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Social Issues, Global Development and Modernism In The Light Of Jurisprudence

Various social issues like poverty, development and global justice also had an impact in the reformation of the society across the world. Modernism can be characterized by a deliberate and often radical shift from traditional or conservative methods to the use of new and innovative forms of expression.

Law
The law affects every sphere of human lives, as it governs the conduct of human beings from the cradle to the grave. Its influence even extends from before the birth to after death. A society has developed a complex body of rules for controlling the activities of its members. There are many types of laws, e.g. which govern working conditions, which regulate leisure pursuits and laws which control personal relationships among the members of society.

The law is a set of rules which are enforceable by the court of law. These rules regulate the government of the State and govern the relationship between the State and its citizens and between one citizen and another. As a member of society, we come across many rules, e.g. rules of a particular sport (e.g. Football, Cricket etc.), rules like conventions (such as not speaking ill of the dead).

Classification of Law Broadly the law may be classified as follows:
Public Law
It is concerned with the relations between the State and its citizens.

Some of the specialized areas are as follows:
Constitutional Law
It is concerned with the working of the Constitution of a country. It deals with matters like the position of the President, the composition and procedures of Parliament, the functioning of Central and State Governments, citizenship and the Fundamental Rights of the citizens.

Administrative Law
The last hundred years has witnessed a dramatic increase in the activities of government. Various schemes have been launched for ensuring a minimum standard of living for every individual. In this process, various government agencies are involved, e.g. in the provision of a state retirement pension, income support etc. A large number of disputes come into action from the administration of these schemes. Administrative law has developed to deal with the complaints of individuals against the decisions of the administering agency.

Private Law
Private law is concerned with the rights and duties of individuals towards each other. In this sphere of law the State's involvement is limited only to provide a civilized method for resolving any dispute. So it means that, the legal process is initiated by the aggrieved citizen and not by the State. Private law is also called 'civil law.

Criminal Law  
Criminal law is concerned with forbidding the wrongful conduct of humans and punishing those individual who engage themselves in the commission of prohibited acts. Criminal proceedings are normally brought in the name of the State and are called prosecutions.

In criminal cases, there is a prosecutor who prosecutes a defendant in the criminal courts and represents the State. The consequences of being found guilty are serious in criminal cases in comparison to civil cases. If the prosecution is successful which means the defendant is found guilty, he may be sentenced by the concerned court.

Civil Law
Civil law is primarily concerned with the private rights and obligations which arise between the individuals. The purpose of civil law is to provide remedy to the person who has suffered. It is the responsibility of the individual who has been wronged to enforce the civil law. The State's role is only to provide the procedure and the courts required for resolving the dispute. In civil proceedings a claimant sues a defendant in the civil courts. The claimant will succeed if the evidence weighs more in favour of the claimant than the defendant. If the claimant wins his action, the defendant is said to be liable and the court will order an appropriate remedy like damages or an injunction.

Poverty
Poverty may be defined as the inability of a person to attain, minimum standard of living. It is the scarcity, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions money. The concept of poverty includes social, economic and political elements. Poverty is a relationship between the essential needs of people to survive and their ability to satisfy them. People who are unable to satisfy the basic needs like food, clothing, shelter, sanitation etc are said to be poor. Poor people are vulnerable to ill health, economic dislocation and natural disaster.

According to Amartya Sen, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, “Poverty is a deprivation of basic capabilities rather than merely a lowness of income.” Poor people also face malnutrition, hunger and have little or no interference in the society.

Absolute poverty is a situation in which individuals are unable to attain even basic necessities of life like food, shelter, drinking water, clothes, health facilities etc. In this type of poverty, the level of income of the people is so low that they cannot afford most of their basic needs. The minimum amount of income required to meet the basic necessities of life is known as the poverty line. So in absolute poverty, the level of income of the people is below the poverty line.

Relative poverty is a situation in which there is an unequal distribution of income and economic resources. It is defined as a relative deprivation or exclusion from participation in society of persons, families, and a group of people whose material, cultural, social resources are so limited that it excludes them from a minimum respectable way of life. In this type of poverty, the income of an individual is more than US $1 per day.

