112. Reading Skills Comprehension: Rural Development

Rural Development

Read the following passage carefully.                                       

Motivations for ruralism in underdeveloped countries are understandably different from those in developed countries. There, it is a sheer physical necessity for the very act of man’s survival. In the third world countries, which are predominantly rural, the only lever that can lift human life above its present sub-human level, is rural development. Rural life in such countries has been stagnating for centuries on end. Nothing worthwhile has been done to ameliorate the condition of the rural population which is only slightly different from that of their quadruped counterparts. Ignorance, ill health and poverty have become synonymous with rural life in the undeveloped and under-developed countries. But the worst tragedy is that the concerned human populations have taken this state of affairs for granted, as something unalterable, something for which there is no remedy. Every ray of hope has gone out of their lives. In such countries, Rural Development is the inevitable condition of any material or non-material advancement. As such, enlightened sections of all such countries have been taking an ever-growing interest in the question of Rural Development. This was also part of the legacy of their freedom struggle. In countries like India, it is well-known that attempts at Rural Development were an inseparable part of the Independence Movement. Leaders like Gandhiji realised quite well that Real India lived in her stagnating villages. Cities, which were mostly the products of Western colonialism, were just artificial showpieces. Even there, there were two worlds. The posh areas, where the affluent few, mostly the products and custodians of imperial interest lived, were little islands engulfed by the vast ocean of dirt, represented by the vast majority of people.

Cities were by no means unknown to India, but in ancient India, they were integral parts, organically related to the rest of the country and society. But modem cities arc exotic centres of commercial and industrial exploitation. Cities in ancient India were the flowers of cultural and artistic excellence of the nation, modern cities are just parasites, preying on and debilitating the country.

Questions :

On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions briefly.

1. What is the urgent need of the hour in villages?

2. What is the greatest impediment to progress in villages?

3. What do you understand by third world countries?

4. What was an important pan of India’s Freedom Movement?

5. What differentiates the ancient Indian cities from the modem ones?

6. What are the modem cities like?

7. What is referred to as `artificial showpieces’?

8. Describe the two worlds.


1.Rural Development

2. Pessimism of villages

3. Where the standard of living is pathetic

4. The country comprised mainly of stagnating villages-hence immediate development required Rural Development.

5. The posh localities

6. Just like parasites, praying and debilitating the country. Just the opposite of ancient cities

7. Cities that were the product of Western colonialism

8. (a) Posh areas where the affluent lived

(b) Vast majority lived in the vast ocean of diet

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