World Problems — Social Structure


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

9 Feb 2022 – There are countless conflicts, disagreements, problems in the world today.  To add to the existing ones, new problems or conflicts are coming up on almost a daily basis. The issue of Ukraine as a cause of disharmony and possible conflict between the two superpowers USA and Russia is making headlines for the past few weeks. Newspapers have been discussing and debating these differences in some detail. Now, the news has come that the French President Macron is visiting Russia to defuse the issue although it may take a long time.

The issue of China spreading its base around India by supporting Pakistan is also making headlines; and so are its policies towards Taiwan and its rivalries with USA. For an ordinary person, somehow surviving on the low wages and growing inflation is of greater concern than the conflict between superpowers.

In India, with elections due in five states including the biggest one in UP (Uttar Pradesh), conflicts and verbal attacks between leaders of various parties, make one wonder how these can be reduced if not totally eliminated. Have politics, even development issues reduced to war mongering between various parties when serious issues such as lack of employment opportunities and inflation play havoc on millions of poor people?

Even academic institutions — Colleges and Universities are not free of similar tensions. The appointment of a woman Vice Chancellor (President) of a well known University in Delhi is turning into a free for all among sections of the academia. Another issue that is turning into a major controversy is about the wearing of hijab by Muslim girl students in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. To avoid further confrontation or possible violence, the State has decided to close Universities and High Schools for three days. Pictures of confrontation fill the TV channels and most newspapers.

In fact, many people complain that several issues become controversial because of the manner news are being published. On one hand the reports on such issues, and on the other hand the advertisements that fill the pages of major newspapers promoting various commercial products and filling their commercial coffers. Another issue that is being debated and challenged is the benefits of crypto currency in today’s situation.

If the youth are facing innumerable problems of education, employment, housing, the elderly people beyond the age of 65 or 70 years have problems of isolation, being unwanted by family or society. How to tackle these is not talked of excepting perhaps to suggest that they should go on Vacs  (vacations) with people of their age groups.

However, from a personal experience, certain digital games such as Solitaire or Suduko that can be played on one’s Mobile phone also, help individuals both young and elderly to keep busy as well as to sharpen their minds. Other similar games are also appearing. Digital instruments — computers, laptops, mobile phones have become indispensable for education and many other purposes like banking, ticketing for airlines etc, due to the prevailing pandemic. While this is indispensable for metros that require Internet, it leads to increasing gaps between haves and have nots in villages or small towns.

Again, we are having various problems and conflicts emerging every day. Should we call them the Problem Social Structure of society?  I leave it for you to debate and challenge one another.


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Mar 2022.

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