Recently, I was listening to Onpoint Radio – one of my favorite radion shows in the US – (you can download and listen to the entire program) … this one had to do with Offshoring and Outsourcing. The discussion was centered around how Offshoring is affecting the future of jobs within the US.
One of the commentators brought up an interesting statistic – that during Thomas Jefferson’s time 85% of the entire US population indulged in agriculture as opposed to 2% now. If someone had told Thomas Jefferson that as the farmers lose their livelihood and move out of agriculture as industrialization comes on.. and US will still be able to feed its population and stay prosperous he would have laughed at that proposition! But THAT is a reality!
My mind turned to the similar question of Urbanization vs Rural Areas in India. The question is therefore – can we really or better still should we really stop the march of urbanisation that gulps up the rural areas? In our attempt to do so – are we NOT sustaining a lifestyle that curses the rural poor to stay away from the benefits that urban prosperity can bring?
One of the natural argument against urbanization is of course the negative effects of development.. and loss of culture .. the question then should be: is there a need to RE-EVALUATE the way urbanization is attempted in the first place? Even Mohenjo Daro Civilization had a better framework for city planning than New Delhi planners have today! Is it time to take stock of ourselves?
Either the rural farmer goes to the city or the city comes to the farmer. And the most likely and recurrent theme seems to load in favor of the latter. If that be so – then how are we making sure that the farmers can get a good option/alternatives for livelihooods and second, how does our productive yield and distribution increase to compensate for the loss of land. As the American and other societies’ example suggests – this is POSSIBLE to accomplish!