Bullock Cart Essay Format

A bullock cart or ox cart is a two-wheeled or four-wheeled vehicle pulled by oxen (draught cattle). It is a means of transportation used since ancient times in many parts of the world. They are still used today where modern vehicles are too expensive or the infrastructure does not favor them.

CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links

Quotes[edit]

Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F[edit]

  • Now 90 per cent of our ploughing is done by bullock-drawn ploughs. Hence it is quite impossible to switch over from bullocks to tractors. Even today there are about two crores of bullock ploughs and one and a half crores of bullock carts.
  • In the Indus Valley culture slow moving bullock carts were also common because many models of such a cart have been found. It is significant to note that there is very little difference between the bullock cart of today and that of the Indus Valley culture. Even today the same kind of bullock cart plies in Sindh as 4000 years back.
  • ...he [Gandhi] opposed a scheme for developing rubber-|tyres to be fitted on bullock-carts, arguing, somewhat implausibly, that this would not make things easier for the villagers but on the contrary would increase their requirements, make them dependent on others and provide yet another means od exploitation.
  • Along with the masses of labourers flocking to Agra once news of its [Taj Mahal] inception spread, materials for the construction had also begun arriving; red sand stone from local quarries in Fatehpur Sikri and marble dug from the hills of far-off Marana in Rajasthan. In order to transport the marble, a ten-mile long ramp of tampered earth was built through Agra on which an unending parade of thousand elephants and bullock carts continually dragged the blocks of marble to the building site.

G - L[edit]

  • Feroze Gandhi also laid stress on the encouragement to be given to the bullock carts for transportation of goods. He said that, even in the atomic age, bullock carts are useful as a means of transport. There were more than one crore bullock carts and they carried more than the railways did. … bullock cart covered 17.5 miles in 15 hours.
  • The present distress is undoubtedly insufferable. Pauperism must go. But industrialization is no remedy. The evil does not lie in the use of bullock-carts. It lies in our selfishness and want of consideration for our neighbours. If we have no love for neighbours, no change, however revolutionary, can do us any good.
  • The carts were piled with bales of textiles, bags of rice and spices, big round cakes of brown sugar, exotic lands like Persia, Arabia and Egypt, then move boxes of precious stones for jewelry, packets of incense, metal, wood ware and pottery. Once the carts reached the seaside, the goods would be loaded on ships that would sail to exotic places like Persia, Arabia and Egypt and then move over land across the deserts of North Africa to arrive in the markets of Rome.
  • They are medieval because of Gandhi's insistence on the bullock-cart economy, undermining the importance of scientific and technological development. Such remarks are uncharitable not only to Gandhi but to India and her cultural heritage. Gandhi was a practical idealist. He knew the needs of the country and also the resources it had. In fact India does not need the type of mechanical industries and large scale industries which lead to a World War II. Gandhiji’s bullock-cart economy is more conducive to human welfare than the modern atom bomb economy.
  • The next scene, one of the funniest in the play, depicts Jaka Karewet's ride to town in a bullock cart, along with a group of other passengers. The cart is depicted by a wooden bench, on which the driver, whip in hand, sits astride at one end, while passengers sit sideways behind him in a row.
  • Before the Second World War the number of bullock carts in our country [India] was roughly estimated at about 9 million. After Independence [1947] a small percentage of this number was shared by Pakistan. Still the number of bullock carts is fairly large, because as a result of an improvement in their economic condition even those who formerly did not possess bullock carts come to have their own.
  • Animal drawn carts, especially bullock carts, are the oldest mode of transportation, existing in India and in few other countries since the past unknown. About 15 million bullock carts exist in India. Statistic shows that number of bullock carts has not reduced in last 30 years, belying the popular concept that bullock carts will disappear with the development of society. Reasons are many. The fact is that still in India, bullock carts are the most important mode of transportation in many parts of rural India. Unfortunately, the technology of the carts has not been improved. The conventional bullock carts are made of wooden wheels and bamboo/wooden load carrier (known as platform). More than 80% bullock carts are of conventional type. Only a few number of carts has been partially converted to metallic (which can not be termed as ‘improved’). As this mode of transportation will exist in India, there is need for the improvement of the technology.
  • Kim marked down a gaily ornamented ruth or family bullock cart, with a broidered canopy of two domes, like a double humped camel, which had just been drawn into the par. Eight men made its retinue and two of eight were armed with rusty sabres, sure signs they followed a person of distinction, for the common folk do not bear arms.

