Friday, 24 April 2015

Farm road and changes

It had been almost four years after the farm road reached the village Chokorling - kulkata as marked in the map was its former name. There is no doubts that road brought about physical changes, apart from the environment changes by the road itself - the puncturing of natural water tables and changing the courses of rivulets and streams are blatantly evident.

The most saddening part is the changes in the attitudes of the people that the farm road and the other connectivity brought about.

In the past, my patrol team and I had been passing through and sometimes spending the night in the vicinity of the villages, those days people used to be too glad to see us coming and rendered all help even without being sought. Firewood, pots and pans, vegetables were provided free of cost expressing their gratitude for protecting the country's borders in general and their village in particular. Without road vegetable and fruits were like - you-eat-it-on-time-or-waste-it. The road had changed that mentality, people had become money minded. It's good for them as they could earn some cash by selling their farm produce.

They earned the money but they lost something that is more important than money which is priceless, abstract and intangible which made them look more beautiful, generous and humane - they lost that humane touch, they have been infected by the greed induced by economics and became no different than the people of any other place.

We arrived at the village and four years of farm road connectivity had changed them so much that the people almost scorn our arrival in their village. The loss of humility, generosity, innocence and kindness were so conspicuous by its absence. The kitchen gardens were fenced to protect from humans more than animals. Those subtle signs of take it if you want it exists no more.

We move self contained and needs no external help but seeing the indifference shown by the very people who treated us like god, when there was no farm road, is quite saddening.

Changes are inevitable but obvious changes like this brought along by development just moistens our eyes, in retrospect. Road not only brings environmental changes but also psychological changes and changes in the attitudes of the people, is what I felt. Whether it is good or bad only time would tell and the differences in changed attitudes of the people are noticed only by the people who have seen them in both the times - with and without roads.