Characteristics of Poverty
  1. Low level of income is common both in rural and urban areas. In rural areas, they own small area of low or unproductive land without irrigation and other physical facilities.
  2. The housing condition of a majority of people living in poverty is very bad. Due to large family size the households are always overcrowded. They are forced to live without basic amenities like electricity, water and sanitation. The majority of poor people are illiterate, which is either due to ignorance or poverty or both. The literacy rate among the poor is far below than the national average.
  3. The majority of poor people spend more than 70% of their income in consumption. They spend almost all of their income on food in order to survive.
  4. Among the people living in poverty, the family size is usually large both in rural and urban areas. Children are regarded as the source of income. Poor people also lack access to modem family planning services.
  5. There is a high gender disparity at the lowest level of income in both rural and urban areas. The probability of women attending the school is very low, so only a few are educated and so they have fewer employment opportunities.
  6. Poor people do not have access to state facilities, which means they are not able to enjoy the benefits from the facilities provided by the government.

Causes of Poverty
  1. The growth rate of population is very high in comparison to the economic growth rate. This results in the failure to bring about the required improvement in the living standard of the people.
  2. Another important cause of poverty is unemployment. In most of the developing countries, there is no development of employment providing sectors.
  3. Low industrial development also leads to poverty. The growth of industrial development in developing countries is very low due to lack of capital, infrastructure, modern technology and appropriate industrial policy.
  4. Socio-cultural factors also play an important role in increasing poverty. People are poor due to the prevalent socio-cultural institutions. In order to fulfill socio-cultural obligations and their traditional ceremonies people spend extravagantly.
  5. Use of outdated and old technology, both in manufacturing and agricultural sectors in comparison to the developed economics, leads to poverty.
  6. Another cause of poverty is under-utilization of resources in underdeveloped and developing nations. Though these countries are rich in various natural resources like water, forest and minerals, due to under-utilization of such resources they face poverty.
  7. Inadequate socio-economic infrastructure such as transport, communication, health, education, safe drinking water and energy also leads to poverty.

Poverty Estimation
The most common method used to estimate poverty in India is based on the income or consumption levels and if the income or consumption level falls below a given minimum level, then the household is said to be Below the Poverty Line (BPL).

In India, the poverty estimation is carried out by NITI Aayog's task force through the calculation of poverty line based on the data captured by the National Sample Survey Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI). NITI Aayog as a policy thinktank has replaced Planning Commission.

Poverty estimation in India is based on the consumption expenditure and not on income levels, because of the following reasons:
  1. Income of self-employed people, daily wagers etc varies a lot, while consumption pattern are comparatively much stable.
  2. Even in case of regular wage earners, there are additional side incomes in many cases, which is difficult to take into account.
  3. Incase of consumption based poverty line, sample based surveys use a reference period (say 30 days) in which households are asked about their consumption of last 30 days and is taken as the representative of general consumption.
According to United Nations World Summit for Economic Development, absolute poverty is a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic human needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information. Relative poverty is present when a household income is lower than the median income in a particular country and is used mainly by the developed countries. Those who fall into the category of relative poverty are not necessarily deprived of all basic needs, but may not experience the same standard of living as the majority of society.

Pre-Independence Poverty Estimation
The earliest estimation of poverty line (Rupee 16 to Rupee 35 per capita per year) was done by Dadabhai Naoroji through his book 'Poverty and Unbritish Rule in India'. The poverty line proposed by him was based on the cost of a subsistence or minimum basic diet (rice or flour, dal, mutton, vegetables, ghee, vegetable oil and salt). The National Planning Committee was set up by Subhash Chandra Bose in 1938 under the Chairmanship of J L Nehru with an aim to draw an economic plan to ensure an adequate standard of living for the common people. National Planning Committee's (1938) poverty line was also based on a minimum standard of living perspective in which nutritional requirements were implicit.

The Bombay Plan (1944) proponents suggested a poverty line of rupee 75 per capita per year. This plan was a set of proposal of a small group of influential business leaders in Bombay for the development of the post-independence economy of India.

Post-independence Poverty Estimation
Planning Commission Expert Group (1962), was constituted by the Planning Commission. This group formulated the separate poverty lines for rural and urban areas (rupee 20 and rupee 25) per capita per year respectively. V M Dandekar and N Rath (1971) made the first systematic assessment of poverty in India which was based on National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) data. They were of the view the poverty line must be derived from the expenditure that was enough to provide 2250 calories per day in both urban and rural areas. The Planning Commission constituted a task force under the chairmanship of Y K Alagh in 1979.

