it is precisely when they suspect that the administrators do not "stand above politics" but play favorites with one or another faction, that they can no longer contain their conflict within orderly channels. If they had non-partisan bureaucrats above them, they would be the most politically apathetic and docile of students. One might say that their apathy is an element of a belief system which, when it proves inadequate, leaves them unable to cope with the underlying conflicts in a political way.

The problem universities have to meet is the difficulty of bringing young people into appropriate and tenable positions in the society, and doing so without exacerbating the conflicts that are inherently present in an environment where resources are desperately scarce. In the immediate future the greatest difficulty is in keeping families from raising too many false hopes. To bring many young people into humanities courses where they cannot proceed smoothly into decent jobs is to court disaster. Fortunately, India has been more successful than some other nations in moving the balance of courses toward professional training. Vocational training at a sub-professional level would be more reasonable, but there is much difficulty in making such courses acceptable. So far, apparently, the educated youth have not felt the degree of disillusionment and relative deprivation that one would expect of people whose aspiration levels had been raised to an unrealistic height and then left unfulfilled. Why this is so is not clear, but it is safe to say that whoever will govern India for the next decade or two will hope that continues to be true.


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WORLD BROTHERHOOD, Survey of Attitudes, Opinions and Personality Traits of a Sample of 1706 Students of the University of Bombay, 1960, Orient Longmans.
ZAGORIA, Donald S. "Communism in Asia," Commentary, Feb. 1963.


[1] India, 1965. A reference manual published by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
[2] Commonwealth Universities Yearbook, 1963. The Association of Universities of The British Commonwealth, London 1963, p. 459.
[3] Percival Spear, India: A Modern History. University of Nichigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1961, p. viii.
[4] Margaret Cormack, She who Rides a Peacock, Praeger, N.Y. 1961, p. 31. Also, Commonwealth Universities Yearbook, 1967. Association of Universities of the British Commonwealth, London, 1967, p. 437.
[5] Donald C. Lux, "Technical Education in India", Comparative Education Review, Feb. 1964, p. 301.
[6] United States Educational Foundation in India, Handbook of Indian Universities, Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1963.
[7] Robert L. Gaudino, The Indian University, Popular Prakashan, Bombay, 1965, p. 204.
[8] Report of the Education Commission 1964-66. Ministry of Education, Government of India, New Delhi. pp.50-51.
[9] Social Implications of Industrialization and Urbanization, Five Studies in Asia, UNESCO, p. 10.
[10] Gaudino, p. 202.
[11] Joseph H. Gusfield, "India and the United States, Faculty-Student Relations in Cross-Cultural Perspective," in Faculty and Students: Problems and Prospects, edited by David Epperson (forthcoming.)
[12] Survey of Living Conditions of University Students, Ministry of Education, Government of India, 1961, p.111.
[13] Amar Kumar Singh, "Academic Politics and Student Unrest: The Case of Ranchi University," in Turmoil and Transition: Education and Student Politics in India. Philip G. Altbach, ed. Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 196?, p.219.
[14] Handbook of Indian Universities. p.41.
[15] Handbook of Indian Universities, p.47.
[16] Glynn Wood, personal communication.
[17] See T.W. Schultz, The Economic Value of Education, Columbia University Press, N.Y;, 1963.
[18] Arnold Harberger, "Investment in Man versus Investment in Machines: The Case of India," cited in Mary Jean Hownan, "The Requirements of the Labour Market and the Education Explosion," in the World Year Book of Education, 1965. George Z.F. Bereday and J.A. Lauwerys, ed. Evans, London, 1965.
[19] Frederick Harbison and Charles A. Myers, Education, Manpower and Economic Growth: Strategies of Human Resources Development. New York: McGraw Hill,1964.
[20] Frederick Harbison and Charles A, Myers, "Education and Employment in the Newly Developing Economies," Comparative Education Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, June 1964, p.10.
[21] Kusum Nair, Blossoms in the Dust, Praeger, N.Y. 1961, p.177.
[22] Gaudino, p.74.
