India is a land of cities, not villages

The difference matters for the lives of millions of its citizens

A roadside art fair in Bangalore. India is close to 50 per cent urban but considers itself a nation of villages, say the writers. They add that this seriously affects the country's growth prospects, leading to inefficiencies and loss of productivity
A roadside art fair in Bangalore. India is close to 50 per cent urban but considers itself a nation of villages, say the writers. They add that this seriously affects the country's growth prospects, leading to inefficiencies and loss of productivity in both rural and urban areas, and the resulting misallocation of resources.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

It's an election year in India, with the world's largest polls expected in the spring.

The focus of politicians is, as usual, on farmers and rural areas and competitive pandering to both - hardly surprising in a country that considers itself a nation of villages.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 14, 2019, with the headline 'India is a land of cities, not villages'. Print Edition | Subscribe