Urban Influence on the Country – Essay



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The newspapers carry the stories and editorial comments about politics, sports, prominent persons and a host of ideas about religious, civic, economic, artistic and other interests and events. As readers of these newspapers the country people share these interests.

Urbanism or the urban way of life, has affected the size and character of the rural family. The size of the family in the village is decreasing. Joint families are slowly disappearing. The family is losing its control over its members. The younger generation wants to enjoy more freedom like its counterpart in the city.

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The rural people have acquired some of the evil habits of the city people. Drunkenness, gambling, prostitution, smoking, crimes, etc. have made inroads into the village. Morality has fallen; costly fashions and expensive habits are acquired. Life in the country is slowly becoming more and more individualistic, materialistic, rationalistic and calculative.

The modern means of transport and communications are introduced in many villages. Cycles, scooters, motor cycles, taxis, are also found in many villages which are equipped with post and telegraph. Radios and transistors are commonly found in villages.

Some villages have even phone connections. Further, rural occupations and agricultural operations are slowly being mechanised. The blacksmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, coppersmiths, barbers, carpenters and others are now adopting modern tools in their work. The city as a market for rural products, and as a centre of trade and financial control over the rural regions, provides for the increasing dominance over the village.

The mode of rural recreation has changed due to the urban influence. Radios and gramophones and tape recorders have changed the tastes of rural people. Football, volleyball, cards, chess, and such other plays are becoming popular. The cricket is equally enthusiastic for the rural youth.

The city has radically altered the mode of living of the rural people. Food and dress habits, fads and fashions, of the ruralites have changed. The rural youth are slowly becoming career conscious. Education is becoming popular among them. The rural people take interest in political and cultural activities. They look to the city for guidance and imitation.

The ‘push’ (mostly economic pressures) factors and the ‘pull’ (the attractions of the city) factors have made the rural people to rush to the cities. This has resulted in urban concentration and rural depopulation in many places. The city has continued to absorb the people from the hinterland. The process will be faster, the more the city is linked with its hinterland.

It is true that the city continues to dominate the country. Even with respect to birth rate, death rate, age at marriage, infant mortality, divorce, suicide, church affiliation, etc., rural indices are moving nearer to urban indices. The dominance of the city over the country is regarded by some sociologists as a dangerous trend.

Oswals Spengler in his “Decline of the West” points out that “the city destroys the solidarity of the kin, the family, the ‘blood’, the nation and with its competitive stress fosters the disintegrating attitudes of individualism, socialism, rationalism and cosmopolitan­ism”.

However, sociologists like MacIver are of the opinion that there is no need to be pessimistic about the city as such. Man is gradually making the urban environment more suited to his needs. In spite of the widespread urbanisation, more than two-third of the population of the world is rural in character.

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