This committee constructed a poverty line for rural and urban areas on the basis of nutritional requirements and related consumption expenditure. Poverty estimates for coming years were to be calculated by adjusting the price level for inflation. Lakdawala Committee submitted its report in the year 1993. This task force was chaired by D T Lakdawala. According to this committee, the basket of goods and services used to calculate Consumer Price Index Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) and Consumer Price Index-Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL) reflects the consumption patterns of the poor.

According to this committee consumption expenditure should be calculated based on calorie consumption as earlier. State specific poverty lines should be constructed and these should be updated using the CPI-IW in urban areas and CPI-AL in rural areas. Tendulkar Committee was constituted by the Planning Commission in the year 2005 under the chairmanship of Suresh Tendulkar. This committee submitted its report in the year 2009.

This committee based its calculations on the consumption of the items like cereal, pulses, milk, edible oil, non vegetarian items, vegetables, fresh fruits, dry fruits, sugar, salt and spices, other food items, intoxicants, fuel, clothing, footwear, education, entertainment, personal and toilet goods.

Unlike Alagh Committee, Tendulkar Committee computed new poverty lines for rural and urban areas of each state based on the uniform poverty line basket and found that all India poverty line in 2004-2005 was rupee 446.68 per capita per month in rural areas and rupee 578.80 per capita per month in urban areas.

This committee also recommended the incorporation of private expenditure on health and education in Poverty estimation, Tendulkar committee computed poverty lines for 2004-05 at a level that was equivalent, in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) terms to rupee 33 per day. Rangarajan Committee was constituted by the Planning Commission in the year 2012. This committee was set up in the back drop of national outrage over the Planning Commission's suggested poverty line of rupee 22 a day for rural areas.

The main objective of this committee was to review international poverty estimation methods and indicate whether, based on these, a particular method for empirical poverty estimation can be developed in India. The estimation of this committee is based on an independent large survey of households by Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE).

According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), norms, differentiated by age, gender and activity for all India rural and urban regions, for normative levels of adequate nutrition are as follows:
  1. Calories 2090 Kcal in urban and 2155 Kcal in run areas.
  2. Protein For rural areas 48 gm and for urban areas 50 gm.
  3. Fat for urban areas 28 gm and for rural areas 26 gm.
According to this committee, persons spending below rupee 47 a day in cities and rupee 32 in villages be considered poor. Based on this methodology, Rangarajan committee estimated that the number of poor were 19% higher in rural areas and 41% more in urban areas what was estimated using Tendulkar committee formula. Instead of Mixed Reference Period (MRP), this committee recommended Modified Mixed Reference Period (MMRP), in which reference period for different items were as follows:
  1. 365 days for clothing, footwear, education, institutional medical care and durable goods.
  2. 7 days for edible oil, egg, fish and meat, vegetables fruits, spices, beverages, refreshments, processed food, pan, tobacco and intoxicants.
  3. 30 days for the remaining food items, fuel and light miscellaneous goods and services including non-institutional medical care, rents and taxes.

Development
Development is not purely an economic process, but it is multi-dimensional phenomenon which involves re-organisation and re-orientation of the whole economic and social system. The process of development helps in improving the quality of human lives with three equally important aspects.

These are as follows:
  1. To increase people's freedom to choose by enlarging the range of their choice variables, e.g. variety of goods and services.
  2. To raise living levels of people e.g. incomes and consumption, levels of foods, medical services, and education through relevant growth processes.
  3. To create conducive conditions for the growth of peoples self-esteem through the establishment of social, political and economic systems and institutions which promote dignity and respect?

Marxist View of Development and Sustainable Development
Marxist view of development emphasizes on the modes of production i.e. the elements and activities necessary to produce and reproduce the material things necessary for human survival. Capitalist i.e. market economy depends primarily on the wage labour, whose labour power results in the production of surplus which is accumulated and appropriated by the employer. This results in class conflict in capitalist societies.

Sustainable development may be defined as the development primary aim of which is to achieve lasting satisfaction of human needs and improvement of the quality of life. It also aims at helping the poorest who are left with no option but to destroy their environment to survive.

In sustainable development, the basic idea is to achieve self-reliant development with natural resource constraints. Focus should be on cost effective development by using different economic criteria to the traditional i.e. development should not degrade environment. Efforts should be made to achieve health control, appropriate technologies, and self-reliance in food, clean water and shelter for all. People centered activities should be launched. In the concept of sustainable development human beings are considered the resources.