[23] Adam Curle, "Education, Politics and Development," Comparative Education Review, Vol.7, No.3, Feb. 1964, p. 242.
[24] Richard L. Park, "Indian Election Results," Far Eastern Affairs, XXI (May 71 1952).
[25] Myron Weiner. Party Politics in India, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1957 p. 60.
[26] Madhu Limaye, "The SSP Perspective," in General Elections in India, M. Pattabhiram (ed.) Allied Publishing, Bombay, 1967, 60.
[27] Rindu Mahasabha election manifesto in Pattabhiram, op. cit.
[28] Weiner, p. 170.
[29] Carolyn Elliott, Participation in an Expanding Polity: A Study of Andhra Pradesh, India. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Government, Harvard University 1968.
[30] Prasana Kumar Gupta, "Political Parties in India," in Pattabhiram, pp. 110-113.
[31] Gupta, p. 115.
[32] John B. Wood, "Observations on the Indian Communist Party Split," Pacific Affairs XXXVIII (1) Spring, 1965, pp. 47-63.
[33] Selig Harrison, "Caste and the Andhra Communists," American Political Science Review, June 1956, pp. 578-404.
[34] lndian Institute of Public Opinion, Monthly Report No. 136, 137, 140, New Delhi, 1967.
[35] lndian Institute of Public Opinion, Monthly Report No. 136, p. 9 and No. 140 p. 12.
[36] Philip G. Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, p. 57.
[37] Myron Weiner, The Politics of Scarcity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962, p. 161.
[38] World Brotherhood, Survey of Attitudes, Opinions and Personality Traits of a Sample of 1706 Students of the University of Bombay, Orient Longmans, 1960, p. 1-2.
[39] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 58.
[40] Dinkar, Sakrikar, "A History of the Student Movement in India," as cited by Philip Altbach, Daedalus, Winter 1968, p. 272.
[41] Prabodh Chandra, The Student Movement in India, Lahore, 1938. This Prabodh Chandra is not to be confused with Prabodh Chandra, a pseudonym of Ajoy Ghosh.
[42] Philip G. Altbach, "Student Politics in India," Daedalus p. 256.
[43] Altbach, "Student Politics..." p. 257. Daedalus.
[44] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 64-66.
[45] Gene D. Overstreet and Marshall Windmiller, Communism in India, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1960, p. 395.
[46] Overstreet and Windmiller, p. 397.
[47] Overstreet and Windmiller, p. 397.
[48] Philip G. Altbach, "Student Politics and Higher Education in India," in Turmoil and Transition, Philip Altbach (ed.) Lalvani, Bombay,
[49] Altbach, Daedalus p. 265.
[50] Overstreet and Windmiller, p. 398.
[51] Overstreet and Windmiller, p. 400-401.
[52] ibid.
[53] Altbach, Turmoil... p. 46.
[54] Altbach, Turmoil.. p. 47.
[55] Altbach, Daedalus p. 259.
[56] Ratna Dutta, "Political Role of India Students," Unpublished manuscript. 1964.
[57] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 265.
[58] Joseph Curran, Militant Hinduism in Indian Politics; A Case Study of the RSS, N.York. Institute of Pacific Relations, 1951.
[59] Altbach, Turmoil... p. 31.
[60] Norman Palmer, The Indian Political System, Houghton Mifflin, Boston 1961, p. 201.
[61] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 148;50.
[62] Altbach, Turmoil.. pp. 48-50.
[63] Altbach, Turmoil.. p. 30
[64] Robert Hardgraves,"Religion, Politics and the DMK" in Donald Smith (ed.) South Indian Politics and Religion, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1966, p. 224.
[65] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 268.
[66] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 82.
[67] Altbach, Turmoil. p. 48.
[68] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 146-48.
[69] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 264.
[70] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 160-164.
[71] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 264.
[72] Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, p. 208.
[73] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 268.
[74] Amar Kumar Singh, "Academic Politics and Student Unrest," in Turmoil and Transition, p. 209-12.
[75] Singh, op. cit. p. 221-1.
[76] Singh, p. 226.
[77] Joseph Di Bona, "Elite and Mass and Indian Higher Education," Turmoil... p. 159-167.