M - R[edit]

  • The town of Sarchi in the central plateau is known for its highly decorated bullock carts (carretas), … These carts]] are uniquely Costa Ricanhandicrafts and can be exquisitely detailed and brightly colored. Believe it or not, in the olden days such fancy carts were used by everyday farmers, who still take pride in their beautiful carts. The genuine antique carts from the town of Sarchi are treasured and can be quite expensive.
  • The poor are almost fashionable. And this idea of Intermediate technology has become an aspect of that fashion. The cult in India centres on bullock cart Intermediate technology. The bullock cart is not to be eliminated; after three thousand or more of backward years Intermediate technology will now improve the bullock cart. ‘Do you know’ someone said to me in Delhi that investment in bullock carts is equivalent to that in the Railways.... Under the Intermediate technology improvements such as Metal axles, bearings, rubbertyres? But wouldn't that make the carts even more expensive? Wouldn't it take generations, and a lot of money, to introduce those improvements.
  • For long, animal activists have been fighting to stop bullock cart races which often leave the animals in pain and distress. The apex court also set aside the judgment of the Madurai High Court of 9 March 2007 and upheld the 12 March 12012, judgment of the Bombay High Court banning bullock cart races.
    • Aditi Pai in: "Animal lovers hail Supreme Court's ruling to ban bullock cart race"

S - Z[edit]

  • Man leads these leafless branches
    On a bullock cart
    Like relatives arranging
    Logs on a corpse
    Man removes the bullock’s harness
    And places some green grass before it
    The bullock cannot form an idea
    Of the load while pulling the cart
    Its veins get strained and stretched
    And it stops to stare
    At people
    Carrying axes
    On their shoulders.
  • In Malay, is a road in Chinatown which draws its name from the bullock and ox carts that used to ply this road carrying water for the early inhabitants of Singapore.
  • Bullock-carts piled high with pitiful chattels, cattle being driven alongside. Women with babies in their arms and wretched little tin trunks on their heads. Twenty thousand men, women and children [Refugees during the India's partition] trekking into the promised land - not because it is the promised land.
  • As I told you, Ganapathi, I know a great deal about a great deal. Like India herself, I am at home in hovels and palaces, Ganapathi, I trundle in bullock-carts and propel myself into space. I read the vedas and quote the laws of cricket.
  • The tradition of painting and decoratingoxcarts started in the early twentieth century. Originally, each region of Rica had its own particular design, enabling the identification of the driver’s origin by the painted patterns on the wheels.
    • Unesco in: "Oxherding and oxcart traditions in Costa Rica"
  • Each oxcart is designed to make its own ’song’, a unique chime produced by a metal ring striking the hubnut of the wheel as the cart bumped along. Once the oxcart had become a source of individual pride, greater care was taken in their construction, and the highest-qualitywoods were selected to make the best sounds.
    • Unesco in: "Oxherding and oxcart traditions in Costa Rica"
  • The Little Lady Of The Bullock Cart:
    Now is the time when India is gay
    With wedding parties; and the radiant throngs
    Seem like a scattered rainbow taking part
    In human pleasures. Dressed in bright array,
    They fling upon the bride their wreaths of songs-
    The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.
    Here is the temple ready for the rite:
    The large-eyed bullocks halt; and waiting arms
    Lift down the bride. All India's curious art
    Speaks in the gems with which she is bedight,
    Ad in the robes which hide her sweet alarms-
    The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.
    This is her day of days: her splendid hour
    When joy is hers, though love is all unknown.
    It has not dawned upon her childish heart.
    But human triumph, in a temporal power,
    Has crowned her queen upon a one-day throne-
    The Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.
    Ah, Little Lady! What will be your fate?
    So long, so long, the outward-reaching years:
    So brief the joy of this elusive part;
    So frail the shoulders for the loads that wait:
    So bitter salt the virginwidow's tears-
    O Little Lady of the Bullock Cart.