Theories of Development
Keynesian Growth Theory (1940-1950)
According to this theory, the process of capital formation is determined by savings and investment. Domestic savings are channeled to productive investments such as manufacturing which usually results in high productivity. Growth is said to be market driven as income levels rise, savings rises and frees capital for alternative investment.

Modernization Theory
According to this theory, economic dimension alone is insufficient and suggest various theories on institutional and social change. This theory incorporates various non-economic elements like social practices, beliefs, values and customs.

Diffusion and speed of change also plays a critical role as is removal of various cultural and social barriers. The primary cause of under development is backward internal structure and not the external factors.

Neo Liberal Development Theory
This theory developed in the decade of 1970s. It was designed to counter the impact of Keynesianism. This theory emphasized on the supply side factors in the process of development. It further advocated the private initiatives and market led growth. This theory also favored to move away from demand stimulation, import substitution, state intervention and centralized planning.

Important Schemes for Rural Development Launched by Government of India
Some of the important schemes launched by the Government of India, for rural development are as follows:
National Social Assistance Programme
This programme signifies the fulfillment of DPSP under Articles 41 and 42 of the Constitution which states that it is the duty of the state to provide assistance to the citizens in terms of sickness, unemployment, old age etc. This scheme is sponsored by the Central Government which provides financial help to widows, elderly, people with disability in form of pensions. This scheme was launched on 15th August, 1995.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan was launched in the year 2000, during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is an attempt to provide an opportunity to all children between 6 and 14 years of age to get free education which is also a Fundamental Right. The expenses of this project are shared between the Central and State Governments.

Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)
This scheme was launched in the year 2000 by the former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The primary aim of this scheme is to provide food grains to around 2 crore people at a subsidized rate. Under this scheme, Below Poverty Line (BPL) families were provided 35 kgs of food grains, Rice was given at the rate of rupee 3/kg and wheat at the rate of rupee 2/kg. This scheme was first launched in Rajasthan and now it has been implemented across India.

Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana
It was launched on 25th December, 2000 by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Primary aim of this scheme was to enhance rural road connectivity. This scheme provides connectivity and helps in reducing the poverty level by promoting access to economic and social services. This scheme has benefitted several villagers and is helping them in leading better lives.

Approximately 82% of the roads were built till December, 2017. Earlier, the scheme was funded only by the Central Government but after the recommendation of 14th Finance Commission report the expenses are shared by both State and Central Government.

Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY)
This scheme was launched in the year 2001 to provide employment to the poor. It also aimed at providing food to people in areas who live below the poverty line and improving their nutritional levels. This scheme also provides social and economic assets to the people living in rural areas. This scheme did not include the employment of contractors or middlemen.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)

According to the provisions of MGNREGA of 2005, 100 days of employment is guaranteed to any rural household adult who is willing to do unskilled manual work in a financial year. If a person does not get a job within 15 days, he is eligible for getting unemployment allowance. NREGA also highlights the importance of basic right to work.

Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY)
This scheme was redesigned as National Rural Livelihood Mission. It was launched in the year 2011. It is also known as Ajeevika. The primary aim of scheme is to empower women self-help model across the country. Under this scheme, the government provides a loan of 3 lakh rupees at an interest rate of 7% which can be reduced to 4% at the time of repayment. This scheme was aided by World Bank.

Prime Minister Rural Development Fellows Scheme (PMRDF)
PMRODF is a scheme initiated by the Ministry of Rural Development and implemented in collaboration with State Governments. Its primary aim is to provide short-term support to the district administration in the under developed and remote areas of India and develop competent and committed leaders and facilitators why can serve as a resource for long-term. This scheme was launched in the year 2011.

Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY)
It is a rural development project launched in the year 2014. Under this yojana each Member of Parliament will take the responsibility of three villages and look after the personal, human, social, environmental and economic development of the villages.

Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana
This yojana/scheme is a part of National Livelihood Mission. The main objective of this scheme was to cater to the career aspirations of the rural youth and adding diversity to the income of rural families.

This scheme was launched on 25th September, 2014 and its prime focus is on the rural youth of poor families aged between 15 and 35. An amount of rupee 1500 crores was allocated for this scheme to help in enhancing employability. Around 690 projects are being implemented by 300 partners. According to government data, over 2.7 lakh candidates have been trained till now and nearly 1.34 lakh candidates have been placed in jobs.

Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana (Gramin)/ Indira Awaas Yojana
Indira Awaas Yojana was revamped as Pradhan Mantri Gramin Awaas Yojana in the year 2016. It is a welfare programme initiated by the Government of India. It provide housing to rural poor of India. The main aim of this scheme is to provide home to all citizens till 2022. The cost of contructing the houses will be shared by the Central and State governments.

This scheme has been implemented in rural area throughout India, except Chandigarh and Delhi. These houses will have basic amenities like toilet electricity connection, drinking water, LPG etc. The alloted houses will be jointly under the name of husband and wife.

Global Justice
Global justice is an issue of political philosophy which arises from the concern about unfairness. It is basically a form of internationalism. There is a clear distinction between global and international justice. The basic point of difference between these two concepts involves clarifying the entities among which justice is sought. In the sphere of international justice, the State or Nation is considered as the central entity of concern and justice among the nations is of primary concern.

In the field of global justice the primary aim of jurists is not to define justice between nations or states, rather they are concerned about what justice among human beings consists of. The primary concern of global justice inquiries is individual human beings and seeks to give an account of what fairness among such agents involves. Various types of interactions are not circumscribed by state membership and affect the fundamental interests of human beings. The analysis of global justice does not preclude from yielding state level obligations.

An important advantage of questioning what states owe one another is that international law presupposes the states system and requires the concerned states to perform various duties in order to promote justice. So it can be said that, responsibilities are clearly defined to particular parties which make it certain who ought to do what in the real world.

The basic advantage of global justice inquiries is that no one is forced to take states as a fixed constraint, so we can consider a range of relevant relationships, capacities and roles that also structure our interactions and might be relevant to how we ought to conceptualise the global duties.

Theory of Global Justice
The primary aim of theory of global justice is to give us an account of what justice on a global level consists of, and this discussion often includes the following components:
  1. Arguing for positions about what particular agents ought to do in connection with solving each problem.
  2. Identifying what should count as important problems of global justice.
  3. Giving solutions for each identified problem.
  4. Identifying who might have responsibilities in addressing the identified problem.

Theories of global justice are helpful in understanding the World better and what our duties and responsibilities are in it. On the one hand some theorists aim at only a theoretical understanding while others provide an analysis which is useful in practical policy making concerned with matters of global justice.

The theory of global justice exists within the broader school of cosmopolitanism, which primarily focuses on the importance of the individual as opposed to the state, culture or community. Cosmopolitans consider an individual as their initial point because according to them all human beings have equal moral worth and therefore they have the right to equal moral consideration. Their focus on the moral importance of the individual has led some cosmopolitan scholars to engage with the theories of justice, which are basically concerned with the state and contained within the sphere of political theory and not international theory.

This effort has led to the theory of global justice whose primary aim is to investigate the question of how to secure a just life for all the individuals.

Basics of Global Justice
Justice is basically concerned with who deserves what and why. Contemporary global justice scholars are concerned only with the moral worth of the individual without giving any consideration to the place of birth and focus on problems of global cohabitation in which individuals are not treated as morally equal or the focus has been on States.

In order to engage with such problems, the scholars of global justice usually focus on what individuals across the world deserve and the distribution of these entitlements can be achieved.
According to John Rawls' (1971) 'Theory of Justice', political structures determine who deserves what and why due to the power to make laws etc. So these structures should be built carefully in order to ensure a just distribution of duties and rights among the citizens.

So Rawls' idea was one of distributive justice. He never supported communism, where all wealth is distributed equally, but he was in favour of a society where inequality was moderated so that those who are disadvantaged were able to live a life with dignity.

According to Rawls, such a structure can exist only within a democratic society. Rawls' theory was not designed to be applicable internationally as no such formal structure of global distributive justice exists. Many cosmopolitan scholars criticised Rawls' theory on various grounds.

For example, Charles Beitz (1975) argued that it is not possible to limit the questions of justice only to the national level in the global era. It is inappropriate because in the present day many global institutions exist that may be able to perform the basic functions of the State, like collection of various taxes or framing laws.

Thomas Pogge (1989) emphasised that global inequality among the individuals call for a global approach to justice which can respond effectively to the inequalities. Both these jurists are in favour of widening the scope of justice to the global level. From these types of arguments the term 'global justice' originates and provides the ground for its emergence as a theory of International Relations.