[78] Robert Shaw,"Student Politics and Student Leadership," in Turmoil... p. 176-84.
[79] Shaw, p. 200.
[80] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 267.
[81] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 267.
[82] A Correspondent, "Student Indiscipline under Study," Thought, Vol. 17, Oct. 1966, as cited in Altbach, Daedalus.
[83] Lloyd and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, "Student Politics and National Politics in India," paper presented to Association of Asian Studies, Philadelphia, Mar. 24, 1968, p. 10.
[84] Altbach, Daedalus, p. 269.
[85] Hugh Tinker, India and Pakistan: A Political Analysis, Praeger, N. Y. 1962, p. 156.
[86] ibid.
[87] Selig Harrison, "Caste and the Andhra Communists," American Political Science Review, June 1956, pp. 378-404.
[88] Peter Blau, "Structural Effects," American Sociological Review, 25 April 1960, pp. 178-192.
[89] Anand Paranjpe, "A Psycho-Social Study of Caste," Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Poona (Department of Experimental Psychology) 1966.
[90] Selig Harrison, India, the Most Dangerous Decades, Oxford University Press, Madras, p. 130
[91] Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man. Doubleday, N.Y.
1960, p. 39.
[92] Karl Deutsch, Yale Papers in Political Science, No. 2, 4.
[93] A. H. Halsey, "Some Notes on Education and Political Development," mimeo.
[94] Education in the States, 1954-55, Ministry of Education, Government of India. New Delhi, 1955.
[95] Communication of Ideas in India, Bureau of Social Science Research, The American University, Washington, D.C. p. 11.
[96] See Joseph Ben-David and Randall Collins, "Academlc Freedom and Student Politics," in Student Politics, S. M. Lipset (ed.) Basic Books, L.Y. 1967. This article emphasizes the importance of models in universities.
[97] Edward Shils, "Indian Students," Encounter, Vol. 17, September 1961, p. 18
[98] Margaret Cormack, She Who Rides a Peacock (New York:
Praeger, 1961) p. 204.
[99] Shils, p. 17.
[100] A Socio-Economic Sample Survey of College Students in Poona City, Poona University Maths and Statistics Assn. 1955. See also, Survey of Living Conditions of University Students, Government of India, 1961.
[101] Morris Rosenberg, Occupations and Values, Free Press, N.Y. 1957.
[102] Education in Universities in India Indian Ministry of Education, New Delhi 1959-60, p.38:
[103] ibid. p. 32.
[104] Metta Spencer, "Professional, Scientific and Intellectual Students in India," Comparative Education Review, Vol. 10 No. 2, June 1966.
[105] Rosenberg, p. 30.
[106] Robert E. Lane, Political Life, Free Press, N.Y. 1959, pp. 163-4.
[107] Gabriel Almond and Sidney Verba, The Civic Culture, Princeton University Press, 1963.
[108] Metta Spencer, p. 300.
[109] Max Weber, The Sociology of Religion. Beacon Press, Boston, 1962, p. 42.
[110] ibid. p. 43.
[111] Selig Harrison, India: the Dangerous Decades. Princeton University Press, Princeton: 1960.
[112] Selig S. Harrison, India: The Most Dangerous Decades, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J. 1960, p.63.
[113] Hugh Tinker, India and Pakistan: A Political Analysis, Praeger, New York,1963., p. 137.
[114] Myron Weiner, The Politics of Scarcity. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, p. 70.
[115] Handbook of Indian Universities, U.S. Education Foundation in India: Allied Publishers, New Delhi, 1961-62.
[116] Weiner, op. cit. p. 30.
[117] Handbook of Indian Universities, p. 218.
[118] Philip G. Altbach, Student Politics in Bombay, Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1965.
[119] Handbook... p. 104.
[120] Weiner, Politics of Scarcity, p. 30.
[121] Seymour Martin Lipset, "University Students and Politics in Underdeveloped Countries," in Student Politics, S. M. Lipset (ed.) Basic Books, N. Y. 1967.
[122] Lipset, p. 44.
