Saturday, 11 October 2014

In village after village ... in every country,

The same story in our village …
Writing about Urban America in the early 60’s, Paul Goodman wrote, “We can hardly expect a youth to have a sense of responsibility to his community when every force in modern urban life tends to destroy community sentiment and community functioning”.

Disputes which can easily be settled in the village community by the elders are no longer resolved that way. Disputes travel to the Police station and the Law courts.

Mechanisation means that bullocks are no longer a part of the family. Youngsters are not needed at home to graze them. So they are sent off to Boarding schools in the hope that they will “crack” the school lottery. But for every one who does, a hundred become misfits in their own culture, unwilling and unable to farm their land.

And Monetisation of the economy means that what were Gender Differences have become Gender Inequalities, for the young man of the house is the one who has the cash and calls the shots. It is he who will have the cell phone and ride the bike.

However you look at it, there has been an Urbanisation of the mind. And any solution to any problem is acceptable only if it is acceptable to this Urbanised Mindset.

In India … Oldies here talk about their youth when they used to walk down to Pappanaickenpatti, about 15 km away, with sacks of their cash crop (kaddukai) on their backs, and return with salt and matches, once in six months. Everything else was locally produced.
From this degree of self-sufficiency, the culture here has changed to one of cash-based mini-towns in the 40 years since the road from Salem was built. And it continues to change dramatically in front of our eyes. ... "

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