Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(a) The idea of Indian village and village studies.

(a) The idea of Indian village and village studies.

THE VILLAGE AND THE WIDER ECONOMIC SYSTEM

Economic Interdependence before World War-I

The fact that the weekly markets in neighbouring villages existed in traditional India proves that there was dependence on towns for items not locally available such as, silver and gold which was essential for weddings. The institution of weekly markets still prevails in rural India although considerable improvements in transport and communication have made towns with regular markets accessible to villagers. These markets not only serve an economic purpose but also political, recreational and social purposes.

Again not all the artisan and servicing castes live within a village, particularly in the case of the smaller settlements. The proportion of smaller settlements must have been very high during the pre-British period because it was during British rule that large irrigation projects at all India level were undertaken in different parts of the country. Irrigation enables a large number of people to be supported on a given area. Village studies have shown that certain castes provide services to a number of villages. Villages have always depended on villagers in nearby villages. The urban population depended on the village produce for its basic needs of food grain, raw materials for processed food, and handicrafts.

Economic Integration in Modern Times

The extension of colonial economy to India brought the Indian villages to the world market for the products like jute and cotton. The availability of new economic opportunities during this century, especially after the World War-I, with industralisation and urbanisation, has made the village a part of the wider economic system.

i) Mckim marriot (1955) gives a graphic description of interaction between the people of different villages around Kishan Garhi in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh. He writes “Brahman priests, Barbers, Potters, Carpenters, Washermen and Sweepers who live in Kishan Garhi go out to serve hereditary patrons in some fifteen other villages and derive about one half of their income from these outside patrons. Traders who live in Kishan Garhi regularly cover many miles of the county side on their trading tips. Wage workers who maintain homes in Kishan Garhi during the present generation have gone out to work in atleast twenty five other places including ten cities. During one period of three months I counted forty four different specialists coming into Kishan Garhi”.

ii) In the case of Rampura in Karnataka, studied by M.N. Srinivas (1955), World War-II brought increased cash for the dominant landowning Okkaliga caste with wartime rationing and shortages, which encouraged black marketeering. The wartime profits were used in different ways. When the village was electrified two rice mills were set up. Bus lines were also started which made contact with Mysore City much easier. They had “one foot in village and another in the city”.

THE VILLAGE AND THE WIDER CASTE AND KINSHIP SYSTEM

The village consists of a vertical interdependence of castes, i.e., relationships among different castes. It is reflected in the jajmani system. But these vertical ties are cut across by the horizontal ties of caste and kinship, i.e., the relationships within the caste, which extend beyond the village to other villages and even towns. One’s relatives live in different villages and one has to interact

with them on different occasions like births, marriages and deaths. One may also have to depend on them for help in times of need. In north India where village exogamy exists along with caste endogamy, one has to look outside the village for a marriage partner for one’s son or daughter. In south India where village exogamy is not a rule and marriage between a woman and her mother’s brother or marrying one’s mother’s brother’s daughter is preferred, one may still have to look outside the village for a marriage partner.

Some Ethnographic Examples

Sociologists, studying Indian villages, have described how the villages form an integral part of the wider caste and kinship system. Oscar Lewis (1955), who made a study of a north Indian village, points out that Rani Khera, like other villages in north India, is basically a part of a larger inter-village network based upon kinship ties. “Other villagers are very often relatives, and entire villages are classified by the kinship terminology as mother’s brother’s village, grandfather’s village, grandmother’s village, etc”.

Spatial Expansion of Intra-Caste Relations

Since caste endogamy is the rule (i.e., one has to marry within one’s caste), one’s kin normally belong to one’s caste. Intra-caste relations and other caste matters are regulated by a caste panchayat whose members belong to different villages. In pre-British India, the horizontal expansion of caste ties was limited by the political boundaries of a number of small kingdoms as well as poor

roads and communication. With the unification of the country brought about by the British and the introduction of better roads and railways, cheap postage and printing, there was a rapid spread in intra-caste relations because it was easier to keep in regular touch with each other.

Caste associations were formed which worked for the welfare of caste members. Educational institutions and hostels were set up and scholarships were provided to the needy members of the caste. Each caste also worked at regulating the lifestyle of its members so that the attempt at mobility of the caste, through Sanskritisation could be successful.

