“I have used…The term ‘Westernisation’ to characterise the changes brought about in the Indian society and culture as a result of over 150 years of British rule…” He also writes: “A popular term for the changes brought about in a non-Western country by contact, direct or indirect, with a Western country is “Modernisation”. Srinivas finds the necessity of finding an appropriate term when analysing changes that a non-Western country undergoes as a result of prolonged contact with a “Western one”. But Daniel Lerner, “after considering the suitability of ‘Westernisation’ as well as ‘Modernisation’ “, has opted for the latter. M.N.
Srinivas, on the other hand, has criticised Lerner’s concept of ‘Modernisation’ and felt that his term ‘Westernisation’ is more relevant in the context in which it is used, comparatively speaking, the term ‘Modernisation’ is a broader one and has a wider range of application. The term ‘Westernisation’ as M.N. Srinivas himself has recognised “…is too local a label…” to have wider range of use. 2. In a broad way it may be said that the concept of Westernisation as used by Srinivas covers: (a) the behavioural aspects like eating, drinking, dressing, dancing, etc. (b) the knowledge aspects like literature, science, etc. (c) the values aspects like humanitarianism, equalitarianism and secularism, etc.
(B. Kuppu Swamy- 72). The term ‘Modernisation’ “involves a transfomration of social; political and economic organisation”. As a concept it is greatly helpful to the sociologists and anthropologists who have been primarily concerned with the process of differentiation that characterised the modern societies. It helps them to know the way in which new structures arise to assume new functions, how new occupations emerge, how new complex education institutions develop and so on. 3. It is said that’ Westernisation’ (of the 19th century) is mostly a middle class phenomenon whereas Modernisation is a mass process involving mass media. “Thus while the 19th century Westernisation process was essentially a middle class affair involving fashions in speech, clothing, food and drink habits, the modernisation process involves a fundamental, deep-seated and widespread change involving attitudes, the development of a rationalist and positivist spirit and the application of the new knowledge to the ways of living.
It is essentially a mass affair …It involves a fundamental change in social structure from the “Immutable” Varna society which is a closed society to a casteless, classless, open society…” 4. Lerner emphasises that the modernisation process involves the replacement of sacred revelation by secular enlightenment in the guidance of human affairs. He considers the term Westernisation as inadequate and parochial. As he points out modernisation is essentially based on “a rationalist and positivist spirit”. He writes while Westernisation “once penetrated only the upper level ….affecting mainly leisure class fashions, modernisation today diffuses among a wider population and touch public institutions as well as private aspirations with its disquieting positivist spirit”.