External links[edit]

Now 90 per cent of our ploughing is done by bullock-drawn ploughs. Hence it is quite impossible to switch over from bullocks to tractors. Even today there are about two crores of bullock ploughs and one and a half crores of bullock carts. - K. S. Bharathi
In the Indus Valley culture slow moving bullock carts were also common because many models of such a cart have been found....
A long row of bullock carts was making its way lazily along a broad road between villages, fields and forests. This was a caravan of traders taking goods from Pataliputra to the seaports on the west coast, and they were traveling on the famous highway called Dakshinapatha, the southern road... -Subhadra Sen Gupta
Animal drawn carts, especially bullock carts, are the oldest mode of transportation, existing in India and in few other countries since the past unknown. About 15 million bullock carts exist in India. Statistic shows that number of bullock carts has not reduced in last 30 years, belying the popular concept that bullock carts will disappear with the development of society...
For long, animal activists have been fighting to stop bullock cart races which often leave the animals in pain and distress. The apex court also set aside the judgment of the Madurai High Court of 9 March 2007 and upheld the 12 March 12012, judgment of the Bombay High Court banning bullock cart races.
India had launched [in 1977] a project to redesign and modernise its bullock cart, the country's chief transport system after the railways. In response to a call from India's Prime Minister, scientists in at least four national institutes worked on improving the cart whose design had hardly changed since the Mohanjadaro Civilization (3000-2000BC).
Bullock carts, one of the earliest and most popular modes of transport in the 19th and early 20th century Singapore. They were used for a variety of purposes, such as travelling and transportation of goods. They were phased out slowly with rising levels of traffic and the advent of mechanised transport from 1867 onwards.
The tradition of painting and decoratingoxcarts started in the early twentieth century. Originally, each region of Costa Rica had its own particular design, enabling the identification of the driver’s origin by the painted patterns on the wheels. - Unesco.
The Little Lady Of The Bullock Cart:
Now is the time when India is gay
With wedding parties; and the radiant throngs
Seem like a scattered rainbow taking part
In human pleasures....

THE DILIP KUMAR and Vyjayanthimala starrer Naya Daur (1957) was one of the earliest films in Independent India to delve into the perils of industrialisation. The theme was simple if intensely emotional: an unequal fight for the survival of horse-carts against newly introduced buses as a means of transport. Like a good Indian film, the horse-cart wins, even if only for a speck in time.

Ideologically, horse-carts have had an upper hand in India ever since, if not earlier, and even 60 years later, something similar is being waged. This time, however, the fight is between a Japanese bullet train and the derelict wagons on rails that most Indians ride. Much has been made of how elitism of this kind has the potential to destroy the Indian Railways, serving and retired officials of which have railed against the new train that will run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

There is a pattern to the arguments that have been made against the bullet train. They started with the project’s financing and ended at it being an elitist and inegalitarian concept. Consider the cost first. Of the total bill of Rs 1.1 lakh crore, Rs 88,000 crore will come from Japan in the form of a 50-year loan at an annual rate of 0.1 per cent interest. There will also be a 15-year moratorium on repayment. This has led to claims that the overall cost of the loan, and hence the project, may be substantially higher than the estimated Rs 1.1 lakh crore.

At this point, the case against the bullet train tends to switch tracks to the relative allocation of resources in the Indian economy. If the finally cost of the project is likely to be around Rs 1.5 lakh crore, aren’t there better uses for that money? For example, investing in India’s crumbling railway track infrastructure, instead of a ‘prestige project’. Then comes the issue of investing selectively in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad corridor: why invest there, why not in some underdeveloped part of the country like Bihar? Even if one leaves aside insinuations about the project being launched on the eve of state elections in Gujarat, the welter or arguments, claims and counterclaims is incoherent at best.

