Section C – Social Changes in India
(iii) Industrialization and Urbanisation in India:
(a) Evolution of modern industry in India.
(b) Growth of urban settlements in India.
(c) Working class: structure, growth, class mobilization.
(d) Informal sector, child labour
(e) Slums and deprivation in urban areas.
Urbanization as a structural process of change is generally related to industrialization but it is not always the result of industrialization. Urbanization results due to the concentration of large-scale and small scale industrial and commercial, financial and administrative set up in the cities; technological development in transport and communication, cultural and recreational activities. Urbanization implies a cultural and social psychological process whereby people acquire the material and non-material culture, including behavioural patterns, forms of organization, and ideas that originated in, or are distinctive of the
URBANIZATION IN INDIA
India has long history of urbanization with spatial and temporal discontinuities. The first phase of urbanization in the Indus valley is associated with the Harappan civilization dating back to 2350BC. The two cities of Mohanjodaro and Harappa represent the climax of urban development attained in the Harappan culture. This great urban civilization came to end at about 1500 B.C, possibly as a result of Aryan invasion.
The second phase of urbanization in India began around 600 BC. The architects of this phase were the Aryans in the North and the Dravidians in the South. From this period onwards, for about 2500 years, India has had more or less continuous history of urbanization. This period saw the formation of early historical cities and also the growth of cities in number and in size especially during the Mauryan and post-Mauryan eras.
The Mughal period stands out as a second high watermark of urbanization in India (the first occurring during the Mauryan period), when many of India’s cities were established.
The early part of British rule saw a decline in the level of Indian urbanization. The main reasons for the decline of cities during this period are:
1. the lack of interest on the part of the British in the prosperity and economic development of India, and
2. the ushering in of the industrial revolution in England.
During the latter half of British rule, Indian cities regained some of their last importance; further, the British added several new towns and cities, in addition to generating newer urban forms in the existing cities. During the 150 years of British rule, India’s urban landscape went through a radical transformation. The major contributions of the British to the Indian urban scene were:
1. The creation of the three metropolitan port cities (Calcutta, Bombay and Madras) which emerged as the leading colonial cities of the world.
2. The creation of Hill stations (Simla, Darjeeling, Mahabaleshwar etc.) and plantation settlements in Assam, Kerala and elsewhere.
3. Introduction of the Civil Lines and the Cantonments. The Civil Lines contained the administrative offices and courts as well as residential areas for the officers, whereas the Cantonments were most often built near major towns for considerations of security.
4. The introduction of the railways and modern industry which led to the creation of new industrial townships such as Jamshedpur, Asansol, Dhanbad and so on, and
5. The improvements in urban amenities and urban administration.
URBANIZATION IN POST-INDEPENDENCE PERIOD
This period has witnessed rapid urbanization in India on a scale never before achieved. The major changes that have occurred in India’s urban scene after independence are:
1) the influx of refugees and their settlement, primarily in urban areas in northern India,
2) the building of new administrative cities, such as Chandigarh, Bhubaneshwar and Gandhinagar,
3) the construction of new industrial cities and townships near major cities,
4) the rapid growth of one-lakh and million cities
5) the stagnation and decline of small towns
6) the massive growth of slums and the rural-urban fringe and
7) the introduction of city planning and the general improvement in civic amenities.
EFFECTS OF URBANIZATION IN INDIA
Industrialization has resulted in an increase in urban population, which creates further pressure on urban land. As a result, there is a dearth of space and consequently, congestion and overcrowding occur.
The decrease in the costs of transport and communication and the promise of better living in the cities are attracting more and more people to the cities.
Homelessness is another disturbing feature of urban life. The housing problem in the city is very acute. Many people who are unable to pay high rents remain shelterless or squatter on public property. In some other cases, people live in crowded dilapidated apartments.
The continuous expansion of cities has intensified growth in the outer edges of the cities, where there is undeveloped and unoccupied land. This circumferential and radial growth has led to the growth of suburban areas. Suburbs are areas that were once villages and the cities in the spree of expansion have engulfed these villages.
Urbanization can lead to unemployment. People are drawn to urban areas in the false hope of a better standard of living, better healthcare and job opportunities. In fact, a high influx of people to the cities only exasperates the situation and people find themselves in a world where they are worse off.
Urbanization, rapid economic liberalization, growing mass political upheaval, violent conflict and inappropriate and inadequate policy are the basis of crime in urban areas.
As globalization process is speeding up, connecting the world n unprecedented ways, there is a suggestion that cities throughout the world will come to exhibit organizational forms increasingly similar to one another as technology becomes more accessible throughout the global system Some theorists suggests that increasingly divergent forms of urban organization are likely to emerge due to differences in the
timing and pace of the urbanization process, differences in the position of cities within the global system, and increasing effectiveness of deliberate planning of the urbanization process by centralized governments holding differing values and, therefore, pursuing a variety of goals for the future .