Modernism
In broader terms, 'modernism' can be characterized by a deliberate and often radical shift from traditional or conservative methods to the use of new and innovative forms of expression. So, many styles in literature and art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries were different from those that preceded them.

Generally the term 'modernism' covers the creative output of thinkers and artists according to whom the 'traditional' approaches to the architecture, arts, religion, literature, and social organizations had become obsolete in the light of the new socio-economic and political circumstances adopted by an industrialized society.

In the midst of social changes and developments in the field of science and social sciences, the modernists found themselves alienated from the conventions. It is not like that modernism defied religion straight away or neglected all beliefs and ideas associated with enlightenment. However, it is more appropriate to view modernism as a tendency to question and look for better alternatives.

The term 'modernism' means to be up-to-date, modern, to live in present times, to be contemporary, have new thoughts, personality or action and advocacy of new ideas, performances and new standards. According to some scientists there is a distinction between modernity and modernism, however, others think of both concepts as the same.

In general terms, modernity means a historical period with concepts like, social segregation, urbanism, liberal democracy, secularism and individualism.

On the other hand, modernism means world view, aesthetics and enlightenment that appear based on experiments in the different areas of music, painting, arts, poetry, sculpture, theatre, literature etc.

The Early Modern Period
The term Early Modern is used by the historians to refer to, the period between AD 1500 to 1800 specifically in Western Europe. It follows the late medieval period and it marked by growth of strong centralized governments, first European colonies and the beginning of recognizable nation-states. The span of this era is the two centuries between the middle ages and the Industrial Revolution that proved to be the basis for modern European and American society.

Some of the important characteristics of early modern period are the rise of science, the shortening of distance due to improvement in communication and transportation and increase in technological progress. The capitalist economies and institutions began to rise and develop in the Northern Italian republics such as Genoa and the Venetian oligarchy. This period also witnessed the growth of the economic Theory of Mercantalism.

Early modern period also represents the decline and disappearance of Christian theocracy, serfdom and feudalism. The period also includes the Reformation, the disastrous Thirty Years' War (1618-48). In addition to the commercial revolution, the European colonization of the Americas, the Golden Age of Piracy are also included in the Early Modern Period.

The term 'early modern' is sometimes incorrectly used as a substitute for the term Renaissance. However, Renaissance is used in relation to a diverse series of cultural developments that took place over several hundred years in many part of Europe particularly in Central and Northern Italy.

In artistic aspect, the Renaisssance is clearly different from what came later and only in the study of literature is the early modern period considered broadly as a standard: music, for instance, is divided between Renaissance and Baroque. In the same manner philosophy is divided between Renaissance philosophy and the Enlightenment.

The Modern Period
This period is also known as the 'modern era' or 'modern times'. It is the period of history that succeeded the middle ages, which ended around 1500 AD. As a historical term, it is applicable primarily to European and Western history.

The modern period or modern era may be divided as follows:
  1. The early period discussed above concluded with the advent of the industrial revolution in the mid 18th century.
  2. The enlightenment of 18th century and the Industry Revolution in Britain pushed forward in other countries partly as an outcome of the Napoleonic wars.
  3. The contemporary era started with the end of these revolutions in the 19th century which includes First World War, Second World War and the Cold War.
The modern period has witnessed the significant developments in the fields of science, warfare, technology and politics. It has also been an era of several discoveries and globalisation. By the end of late 19th and early 20th centuries, modernist art, science, culture and politics had not only dominated Western Europe and North America, but almost every civilised society across the world. This period is also associated with the development of capitalism, urbanisation, individualism and a belief in the positive probabilities of political and technological progress. The brutal wars and many other problems of this era led to many reactions against modern development.

Optimism and belief in constant progress were criticized by 'postmodernism', while the dominance of Western Europe and North America over other parts of the world has been criticized by post colonial theory.

Modernist Literature
Modernism as a literary movement was at its climax in Europe between 1900 and the mid-1920s. The modernist literature also addressed many problems similar to those examined in non-literary forms of art like painting.

For example, Gertrude Stein's writings have been compared to the fragmentary and multi-perspectival cubism of her friend Pablo Picasso.

The thematic concerns of modernist literature are summarised by the renamed sociologist Georg Simmel as, “The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture and of the technique of life.”

