The greatest rural transformation is taking place now!
Increasingly, urban impact, urban opinion might swing opinion in the rest of India?
It is said that the distance between the town and the countryside is narrowing. And narrowing faster these days.
The Up riots at Muzzaffarnagar soon spread to the countryside and it was all in the rural areas. There is now enough to show that half the village households work in non-agriculture occupations. So, what happens in the urban areas, say for riots, and now spread as fast as in the urban centres. At Independence agriculture was in 60 per cent of the GDP, now it is barely 14%!
More than 58% of the net domestic product is from the non-agricultural sector. There are lately many new facets to the rural urban divide, if there is a divide anymore at all. Economic changes first, then, poltiical changes too next. So, we seem to be living through a time when the very earth seems to have slipped out of the village world.
With the currently charged political environment where we witness new tensions and communal riots, it is not right to call them even as riots for the riots are associated with certain parties and groups, the future of the rural economy, the future of life in the strictly village environment might take some more dramatic unforeseen shapes and implications.
Not just in the North but also in the South we see more rural areas getting transformed into urban agglomerates, as they are now called.
Why the land acquisition bill? Why the food security bill at all?
There are enough freebies, from colour TV sets to free laptops that the voters have lost count of the number of free schemes available in any state that goes to the polls.
The very face of rural economy, the agri sector are all poised for some radical change. In fact, rural people, agriculturists in particular or small scale medium industries sectors don’t bother about these changes at all. Even about agriculture the average agriculturist, doesnt bother.
It is again the urban readers, the urban well-off sections, why, it is really the corporate, the bankers and the industrialist and those engaged in the industries and services, food processing, food exports, imports etc are the ones who are interested in what is happening and what is likely to happen in the agri sector. Who wants crop estimates?
Who wants data about the reservoirs and dams etc?
Not the ordinary citizens. The government, as it is increasingly seen, is least interested in genuine rural institutions, the co-ops and the other government depts. that directly impacts the lives of the average farmers and villagers. How these rapid changes might impact the outlook of the voters, both the rural and urban voters, is everybody’s concern.
Here too the old ties, the family and ethnic ties, village ties have all given way to new loyalties and new signs of status and authority, respect and other traditional virtues ad values. Superior and inferior, fairness and unfairness have all changed and new forms have come to engaged the consciousness of the new voter-banks!
Yes, alit parties are as many as they are castes and subcastes. The middle classes, you can’t country anymore. Every day you can see new castes coming and claiming new status and new listing in the calendar of the quota politics. TN has the largest quota, 69 per cent. In other states other forms of quota prevail.
21% rural kids go to private schools, mostly to English-medium schools. These families, more aspiring for more dreams, may not be swayed by the food security or land acquisition bills, say observers.
Now it is estimated that nearly 200 Parliamentary constituencies are seen as urban as any.
The There are now more urban areas, more growth in urban centres, less growth, if any, in the rural areas, the next elections might be fought and won(or lost)on the increasingly urban political opinion that swings the rest if India. With the BJP taking a new assertive, even militant stand on a range of very sensitive and controversial issues, what change for peaceful change?
In times of crisis situations a why even bloodshed, as in the muzaffarnagar riots, we have to have new articulations for calming the tensions and resort to violence.People are now awaiting the time, 2014 elections not far away and who knows what would be the over-all motivation for change.
May be we can chart out a list.Corruption is people fed up with.
So, if the party in power is insensitive to corruption on such wide scale where the very top leadership is accused of participation and non-action, then that could be a legitimate factor for change. So too the rise in prices, inflation.
It is becoming everyday nightmare, the petrol price, diesel price rise and food prices rise.These are impacting the imagination of the rich and the poor. It is a pity there is no effort to modify this outrage about inflation.
As Prof. Galbraith, a friend of India, said long time ago in one of his lectures he delivered at the Indian International Centre, that people need to work harder, as the Puritans, one religious group of great fame, the work ethics has been changing through the years and if people don’t work harder, then, it is inevitable there must be some incentive for working harder. That is the price incentive. It is inflation in simple terms. Certain level of price rise, inflation is reasonable and it is part of the tendency of modern man to search for more leisure and less work. As in France!
But we have to realise that no economy can grow unless there is strong incentive to work hard and produce wealth. In China we found people working harder and their progress, compared to India, is faster. Any leaders who visited and came back told us so?
No! Why? May be sheer ignorance or lack of honesty!
We, Indians have to look into ourselves. Are we honest to ourselves? We ask the current crop of the politicians? You want all impediment to be removed be it RTI, or Criminal offences or other electoral malpractices?
Anyway, people have become more alert and they might show us the way.