Consider the revival of dilapidated railway tracks and other worthwhile investments. The poor state of the network has been in the making for long. In the decade or so before the Narendra Modi Government was sworn in, investment in track infrastructure was next to nil. Reason? The Railways had no money for the purpose. The ‘earnings’ from passenger traffic were, to put it mildly, in the negative. The freight business, overcharged and burdened by cross-subsidies for passengers, could never keep pace with the changing needs of the Indian economy. There is no doubt that fixing the track system needs money, but there is little economic rationale in conflating the bullet train with that. If anything, raising passenger fares and de-politicising fare increases—by having a separate tariff authority— would be the first step to ensure regular railway safety.

Linked to this is the issue of locating the project in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The answer to the question ‘Why not Bihar?’ is simple: where can one find paying customers for a bullet train? They are likely to be found in thriving business centres and commercial zones of the country.

The decision by George Fernandes to produce an ‘Indian’ carbonated drink in the 70s came to nothing beyond a disruption of consumer choice. Today, everyone drinks coke and pepsi with gusto

If one leaves aside all concerns about the project—some of which may be genuine—the opposition to it is ideological. The fear of the usual classes that bear a red flag—literally—is this: once a better and faster mode of transportation is found, paying consumers will ‘exit’ the old trains for the bullet version, leaving the poor to chug along on rusty rails. The silent hope is that if passengers with money remain stuck with them on delayed trains, then their ‘voice’—yelling for better services—would have a far better chance to improve the Railways. It is a dreary claim that has been made by Leftists in sectors as diverse as education, transport, consumer goods and more. Only bullock carts are immune to it.

The bullet train is the latest in a series of ideas, projects and goods that have been resisted at some point or the other since the 1960s in the name of the poor and social progress, but in reality due to purely political reasons that hinge on ideology. Often, the opposition is couched in emotional terms.

Perhaps the best example of this was the fate that befell Coca- Cola in 1977. That was a heady year. Indira Gandhi had lifted the Emergency a while earlier. She also lost that year’s General Election. In came a motley group of socialists, Gandhians, and for the first time, conservative politicians. At that time, The Coca-Cola Company had 22 bottling plants in India, but the market—a word rarely used for the country back then—accounted for just 1 per cent of its global sales.

Within months of coming to power, the Janata Party Government’s Industries Minister, an old firebrand socialist called George Fernandes asked Coke and IBM, the two most visible Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in India, to dilute their holdings in their Indian ventures or leave. In effect, the choice given to these companies was to either part with their proprietary technology—in Coca-Cola’s case, the secret formula for its main carbonated drink—or close down domestic operations. The minister used a law that had been minted four years earlier, the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, to issue this diktat. Ironically, this was a law passed by Indira Gandhi’s government at the high tide of socialism in India.

What was offered to Indians after the cola giant left the country was a new drink that went by the celebratory name, Double Seven. If the political symbolism in the drink was powerful— the 77 signifying the Congress party’s rout—the fizz was missing altogether. Manufactured by Modern Foods, a government- run company that manufactured bread and other items, the formula for the drink, provided by a government lab, was no match for the original cola. Few consumers took to it, and when Gandhi came back to power in 1980, the new Government predictably lost interest in the project.

Coca-Cola and colour TV had a middle-class aspirational air about them, an attribute that made it easy to launch high-decibel campaigns against them

Old-timers recall the Pure Drinks factory, tucked away in a lane near what was then Connaught Place, which used to bottle Coca-Cola. Once the MNC left, the factory began producing a local variety called Campa Cola that lasted a while. But the plant’s bottling operations never got back the buzz of earlier times. The company still exists, but after the liberalisation of 1991, the cola turf turned out to be uneven. Today, Coke is back and Pepsi is around as well. Consumers have taken to the drinks with gusto and the present generation of Indians does not remember the ideological fervour generated in the 70s to produce an ‘Indian’ carbonated drink. In the end, nothing came of it beyond a disruption of consumer choice and the businesses of bottlers.