The emphasis of modernists on radical individualism can be clearly witnessed in many literary manifestos issued by various groups within the movement. The concerns expressed by Simmel above are echoed in Richard Huelsenbeck's first German Dada Manifesto of 1918 as, “Art in its execution and direction is dependent on the time in which it lives and artists are creatures of their epoch”. Modernist literature can also be viewed in terms of its formal, stylistic and semantic movement which is away from Romanticism.

Many modernist works, like Eliot's The Waste Land (1922) are marked by the absence of any central, heroic figure at all, as the narrative and narrator are collapsed into a collection of disjointed fragments and overlapping voices. Modernist literature also move beyond the limitations of the Realist novel with a concern for larger factors such as social or historical change and it is significant in 'stream of consciousness' writing, For example, in the work of two contemporaries, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.

Characteristics of Modernism
Formal/Stylistic Characteristics
Some of the important elements found in modernist writings are comparisons, irony, symbols, images, juxtaposition and satire. The most common stylistic method of the modernist writer is that it is often written in first person.

The works of a modernist writer can leave the reader slightly confused about what they are supposed to take away from the particular work. Juxtaposition is used to represent something that is unseen, e.g. a cat and a mouse as best friends.

Irony and Satire are used by the modernist writer to make fun of and point out faults in what they are writing about like problems within their society, be it political, governmental or social ideas.

Thematic Characteristics
Modernist writing may seem to be frustrating to understand the first time reader due to the fragmentation and lack of conciseness of the writing. The plot, themes and characters of the text are not always linear. The primary aim of modernist literature is not focused on catering to one particular audience, rather they are interested in getting the author's ideas, opinions and thoughts out into the public at as high a volume as possible.

Modernist literature opposes or gives an opinion on a social concept. Some of the common topics in this literary era are the breaking down of social norms, rejection of standard social ideas and traditional thoughts, and the rejection of truth, rejection of history, social systems and a sense of loneliness.

Postmodernism
Postmodernism means different things to different disciplines. Some of the important disciplines which apply postmodernism are art, history, architecture, civil engineering, economics, education, law, anthropology, cultural studies, management, literature, media studies, psychology, sociology, theology, zoology and others.

Though different disciplines interpret postmodernism differently, there is consensus that it is a cultural phenomenon. There are different facets to the cultural perspective of postmodernism.

The common postmodern cultural aspects are as follows:
  1. Postmodernism recognises that the world consists of multiple and diverse cultures. For example, the increased awareness of minority group interests and class neutral issues, the erosion of the nuclear family, a drive towards self-actualisation, reduced dependence on religion and fulfilment of multiple roles.
     
  2. Forces of globalisation and capitalism have resulted in increased production and correspondingly increased consumption. Although postmodernism tolerates differences, it does not completely eliminate preference.
     
  3. Truths and values are socially constructed. Postmodernism is distinguished from modernism, through its rejection of modernism's grand narratives, namely, truth and freedom, history and progress,reason and revolution n, science and industrialism.

Elements of Postmodernism
  1. Playfulness is central to postmodernism. It supports the idea that there is no organising principle in this chaotic world.
  2. The distrust of theories and ideologies, of author, modern assumptions about culture, identity and history.
  3. Blending of fact and fiction, particularly historical novels or those using real living personalities, like celebrities or politicians.
  4. Events may overlap, repeat or multiple events may occur at the same time on regular basis to achieve irony.

Distinction between Modernism and Postmodernism
Modernism
  1. It is a transmission from traditional to modern methods.
  2. It is a historical, political and intellectual event.
  3. Modernism is kind of cultural formulation.
  4. Modernism focuses on figurative nature.
  5. Modernism is looking on the basis of design, project and purpose.
  6. It acts on the basis of hierarchy principles.
  7. Modernism gives attention to the root and depth of concepts and subjects.
  8. Modernism focuses on principles like certainty, totality, objectivity and centralisation in concepts.

Post-modernism
  1. It is a cultural paradigm that goes ahead from new methods to more advanced ones.
  2. It is philosophical and discursive period.
  3. It is a kind of format of the formation of culture.
  4. Postmodernism is anti-figure.
  5. Postmodernism is a kind of play in social life, which is not reliant on base specific purpose, It is based more on chance and accident.
  6. Postmodernism includes process, performance and events.
  7. Postmodernism has its attention on surface appearances and on superficial aspects of concepts and phenomenon.
  8. It focuses on principles like pluralism, Partiality, disintegration, diffuseness relativism and individualism.

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