[123] Lipset, p. 41.
[124] Martin Trow and Burtin Clark describe such deliberate changes introduced at Swarthmore College in their paper, "Determinants of College Student Subculture," Mimeo. p. 23.
[125] Michel Crozier, The Bureaucratic Phenomenon, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1964, p. 241.
[126] Humanyun Kabir, Education in New India, George Allen and Unwin, London 1956, pp. 170-78.
[127] Clark and Trow, p. 43.
[128] Kabir, p. 178.
[129] The Statesman Weekly, March 29, 1969. p. 11.
[130] Ranuka Ray, "The Background of the Hindu Code Bill,"
Pacific Affairs, September 1952, pp. 269-70.
[131] ibid. p. 273.
[132] ibid. p. 270.
[133] Wilfred Malenbaum, Prospects for Indian Development Free Press, N.Y. 1962, p. 255.
[134] D.N. Majumdar, Unemployment Among the University Educated, Center for International Studies, Cambridge, Mass. 1957.
[135] Majumdar, pp. 20-26.
[136] John and Ruth Useem, The Western Educated Man in India, N.Y. 1955, p. 81.
[137] Monthly Public Opinion Surveys, Indian Institute of Public Opinion, Bombay 1955, p. 32.
[138] ibid.
[139] Gunnar Myrdal, Asian Drama Vol. II Pantheon, N.Y. 1968 p.997.
[140] Barbara Ward, India and the West, Norton, N.Y. 1964 p. 166.
[141] Donald S. Zagoria,"Communism in Asia," Commentary, Feb. 1963.
[142] ibid.
[143] Kingsley Davis, "Urbanization in India," in India's Urban Future, Roy Turner (ed.) University of California Press, pp. 8-10.
[144] Myron Weiner, The Politics of Scarcity, Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1962, p. 12.
[145] Bert Hoselitz, "Urbanization: International Comparisons," in India's Urban Future, p. 172.
[146] Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man, Doubleday, N.Y.1964, p. 242.
[147] Weiner, Politics of Scarcity op.cit, p. 140.
[148] Data from Education in the States, 1958, Ministry of Education, India.
[149] Chester Bowles, Ambassador's Report, Harpers N.Y. 1954, pp. 132-5. This is Bowles' all-purpose cure. An Indian scholar who is very concerned with agricultural reform showed me a book by Bowles entitled Who Owns the Land?, dryly remarking, "1'd like to see him write a book about America and ask 'who owns the land?'"
[150] Raj Krishna, "Agrarian Reform, the Debate on Ceilings," in Civilization of India. Myron Weiner (ed.) Vol. I. University of Chicago Press, 1961, pp. 195-210.
[151] Selig S. Harrison, "Caste and the Andhra Communists," American Political Science Review 50 June 1956, pp. 378-404.
[152] Monthly Report, Public Opinion Survey 4-7, Bombay 1957.
[153] Bureau of Social Science Research, "Communication of Ideas in India," Part II: Public Opinion in Lucknow, Paper #859, Washington, D.C. (1955?)
[154] ongoing research at Harvard's Center for International Affairs.
[155] Myron Weiner, "Urbanization and Political Protest," Civilisations XVII, 1967 p. 49. Weiner notes also that the unemployment rate is lower among migrants than among residents, since if the migrant finds no work, he can return home.
[156] Kusum Nair, Blossoms in the Dust, Praeger, N.Y. 1961. p. 46. This book surely qualifies as one of the most controversial books ever written about India. One can hardly be in any group of educated Indians an hour without hearing a comment about her thesis, usually with an emotional overlay. My impression is that foreigners usually see what she saw in India, while Indians usually see the opposite, and insist that Indians are highly acquisitive people.
[157] Gunnar Myrdal in foreword to Nair, p. xiv.
[158] Myron Weiner, Party Politics in India, Princeton University Princeton, 1957, pp. 169-70.
[159] A very good example can be found in the work of Lloyd and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, The Modernity of Tradition, University of Chicago Press, 1967.
