by Diditi Mitra
Driving through the vast areas of farmland with the return immigrants was a reminder that the village is very much alive in India. According to a report published in The Hindu on July 15, 2011, approximately 70 percent of India’s population lives in the rural areas. It is a decline by roughly two percent. Nonetheless, 70 percent is a significant proportion. Thus, any effort to obliterate the existence of the Indian villages is a denial of the lives and livelihood of many in the country. Above is a photograph of a person selling fruit and vegetables in the village of Beggowal, Punjab. One’s first impression of the photograph is of abundance. It looks picture postcard perfect. And, it is beautiful. At the same time, it is complex. This complexity unfolds as we continue with our journey through various parts of the state.