Saturday, May 13, 2006

Rural India-Which Way??

The whole talk of "India Shining" during the last 2004 elections in India has shed the myths of "Goody-goodyness". This was best reflected in ther conditions of the farmers in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. The acute crises, which forced them to take their lives, have left many questions unanswered. P. Sainath, in one of his talks in JNU had said that in comparison to the media comparing the Lakme India Fashion Week, which came to over 300, the people covering the rural agrarian crises were only 4, including himself!! Perhaps, the Gandhian dream of "India living in its Villages" is a far-drawn illusion!! The Rural India doesn't exist for these elitist media!!

My friend Atul talks of setting up a school, removed from all modern day conventions in some hinterland of the country, and wants each of us to spend some time there. Hope, he is succeessful in this endeavour. But then there is also this bit of feeling developing in me, of this "Return to the Roots" becoming just a fashion statement!! Isn't this a bit of "Utopian Concept" too. All this city-bred and elite educated class taking thingts out of the limits!! The best illustration for this would be the Naxalite movement in this country, where in its heydays, the students coming out of the universities and colleges in Hyderabad and moving into those rural and impoverished areas, in the hope of "ushering in the transition from Bourgeoise Capitalism and Feudal remnants to a path of Liberation!! but what has been the latter day results. They have donned the cloak of "Extortionists" and doing away with the "Class Enemies"-who in fact come from the highly deprieved sections and join the low-ranked posts in the Police forces, to win bread for their families!! Is this the "Rural Revolution" that is beckoning the people??

The Rural hinterlands of India are seeking a change, no doubt. But that cannot be through the barrel fo the gun!! As Sainath himself stated, it would do agreat good if the Media in this country could at least lend a helpful ear to their worries and distress. May be then pesticide could just be used for crops rather than be a 'passport to deaths'.....

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