In the last sixty years or more, horizontal unity of the caste has increased and the strong walls erected between sub-castes have begun to crumble. This is primarily due to two factors. (i) Since numbers are important in a parliamentary democracy, horizontal unity of caste over a wide area provides a ‘vote bank’ that can ensure the election of a candidate from one’s caste. (ii) The need to find educated life partners for one’s children and the demand for dowry particularly among the higher castes has widened the endogamous circle and increased the horizontal spread of caste ties.

Thus, you can easily make out that the village has always had ties with other villages and towns for kinship and caste purposes. This was limited in pre- British India when communication was poor and small kingdoms existed whose boundaries acted as effective barriers. The horizontal spread of caste ties greatly increased during British rule and since Independence it linked the village to a

much wider area.

THE VILLAGE AND THE WIDER RELIGIOUS SYSTEM

Universalisation

Marriott (1955) mentions the festival of Raksha Bandhan as an example of upward universalisation. This festival coincides and blends in Kishan Garhi with the festival known regionally as Saluno, a festival which marks the end of that annual fortnight during which most young wives return for a visit to their parents and siblings. On Saluno day many husbands arrive at their ‘wives’ villages to take them back. Before going back with their husbands, the wives as well as their unmarried sisters express their devotion to their brothers by placing young shoots of barley, the locally sacred grain, on the heads and ears of their brothers. Since brothers should accept nothing from their sisters as a

free gift they reciprocate with some money. On the same day along with the ceremony of Saluno, the ceremony of Charm Tying (Rakhi Bandhan) is also held. The Brahman domestic priests of Kishan Garhi goes to each patron and ties a polychrome thread with tassels upon his wrist. He also utters a blessing and is rewarded by his patron with some cash because it is considered impious

to accept anything free from a priest.

A close parallel can be seen between the Brahmanical festival of Charm Tying and the familial festival of Saluno. It may be possible that Charm Tying had its roots in some such ‘little tradition’ festival like Saluno. The thread charms of the priests are now factory made and are sold by a local caste group called Jogis. A few sisters in Kishan Garhi have now taken to tying these thread

charms on their brothers’ wrists. These thread charms are also convenient for mailing in letters to brothers who are living far away in cities and towns.

Parochialisation

Parochialisation or the downward spread of elements from the ‘great tradition’ to the ‘little tradition’ and the transformation or modification it undergoes can be seen in the festival of Cow Nourisher Worship as it is celebrated in Kishan Garhi. This festival is explained by a story from the Sanskrit book Bhagavata Purana of the tenth century A.D. The story concerns Krishna’s adventures

with his cowherd companions at a hill named Gobardhan. In this story Krishna directs the cowherds of Braj to worship the hill that is near at hand rather than such great but distant gods as Indra. Indra, the God of rain, gets angry over the defection of his worshippers and sends violent rainstorms to destroy the cowherds and their cows. Krishna lifts the hill on his finger to provide them shelter and all are saved. At the actual hill of Gobardhan in Mathura District a ceremony is performed annually.

In Kishan Garhi the celebration of this festival has taken on some homely details which have no mention in the Sanskritic myth. Instead of accepting the meaning of ‘Cow Nourisher’ (Go + bardhana) they explain it as Gobar + dhan or ‘Cow-dung Wealth’. Hence the women and children of each household construct a small ‘hill’ made of cowdung with straw and cotton on top to

represent ‘trees’. Little models of a cowboy and cows are made of dung and placed on the hill. In the evening all the agnates of each family worship it jointly by placing a lamp on it and winding thread around its ‘trees’ and shouting ‘Gobardhan Baba ki jai’, ‘Long Live Grandfather Cowdung Wealth’. The next morning, members of the Weaver caste are paid to sing a Cowdung Wealth Song, after which the hill and models are broken up for use as daily fuel. But a portion of the cowdung is kept aside, dried and preserved until the Holi festival when it is used for the annual village bonfire. This case is presented as an example of adding local details to Sanskritic festival.

Marriott admits that since universalisation and parochialisation have both proceeded for a very long time, we are ordinarily unable to trace the course of either process with certainty, or to decide whether a given present configuration of religious contents is the result of one and not also the result of the other of these two processes. But the important point to remember is that in matters relating to observance of festivals, there has been a give and take among the village traditions and the nationwide tradition-thereby showing how the village has not been self-sufficient in this manner.

