Peoples’ Archive of Rural India- Reality in our Midst

Peoples’ Archive of Rural India- Reality in our Midst

India is indeed a vast and complex country with hundreds of cultures, thousands of languages, and a complex social structure. It is a very visceral country but also one in which remarkable “blind spots” exist. Most of us are defined not so much by what we see as by what we do not.

 

Peoples’ Archive of Rural India- Reality in our Midst

India is indeed a vast and complex country with hundreds of cultures, thousands of languages, and a complex social structure. It is a very visceral country but also one in which remarkable “blind spots” exist. Most of us are defined not so much by what we see as by what we do not.

Thus, the importance of an ambitious project led by journalist and humanist P Sainath- The Peoples’ Archive of Rural India (PARI). PARI is a visual archive of what many refer to as “the real India,” the India of the scores of crores of people who live and toil in rural India (and who live in terrible conditions in urban India.) Those for whom statistics don’t tell stories are likely to learn a great deal by perusing the archive to see how their fellow citizens work, live, celebrate, learn, play, and die.

PARI is a real eye-opener. While most of us in the middle-class are aware of poverty, few of us truly understand its manifestations and its systemic antecedents. In that sense, we all have class-defined blind spots; thus, we can boast of the “Shining India” awash in fanciness, consumer goods, and festooned with the garments of extreme wealth.

And to explain why there are these oases in the middle of a desert of despair, we create our own mythology of the village and village life.

PARI illuminates these blind spots and forces us to deal with reality, not mythology. I’d recommend a close look.

By: Romi Mahajan

Marketing & Technology Expert

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