During the present century, the suburban areas of India have remarkably developed with satellite townships. The scene of an Indian town is more or less the same as in any part of the country. In a small town, which may not be very far from a city, there is generally a municipality which looks after the welfare of the people-the sanitary system, health hazards, hospitals, roads and lanes, transport facilities, drinking water facility, electricity, education and what now?
I had an occasion to visit such a town last year. It is Ranahat about three hour’s journey by train from Sealdah station of the Eastern Railways. There are a few schools and also a college in Ranaghat. There are cinema houses, a market and branches of Indian banks. The roads are crowded with cycle-rickshaws, buses, scooters, motor cycles and cars. People, from far and near, come to the town for trade and other purposes. There are hotels and restaurants, and decorated shops selling clothes, garments, shoes, and other essential household goods. There are also shops of electronic goods and cassettes, both musical and video type.
Ranaghat is not a new township. It developed stage by stage during the British rule, because of the surrounding industrial areas. Every day large number mill-workers either pass through or live in the adjoining areas of the town.
The population of the town is not negligible. The people are peaceful and active. There is an attractive football ground where tournaments a held every year.
Like Ranaghat, there are thousands of small and big towns in India, which look similar in character and appearance, and they are easily identifiable as ‘Indian towns’.