Other day I was watching NDTV, India’s premier English news channel and my most favourite one, when I came across this news that left me speechless.
The news was about a wall constructed in the Dare village in the Satara district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra. So what is so special about the wall? Well, it was constructed by the upper caste villagers to restrict the Dalits or lower caste villagers from accessing the community hall. The news showed how tremendously the village Dalits were upset with the matter, strongly demanding the removal of the wall.
We Indians try to gauge the country’s development by looking only at the metro cities (and sometimes at not-so-small-towns). But we hardly take interest in the dismal development rates in rural India, with several villages still deprived of basic facilities like electricity and drinking water. And what is worse is that many of these villages have not even had “social developments”, with age-old taboos, prejudices and biases still enjoying a deep-rooted existence. The government may need some time to achieve adequate physical and economical developments of the Indian villages. But how long does it need to achieve a concrete social development for the rural society, by getting the latter rid of all those nonsensical age-old practices?