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Rural India : Land of Lasting Values
It has often been said that India lives in its villages. For the average urbanite of India, who shunts from city to city on work-related business, it's all too easy to miss the true pulse of the land. It's all too easy to miss the simple joys that unity with nature brings.
Even as globalization has irreversibly transformed the face of India's booming cities, it has not managed to push the India of the villages into the mould of capitalism,
The lifestyle that is pursued in the villages of India continues to be the same unchanged one, dating back centuries.
Village India : Land of Diversity
Make no mistake. Rural India does not refer to one geographical or cultural sphere. The villages of coastal Kerala, where people earn a living from fishing and cultivating paddy, are radically different from the villages of the northeast, where shifting cultivation of fruits and vegetables is practiced.
The tiny villages of the forest covered Nicobar islands are a world away from the dust swept villages of desert Rajasthan.
The Common Factor : Old World Values
What unites rural India against the mindless greed and exploitation of urban India and the rest of the capitalistic world is the fact that people here continue to hold on to the values that have been passed on from generation to generation.
In rural India, people still have time for lengthy conversations filled with laughter and goodwill. People here welcome strangers with a refreshing glass of buttermilk or a steaming hot cup of tea, secure in the belief that the values they hold on to and practice on a daily basis will keep them safe from the ravages of ill will.
Unlike urban India, rural India doesn't push its elders into old-age homes. Elders here are considered a blessing.
Village India respects the environment. It's fields and sacred groves throb with life. This is the land where eEephants and King Cobras alike are revered. People go into the jungle, not to clear-cut large tracts, but rather, to graze cattle and collect firewood and fruits.
Village India is not jaded. It is refreshing.
Here's what life in a village in the arid southern state of Tamil Nadu is like
Real India Vs.Soulless Cities
Indian city-folk like to believe that they are greatly privileged. They believe that, unlike their village counterparts, they have access to the best things that the world has to offer. Is this true?
Probably, if one were to measure things in monetary terms. Indian cities have few power outages because the power generated from coal plants and hydel projects located in remote areas powers them. Indian cities have large-scale retail giants and costly goods from all over the world. Indian cities also have well paved roads and nightclubs.
Indian cities also have pollution and mind-numbing rates of crime. They also have drug peddlers and road accidents. They don't have peace of mind or a whiff of fresh air. They don't have trees or little streams.
City-folk don't know their neighbours. Villagers know every person who enters their village.
Over 70 percent of India's population lives in its villages, and yet, the needs of this vast majority of people are neglected, and their voices ignored. It seems that to the policymakers of the country, only the cities matter.
Vast swathes of agricultural land and forests are grabbed from people in order to establish industries that loot and pollute, and give no benefit to the locals.
There is a definite spiritual war on in India. The belligerents are, on the one hand, cities that have sold their souls to capitalism and selfishness, and on the other, villages that continue to exist in a time warp, but which are a stronghold of all that truly matters to human life and happiness.