Whenever someone tries to say that India should reform its economy and move towards open market, many, and mind you ‘many’ people start to question it on the basis that it will not be good for the 70% of rural population. Let us discuss the possible solution to this potential problem. How can we effectively improve the condition of rural India and take them with the progressing economy?
We cannot let our villages remain untouched from this new revolution. Though whole urban India (whether small towns or big cities) is ready to go with pace, rural India is still maintaining its neharuvian rate of growth (3-4%). Our government will not be able to provide the subsidies to agricultural sector anymore, people should understand this. It is a large drag on economy. I agree that agriculture is our weak link right now, so we have to find the solution. Hiding the problem (protecting the agriculture from global competition) can be a temporary solution, but not the permanent one.
Permanent solution is to move Indian rural population to the cities en mass. Let me present some reasons, why it is an almost only solution.
- Releasing the pressure on agricultural land: The main problem of our villages is the over population. There are 10 people working on same land where 2 are more than sufficient. I have seen this situation in my own village also, which is in western UP. People are working in fields just to get the basic necessities. They are not trying hard, because there is no more land. Other option is leaving the village. Leaving the village brings the uncertainty to life, so a difficult option without a good education. This is a very dangerous problem, because in statistics it shows the unemployment rate very low compare to the factual one. Due to increasing population fields are getting small. In some areas they are so small that it is not even profitable to do agriculture there anymore. If we can move at least 40% population out of current 70% population from villages, agriculture will not be a suicidal business anymore. Those who will remain in village, have a much better life than now. It will not affect the overall production as there will be no pseudo-employment anymore, but will increase the productivity by around 100%.
- Employing new urban entrants in new centers of service sector: This new urban population should be utilized to improve the already good service sector. In this sector there are always new opportunities, as this sector does not follow the Malthus’s law and it is better to have high level of population for service sector. Cheap labor and new coming investment can work wonder for our economy. These new temples of India should be located in BIMARU (Bihar, MP, Rajsthan, UP, Odisha) states, so that we can remove the economic unbalance among states and to some extent can control the problem of Bihari labors being harassed in some states.
- Possible to provide good governance: It is easier for government to provide the infrastructure and services in urban India compare to rural India. Education, health facilities, power, water are easier to be managed and less costly to provide in cities than villages. “It is still easier to live in slums than in remote areas” – though it is a hard statement, but I am afraid it is true. Also with less population in villages, it will be easier in villages itself.
So dear friends, it is no more “Mera gaon, mera desh”. Let us think what is good in a long term. It is going to happen anyway in some next decades to follow. But we will be in great advantageous position, if we can accelerate this process.