Monday, May 8, 2017

Why Gujarat's villages are quick on the 'development' front

One of the things I have noted when I travel around rural Gujarat is that many villages are made of people who belong to a single caste/community/clan, unlike in north India, where you find a mix of castes, with the outer rings comprising of the dalits and lower castes and the inner ones of high castes. If you want to push a development project in a single-caste village, you essentially have to convince the village chief and the rest of the clan will come out in support. When people marvel at the pace of Gujarat's 'development' and industrialisation, this factor is often missed. In mixed-caste communities, getting consensus from all factions is important and can be long and tedious even in the most syncretic settings.

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