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02 Dec


Urbanization refers to the movement of population from rural to urban areas and the resulting increasing proportion of a population that resides in urban rather than rural places. It is a social process. In demographic sense, it exhibits the proportion of the urban population to the total population of a society. In sociological sense, it also refers to a way of life typically associated with the city.
The beginning of urbanization in the Indian subcontinent go back to 2350 B.C. (about 4500 years ago) to the Indus Valley region. Even prior to this, there is ample archaeological evidence of Palaeolithic and Neolithic settlements in northern, central and southern India. In all these areas, the practice of agriculture and the domestication of animals were clearly in evidence.
Together with these developments we also have evidence of wheel-thrown pottery and painted ware of great artistic beauty and the variety and range of tools used by materials out of which they were made. Thus, stone implements gave way to copper and later to bronze implements. It is at this stage of cultural and technological development that the larger village settlements showed distinct urban attributes; thus ushering in an era of Urbanization.
With the coming of European colonial traders in India, the process of urbanization entered into a new phase. Cities grew up in the coastal areas as ports-cum-trading centres. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European trading posts were established initially for trading purposes. As the British power grew in the 19th century, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras became the political centres too, indeed, in this period with the introduction and development of advanced technological knowledge; we find the emergence of new economic and political institutions, new modes of communication telegraph, railways, advanced system of roads and waterways. such as of
The process of urbanization became smooth and widened the structure economic opportunity and widened the social horizons of people. urbanization grew in a modest
In the nineteenth century, though the process of way, the countryside suffered from the gradual process of the destruction of the cottageindustries and small industries in the rural areas. In this situation, the new economic opportunity structure pulled a significant section of population to the urban areas. Many of the artisans became unemployed. Hence, the displaced rural artisans and labourers were also pushed to urban areas for employment. The late nineteenth century, however, witnessed a large scale migration of the rural labour force, especially from Bihar and eastern United Provinces towards the jute mills of Calcutta and other industrial destinations.
To avail the new economic opportunities many people migrated either temporarily or permanently to the urban areas.
With the spread of education, the institutional arrangements of the urban centres also changed. The educated people joined the bureaucracy and also took up jobs as teachers, journalists, lawyers and so on. They brought about
a new worldview. The urban centres gradually grow up to be the centres of new social and political ideas, diverse economic activities and of heterogeneous populations. The new process of urbanization presented various economic opportunities and scope for occupational and social mobility; it was only the upper caste and class people who were able to make use of these opportunities.

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