A BOTTLE OF COKE was not the only item subject to ideological assault. Some years after the soft drink got the boot and Double Seven crashed, the same act was repeated with colour TV. The year was 1982, in the latter part of which Delhi was to host the IX Asian Games. Making a success of the sports spectacle was supposed to mark India’s coming of age. No expense was spared. The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Vasant Sathe declared that “nature is in colour”. It was his slogan to rescue Indian TV broadcasts, a Doordarshan monopoly then, from the black-and-white era. He managed to convince the Cabinet to go for the switch. Pakistan TV had gone colour five years earlier without the bruising debate seen in India.

What happened next was eerily similar to the controversy swirling around the bullet train these days. It had virtually the same ingredients: insinuations about the leader pushing for it and the ‘economic’ impact of the change. Like Modi, Sathe’s project was declared ‘political’. Then, as now, the gossip mill in Delhi hinted at the minister’s ambition to become President of the country, and the colour TV project as his chosen vehicle for the ascent.

The economic case against colour TV depended on a complex interpretation of income forgone by the Government due to losses in the collection of custom duties. In the months preceding the Asiad, the Centre had relaxed import rules for bringing colour TV sets into India from abroad. At that time, much was made of the fact that one could import the good stuff by paying ‘only 145 per cent duty’. Then there was the issue of protecting domestic public sector units manufacturing black-and-white sets. Bharat Electronics Ltd, for example, had just invested in a new plant near Mumbai to make key components for locally produced sets. The Electronics Commission—a body that sketched policy—fought Sathe’s proposal tooth and nail. Comparisons were made between the cost of the two kinds of TV sets in India and other countries. The conclusion was simple: CTVs would cost much more to produce in India and thus divert scarce resources that were much needed elsewhere. India did eventually go colour and the debate died down. The positive spin-offs of that decision are far too obvious now to call for a serious evaluation of its wisdom.

Coca-Cola and colour TV had too much of a middle-class aspirational air about them, an attribute that made it easy for opponents to launch high-decibel campaigns against them. There were other diffuse cases of development that attracted criticism even if their contribution to the well-being of Indians was clear and far-reaching.

By the time Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1984, the inefficiency of the public sector required no debate. Outdated production techniques and processes continued behind protectionist walls. The latter were too high even for Gandhi, with a 410- seat dominance of the Lok Sabha, to dismantle. What was needed was change wrought by the use of new technologies. The Prime Minister thought computerisation was the way forward. That very year, the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) was set up to create new communication technologies that could link all corners of India. Next year, the National Centre for Software Technology (NCST) was established, and in 1988, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) came into being. The C-DAC was part of an effort to build an Indian supercomputer after a technology-denial regime had barred India from buying one from the West.

Even as these plans were being laid out, there were voices within Gandhi’s Cabinet, led by Kamlapati Tripathi— considered the party’s old-guard—that arose in opposition to the ‘computer boys’. The reason cited? That India needed food for its poor and not some fancy toys that seemed to have no immediate use, except that they had caught the Prime Minister’s fancy.

This was a tad ironic. Less than 20 years earlier, India had adopted a package of modern technology—improved seeds, fertilisers and irrigation facilities— to end the dire food shortages that few remember today. The country was surviving almost from shipment to shipment on food supplies from the US. The historical controversy about the Washington forcing India to adopt modern agricultural technology persists even today. There were, as always, economic arguments against change. The cost of plants to manufacture fertilisers—which were too expensive to be imported—was considered prohibitive. C Subramanian, the minister tasked with implementing the programme, had a fight on his hands in the Council of Ministers. Until then, there was no agricultural strategy in the country, even though the majority of its population depended on farming. Community Development Programmes that went under the fancy title of ‘institutional strategy’ were expected to sort out the problem of enhancing agricultural production without relying on any modern inputs. It was the Left that opposed even the mild measures that ultimately benefited a part of its own political constituency. Change only came once it was clear there was no other option to save the country from hunger and misery.

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