Victor S. D’Souza. Development Planning and StructuralInequalities: The Response of the Underprivileged. New Delhi: SagePublications 1990. Pages 206 + Index. Price: Rs 180 (Hardbound).

Author: Ziaul Haque
Publication Year : 1991

Deveiopment planning in India, as in other developingcountries, has generally been aimed at fostering anindustrially-oriented policy as the engine of economic growth. Thisone-sided economic development, which results in capital formation,creation of urban elites, and underprivileged social classes of a modernsociety, has led to distortions in the social structure as a whole. Onthe contrary, as a result of this uneven economic development, which isnarrowly measured in terms of economic growth and capital formation, thefruits of development have gone to the people according to theireconomic power and position in the social structure: those occupyinghigher positions benefiting much more than those occupying the lowerones. Thus, development planning has tended to increase inequalities andhas sharpened divisive tendencies. Victor S. D’Souza, an eminent Indiansociologist, utilizing the Indian census data of 1961, 1971, and 1981,examines the problem of structural inequality with particular referenceto the Indian Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes – the two mostunderprivileged sections of the present Indian society which, accordingto the census of 1981, comprised 15.75 percent and 7.76 percent ofIndia’s population respectively. Theoretically, he takes the concept ofdevelopment in a broad sense as related to the self-fulfIlment of theindividual. The transformation of the unjust social structure, thelevelling down of glaring economic and social inequalities, and theconcern for the development of the underprivileged are for the authorthe basic elements of a planned development. This is the theoreticalperspective of the first chapter, “Development Planning and SocialTransformation”.

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