Bharat, the ancient Hindi word for this land, is traditional India. Part myth, part place, it exists in the spirit of the fields and villages of rural India.
It is, Mahatma Gandhi once said, where the soul of the nation resides.
India is the modern, Western-influenced, nation state. It lives in the bright lights of the developing cities, underwritten in the "emerging superpower" appellation the country aspires to.
The conflict between these two places — which have co-existed uneasily for decades — has been thrown into stark relief by the recent Delhi gang-rape case, and the introspection forced upon India in the outrage that has followed it.
"Crimes against women happening in urban India are shameful. It is a dangerous trend. But such crimes won't happen in Bharat or the rural areas of the country. You go to villages and forests of the country and there will be no such incidents of gang rape or sex crimes. Where Bharat becomes India with the influence of Western culture, these type of incidents happen." So said Mohan Bhagwat, head of the Hindu nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
This is, for a start, entirely untrue. Rapes and sexual assaults do occur in rural India. They are, in fact, the majority of them.
Court data show 75 per cent of India's rape convictions were for a crime committed in a rural area, a figure that broadly reflects India's urban-rural divide. (The statistics were collated by Mrinal Satish, associate professor of law at Delhi's National Law University; India's National Crime Records Bureau does not break down offences by place size).
This state, Madhya Pradesh, is overwhelmingly rural, nearly three-quarters of its population lives outside a city. But every year for two decades it has led the country for the highest number of rapes. In 2011 (the most recent complete figures available) there were 3,406 reported cases of rape in Madhya Pradesh: nine women raped every day.
But Bhagwat's comments broadcast a belief widely held in India, particularly outside of its cities: that this country's problem with sexual violence is not endemic, but imported.
India's galloping urbanisation and the drift away from village life, the consolidation of farms and the breakdown of the caste system, the rise of mobile phones and women's education: all are held up as factors contributing to India's chronic sexual violence.
Bharat versus India, and at the juncture, sits India's next generation.
Preeti Jat is from Bharat, traditional India, but she is also of the new India. Confident, clever and ambitious, Preeti is 18, and set to ace her 12th class exams. She intends to begin college this year, studying engineering like her older brother.
From Bairagarh, she is aware of the Delhi gang-rape case.
"It is the same. These things happen here," she says in flawless English.
"Women are safe in their house, in their village, where everybody knows them. But they cannot leave to go somewhere, to go take a job, or for studies. Then there are problems."
In the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape, the capital's English-language media has insisted that all of India is in turmoil, reflecting on its very soul.
But here, the case has barely raised a mention, and it has changed life not at all.
Among the women in this village, Preeti says, most are only vaguely aware of the case at all. "They might know that something happened, but they don't know the details. Their lives are in the village, not there." Women here don't read newspapers, she says, and they prefer serials to the TV news.
In this deeply patriarchal society, such things are for men to worry about. Preeti's grandfathers, Hajarilal Jat and Madiram Jat, are immensely proud of their granddaughter, especially her perfect English, which they don't speak.
But the men insist, in contradiction to Preeti, that assaults on women are an urban phenomenon.
"In the villages, because the communities are small, everyone knows everyone, if there is a woman in the street, people know who she is, whose wife she is, whose sister she is," Hajarilal says in Hindi. "That is not the same in the cities. Men in the cities feel they can attack because no one knows who she is. She doesn't belong to anyone." He says village women are not attacked because men "fear the elders", and the punishments they might mete out: offenders and their families can be ostracised, their betrothals cut off, even cast out.
Hajarilal and Madiram worry about women who leave Bairagarh for India's cities and megapolises.
"If someone is moving to a city, we ensure they live with a relative, or someone else from the village, a guardian who can look after them, because they are not safe there. In the village, family is strong, community is strong."
Bucolic though they may be painted, even a visit to an Indian village is indicative of the lives lived within.
They certainly feel peaceful. In the sunshine women are on the streets, walking alone or in groups, in far greater numbers than they are seen outdoors in Delhi. In green fields, they work alongside men.
But in Bairagarh and other farming hamlets in the district, we are met by men, every time, and told, rather than allowed to find out, that women are safe in rural India.
"The women here are contented," we are told, without being allowed to speak to one.
The women we do ask to speak to, through an intermediary, politely decline. They, we are informed, feel more comfortable having men speak for them, particularly to a foreign man.
The message we are told, over and over again, is that village life is safe.
Other men, later and off the record, concede that sexual assaults do occur in villages, but that they are rare and are kept quiet. Legal experts believe reporting rates of sex assaults are much lower in rural areas, often because of pressure from parents not to bring shame on the family. Caste inequalities allow men to attack lower-caste women with impunity.
Many times, the solution presented is for rape victims to marry their attackers, thereby somehow expunging the crime. "If it happens, it is kept very quiet," one man says. "The family does not want people to know this thing happened. If someone outside the family finds out, soon everyone will know, and that girl will be shamed, so it is kept very quiet."