A large chunk of India’s 1.5 billion people continue to live in rural areas. They lead simple & harmonious lives, leave minimal ecological footprint and essentially provides food security to all Indians. It is a massive feat, and it deserves an expression of gratitude.
However, India is at a critical juncture today. The influences of the west are causing a massive upheaval in India. Our push towards urbanization has been rather haphazard. We have built mega cities but they are mega only in the sense that millions inhabit them. Our urban standards are terrible. Our planning is non-existent and our ability to complete projects – especially public work – leaves much to be desired.
The march towards rapid urbanization is acceptable, even desirable but only so long as it is done with one eye on set on ecology. We continue to emphasize on economy and we continue to degrade and denigrate our ecology. It might seem as though we are firmly marching towards global domination, especially when obscure financial terms like GDP and FDI are brandished in our faces. The reality however is rather grim.
Our march towards urbanization and modernization can not come at the expense of our environment. Don’t get me wrong – it is imperative that we boost our economy to fulfill the aspirations of our burgeoning demographic. However, it is equally imperative that we figure out a way to marry economy and ecology.
The two must go hand in hand. Otherwise, we are heading for a disaster.