As I was riding pillion, Anup kept telling me how mobile phones, especially smartphones, have changed the lives of rural folks. “TVs and cell phones have brought about a bewildering array of changes in values and aspirations of the villagers,” he said.
I was reminded of Tagore’s speech titled Robbery of the soil, which he had delivered at Calcutta University in 1922. “Villages are nearer to nature than towns and therefore in closer touch with the fountain of life. They have the atmosphere which possesses a natural power of healing. It is the function of the village to provide people with their elemental needs, with food and joy, with the simple poetry of life and with those ceremonies of beauty which the village spontaneously produces and in which she finds delight.”