[160] Mary Matossian, "Ideologies of Delayed Industrializaton: Some Tensions and Ambiguities," in Political Change in Underdeveloped Countries, John H. Kautsky, (ed.) Wiley, 252-263.
[161] Seymour Martin Lipset, Political Man Doubleday, N.Y. pp. 274-5.
[162] Robert L. Gaudino, The Indian University, Popular Prakashan, Bombay 1965, pp. 202-204.
[163] ibid.
[164] B.V. Shah, Social Change and College Students of Gujarat University of Baroda, 1964.
[165] A.K. Dasgupta, "The Language Problem", Economic and Political Weekly, July 15, 1967, p. 125.
[166] V.M. Sirsikar, Social and Political Attitudes of Post-Graduate Students of the University of Poona, 1960-1961 Poona: Poona University, 1962.
[167] Report of the Education Commission, 1964-66 , New Delhi, Minstry of Education, 1966 p. 300.
[168] B.V. Shah, Socia Change and College Students of Gujarat, University of Baroda,1964.
[169] Joseph Di Bona, "Indiscipline and Student Leadership in an Indian University," in Student Politics, S. N. Lipset (ed.) Free Press, N.Y. 1967, p. 378.
[170] Joseph Lelyveld, "India's Students Demand--A Safe Job in the Establishment," New York Times Magazine, May 12, 1968, p. 60.
[171] Nancy Silverman, personal communication.
[172] A.R. Kamat and A.G. Deshmukh, Wastage in College Education, Gokhale Institute of Politics, Asia Publishing House, Bombay 1963, p. 107. See also V. N. Sirsikar, "Social and Political Attitudes of Post Graduate Students at the University of Poona," Journal of the University of Poona, 1963, p. 5.
[173] Report of the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes 1959, Government of India Press, Ministry of Information, New Delhi. p. 157. See also the 1960 report.
[174] "At present every student of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes who joins a college or university gets a scholarship. The result obtained from this investment is not very happy and even today it is not possible to fill all posts reserved for the backward classes. These concessions were originally due to expire in 1960 but have been extended to 1970." Education Commission Report XVIII, Finances of Education. New Delhi 1965, p. 44.
[175] India 1965, Publications Division Ninittry of Information, New Delhi, 1965, p. 72.
[176] M. N. Srinivas, Social Change in Modern India, University of California Press, Berkeley 1966. See also Lloyd and Susanne Hoeber Rudolph, The Modernity of Tradition,University of Chicago Press, 1967.
[177] Amar Kumar Singh and Alex Inkeles have discussed such findings in ongoing research at Harvard's Center for International Affairs.
[178] Lelyveld, loc. cit. 279
[179] India 1965, p. 21.
[180] Subramanian Swamy, "structural Changes and the Distribution of Income by Size: The Case of India," The Review of Income and Wealth, Series 13, No. 2, July 1967.
[181] A careful reader may wish to check original sources but he will find Gunnar Myrdal souding more polemical than I do here. Myrdal strikes at the heart of the only justifying argument on inequality--that it facilitates capital formation and economic growth. See Myrdal, op. cit. Vol. I, Ch. 12 and Vol. III, Appendix.
[182] George Rosen, Democracy and Economic Change in India, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1966 p. 156-7.
[183] Rosen, ibid.
[184] Swamy , p. 155.
[185] Di Bona, op. cit. p. 380
[186] Lelyveld, P. 53.
[187] Report of the Education Commission. p. 478.
[188] Mary Jean Bowman, "The Requirements of the Labour Market and the Education Explosion," in The Education Explosion, The World Year Book of Education, 1965. George Z. Bereday and J. P. Lauweys, eds. Evans Brothers, London 1965, p. 74.
[189] Joseph W. Elder, "Religion and Political Attitudes," in South Asian Politics and Religion, Donald Smith (ed.) Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1966, p. 267.
[190] Elder, p. 275.
[191] Robert E. Lane, "Why Lower-Status People Participate Less than Upper-Status People" in Political Life, Robert E. Lane (ed.) Free Press, Glencoe, 1959.
[192] I am indebted to Professor Francis Hutchins of the Department of Government of Harvard University for a good many of these observations.