The Rural Corporate
During the pandemic, one must have read many reports of how the rural economy would bounce back quicker than urban economies, or even that it is a beneficial period for businesses to move to rural regions for an array of cost-saving opportunities. However, I am a student of Social Sciences and thus have no inclination towards any particular practical aspects of life in general. So, the one thing I thought of during all this was to simply question the relevance of the ‘urban setting’. The pandemic grossly changed the way we lived and worked, and by grossly I must compel you to look at the grease stains on your keyboard from the pizza you were eating, not nearly as discreetly as you hoped, in front of your entire zoom office while on a work from home call. Look at yourself. This is you now. Anyway, since the internet has allowed most of humanity to realise that a wild majority of the work we do can be done from home, I wondered whether a similar majority of the corporate workforce could shift to a rural lifestyle.
Before you hit me with the ‘this is a very privileged argument that you are making here’, yes. Yes, I am. It is because the corporate world is one of the most unacceptably overworked groups of people on this planet, and they deserve to both work better and use their hard earned (and a lot of it) cash on good endeavours. While I could sell this as an opportunity for the corporate crowd to get out of their ‘wake up, open the computer, miss time itself pass by, have a binge drink and collapse’, and instead retire to a quite country life with amazing views, superb health and delicious food, I will not do that at all. In its place, my suggestion is to look at it from the dreaded and unanimously hated and rejected socialist logic (I want this to also be talked about on republic TV).
Once the gloriously paid corporate worker goes to the countryside, sets up their workstations, they will bring a market to the rural regions that did not exist before, and also bring new opportunities. The Urban folk will not only bring with them their money, but also their experiences, which will be invaluable in turning the countryside more affluent as well as worldly. There will be a massive diversification of jobs and even traditional rural businesses branching out to try new stuff, allowing them to economically evolve. Healthcare and other public services might improve upon the influence of the new money. This means, more acceptance of social norms that we as a country have apparently decided that the rural folk should not be bothered about. Rural India needs a revolution in how they think about things, and this influx of the educated and hopefully compassionate urban folk will perhaps enable an exchange of ideas that helps society move forward. What it also means is that the corporate will get a dose of being grounded, and make their own policies more involving of all social classes, because of my predicted saturation of the difference between classes in these special regions. The ultimate goal would be to uplift the society as a whole, not just see the urban population using the rural to do their bidding, and instead creating a new type of class division.
Accomplishing all this will be hard and impossible but I have deadlines to write this stuff, so figure that out on your own.
-Written by: Trayambak Chakravarty