Skip to Content

521. Prosperity of Small Towns

A journal studied life in small towns of India and reported their new-found lifestyle. Bombay, Delhi, Madras and similar towns numbering twenty are classified as metros. Next in the list comes Belgaum, Mangalore, Trichy, Dehradun, etc. under the title of small towns. Below that is the description of rural towns. Fashions begin with Bombay and Delhi and slowly spread. Bombay is a glamorous city, said one who had lived there all his youth. Cities are the cradles of civilisation. All great lifestyles find their origin in great cities. India is getting the attention of the West in the last ten or fifteen years. Britain ruled the world having established an empire. USA rules the world by its economic power. Nixon saw the power of the market and sought it wherever it cropped up. It did not matter to him that China was a communist country. He saw her market potential. He flew there to tap it. Today China and USA are partners in business. No one can think of a war between China and USA. Trade accomplishes a conquest at which the military may fail.

Twenty-five years ago, India was not discussed by Western businessmen. Someone has said that this was so even up to fifteen years ago. Now the market potential of India has been recognised by the UK and USA. India is a place they seek for outsourcing their work. To them, India is a market. To me, India is prospering. The journal I quoted above says cell phones and consumer durables have invaded middle income families. In the sixties, I could not successfully persuade farmers of my village to accept bank loans. In the seventies when I used to speak to young men about starting an industry, I rarely found a response. Most of them never knew that a bank loan was available. I could not persuade the bank agents to come to my village to collect deposits.

The Mother's Service Society surveyed Thadagam, a census village, after the government had surveyed it thirty years earlier. We surveyed the village twice within a period of ten years. The village that had one cycle in the first survey recorded 68 cycles in the second survey. It was heartening to know that India was progressing. When I am told that today no day labourer will marry without a dowry of a two wheeler, I do not curse the evil of dowry, but feel elated about the change in people's income. This journal - Business Today - has done a cardinal service in surveying dozens of towns and has made readers understand how life is lived in these towns. Nehru was in despair when he visited some village after the two Plans were over. He found the villages in the same condition of poverty as before. He exclaimed, "Where have all the crores gone?" His heart would be elated to see the early signs of Indian Prosperity as reported here.

story | by Dr. Radut