DEBATE : Can Malls Replace Local Weekly Markets?

We want the readers to participate in the debate. Kindly send your responses soon. We will publish the best entries, and send them a set of our publications as a token of gratitude. Kindly send your reflection at

Not just a shopping destination but a hub of social interaction./Image Source: The Better India

Weekly markets are a regular feature in almost all Indian cities and towns and span around different days of the week from Monday to Sunday. From fruits, vegetables, utensils, clothes and cheap jewellery to rides for children and a host of eating joints- the weekly markets continue to be the centre of fun and frolic wherever they are located. Not only are the products priced cheaply but tendencies such as that of bargaining is a characteristic feature of these markets.
Vendors from near and far come with their respective goodies to sell at the market whereas customers come with huge bags to take along a host of different commodities. What is interesting to note here is that even for someone who does not wish to necessarily shop there still holds an attraction about the market based on its sheer mood of festivity and vibrancy.
It is further interesting to note that while malls have emerged in an unprecedented scale over the last decade and the culture of retail outlets where all kind of products from food items to clothes and gadgets are all scold under a single roof, weekly markets as a phenomenon have not certainly disappeared. While it can be argued that many of the urban elite or the middle classes feel comfortable today at the convenience and hygiene of the mall where without much effort they can purchase all necessary items and this has indeed made many local vendors suffer because of the lack of sufficient demand.
However, what we must note is that although cleaner and apparently far more convenient malls lack the organic vibrancy and the down to earth flavour that one can continue to find in these weekly markets. The weekly markets are the centre of festive fervour, a dynamic vibrancy and the feeling of community existence.  While we are not here trying to determine which provides us a better shopping experience or which one among the two should continue to live on what we are here wanting to take your attention towards is the fact that no matter how many transnational corporations, retail chains or high-end malls come up the place that these weekly markets enjoy not just in the physicality of the town/city but also in the public consciousness will perhaps continue to remain unchallenged and undiminished. It is in this context that we invite you to ask the question that what makes weekly markets attract crowds even at a time where malls are the overwhelming shopping destinations.  Can the neo-liberal forces altogether diminish a phenomenon such as the weekly market which is so central to the Indian consciousness?

We want the readers to participate in the debate. Kindly send your responses soon. We will publish the best entries, and send them a set of our publications as a token of gratitude. Kindly send your reflection at

The New Leam has no external source of funding. For retaining its uniqueness, its high quality, its distinctive philosophy we wish to reduce the degree of dependence on corporate funding.  We believe that if individuals like you come forward and SUPPORT THIS ENDEAVOR  can  make the magazine self-reliant in a very innovative way.

To retain our initiative towards free spirited and independent journalism we require your support |Pay Now

Now that you are here...
From bottled water to oxygen cans, not even the basics are free in a market-driven world. Why then, do we take free and independent journalism for granted? We find ourselves at a time when more people like you, are reading and coming out in support of The New Leam’s independent, in-depth and throughly issue based journalism than ever before. From grassroot stories and field-reports, to in-depth analysis of the pertinent political issues of our times, to news on gender, culture and educational issues- The New Leam has been dedicated to bringing out stories that speak out the soul of India and take you beyond the propaganda-filled corridors of mainstream journalism in India. We have made an important choice of keeping our journalism free of vested political interests, commercial funding and influence of partisan stakeholders, so that we can bring forward news and stories based on facts and provide a platform where readers can find information with integrity and a journalism premised on honesty. 

Your support to The New Leam is your contribution towards giving a voice to the voiceless, going to the depths of issues that others shy away from and rigorously illuminating the flame of criticality and courage in dark times. We hope that you will come forward to support The New Leam today so that we can keep delivering quality-independent journalism to you and inform public opinion in the right direction. No matter how big or small your contribution may be, it is tremendously important. It takes only a moment, Support The New Leam now!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *