India is a country of villages; more than 72% percentage of the population belongs to rural India. It is also true that if you want to know the real India, you have to know its villages. However, the question is, do we see the reality of our villages?
There are several movies, TV serials and songs which portray villages as ideal places where all the people love and care for each other; and why just movies, even poets, have a crush on villages. They have spent a significant amount of time describing the beauty of villages and the natural sights. It is a place where the poet feels true peace of mind.
He remembers all those moments when people of a village gave him respect. The respect that he gets in villages is enough to motivate him to abuse the city and praise villages. So, the result of these things is that whenever we think about a village, a very idealised picture comes to our minds. And, by various means, we have been told that “the soul” of India resides in a village.
If the soul of India resides in villages, then a realist would say that this soul is paralysed, unhealthy, cruel, unpleasant and disgusting. The social structure of villages is based on injustice, inequality, cruelty, suppuration, and exploitation. A village is a place where all kinds of social evils function in the truest sense.
Caste is the most eminent form of social segregation where it functions in a pure Brahmanical way. Patriarchy controls women by using violence. Exploiting and raping a Dalit woman is a symbol of power and masculinity. A village is a place where the law does not function, or in other words, it is a lawless land. A majority of harassment cases remain unregistered.
There is no place for love in a village. Falling in love with somebody means inviting death. It is not only so in the case of inter-caste marriages, but within castes as well. The simple reason is that freedom and choices don’t exist in villages.
We must come out from this false notion of innocent villagers. No, they are not honest; they are cruel and full of arrogance. Yet, people idealise villages. But the truth is that there is no such thing as an ‘Adarsh Gram‘ (Ideal village), just like there is no “smart city” in India. But, you will find a lot of people who are never tired of praising villages.
I divide those people who are fond of villages into two categories; first, people who idealise villages but have not lived there for long. Their familiarity with villages is only as tourists where they see green crops and flowing rivers, but they are unable to recognise the dry side. They do not understand what happens to those women engaged in the plantation of those crops. Second, those people who praise villages are the dominant upper-caste men who have always been a part of the exploiter regime.
As the economy is growing, even the roads, bridges and other infrastructure is becoming better in villages. Nevertheless, it remains a terrifying place to live for most of society. I know that I have been very harsh to villages in this article. It is so because I hail from a village and I wish to see it in a better condition.