Power Shift Between Rural and Urban Areas in India

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Power Shift Between Rural and Urban Areas in India

Historical trajectory – Power shift between rural and urban power (study till LPG Phase)

1. British India – Concept of Panchayati Raj – strategy to contain revolt

2. Independent India (Consult Ashutosh Varshney Introduction chapter on How in independent India rural power was more pronounced ….pp 15-20)

a. Democracy from Birth

b. Democracy preceding industrialization

c. Universal Adult Franchise – 70% resident of rural India – Change of Govt after 5 years etc.

3. The motive of independent India govt can be ascertained from tryst with destiny speech of Nehru whereby a note to rural strengthening was deemed important

Q. But why was rural space despite the favorable feature (as mentioned above) in independent India was in a crux that special rural governance programme to strengthen it were devised :

The present the result of past – Undemocratic British India , small scale economy was shattered , market driven agriculture , psychological and political damage

One school of thought – Thus, the govt under Nehru knowing the real facet of rural space and subsequent need to strengthen it devised ways like Community Development Programme. Also the intial five year plan was tilted towards rural economy. The intention of the govt + the favourable circumstances of new India lead to hike in rural power .

Second School of thought – However, strong case has also been made that how in subsequent years after independence the rural power base shifted towards urban power. Reasons :

a. Divided peasantry across many cleavages like caste, class (consult ashutosh varshney pp18) — thus lack of political will to take rural issues seriously —- Next five year plan budget was also heavily dictated by basic industrialization – Rural development programme too failed