THE VILLAGE AND THE WIDER POLITICAL SYSTEM

The Village in Pre-British India

To say that in pre-British India (i.e. roughly covering the period just before the consolidation of British rule in India) the village was politically autonomous except for paying tax to the local chieftain or the king and providing him young men for his wars is incorrect. The relation between the king and his subjects was a complex one. The king performed several duties towards his subjects. He built roads, tanks and canals for irrigation. He also built temples and gave gifts of land to pious and learned Brahmins. He was the head of all caste panchayats and disputes regarding mutual caste rank were ultimately settled by him. This function was not confined to Hindu rulers, even the Mughal

Kings and feudatory lords settled questions affecting a caste.

The Village in British India

British rule changed the relationship between the village and the ruler. Political conquest was followed by the development of communications. This enabled the British to establish an effective administration. Government employees like the police, revenue official, and others, came to the village. The British established a system of law courts. Major disputes and criminal offences had to be settled in court. This greatly reduced the power of the village panchayat.

The Village in Contemporary India

Since Independence, the introduction of parliamentary democracy and adult franchise has made the village even more fully integrated with the wider political system. Villagers not only elect members of local bodies like the gram panchayat but also elect members of the state legislature and parliament. Regional and national political parties are active in the village doing propaganda

and mobilising support for their parties. Government policies and programmes like the Community Development Schemes affect the village. Although the village is a political unit with an elected panchayat to run the day-to-day administration, it is part of the district or zilla, which is part of the

state. The state is part of the Indian Union. There is interaction between these different levels of the political system.

(b) Agrarian social structure - evolution of land tenure system, land reforms.

Rural Economy

The popular definition is that it is an area pertaining to the country as distinguished from a city or a town. Agriculture is its main economic activity. In the case of rural economy land is the primary means of production. Land is made fertile by human labour. The rural people live in villages and produce a variety of crops by means of technique and their labour power. Moreover, village and cottage industries also have been traditionally an important part of Rural Economy rural economy. A cottage industry is a home-based industry, which generally produces finished goods.

Traditional Rural Economy

Ancient Period

Rural economy in India goes back to the Indus Valley Civilisation (c. 2600- 1500 B.C.). This was an urban civilisation having a wide agricultural base. Plough cultivation was known to the rural people. Its evidence was found in archaeological excavations at Kalibangan in Ganganagar, Rajasthan. Crops

like wheat, rice, peas, seasamum and cotton were grown in the flood plains of the Indus river and its tributaries. Foodgrains from the rural areas were stored for the townsmen. This is testified by the existence of granaries at various Indus towns. Potters made earthen wares and metal workers manufactured articles of copper and bronze. Ram Sharan Sharma (1983: 198) observes that the chief basis of Indus urbanisation could be the taxes and tributes collected from the peasants living in the vicinity of the towns. This form of economy however changed to pastoral and semi-nomadic way of life.

i) Pastoral Economy

In the beginning of the Rigvedic period (c. 1500-1000 BC) there occurred a complete rupture with the earlier economy. The life of the Rigvedic people was pastoral and semi-nomadic. Their main occupation was cattle rearing. Cows, goats, sheep and horses were domesticated. Pasture ground was under common control. Towards the end of the period people started settling in

villages. They also took to cultivation by means of the plough drawn by oxen. Arts and crafts such as leatherwork and wool weaving were practised. The society was largely egalitarian and unhierarchical.

ii) Agricultural Economy

During the later Vedic Phase (c. 1000-600 BC) agricultural economy became predominant. Cattle remained the chief movable property of the people. The wooden plough with the khadira ploughshare was used for cultivation. Crops such as barley, wheat, rice and lentils were grown. Various arts and crafts were practised like that of carpenter, weaver, leather-worker, metal-worker,

potter etc. Functional specialisation of labour took place and the society was organised on caste and varna lines. The Brahman performed prayers and rituals. The Kshatriya earned their livelihood by means of war and government. The Vaisya were engaged in agriculture and Shudra formed a small serving order. Land was possessed by families. Cultivation and allied activities were conducted

with family labour. There were no karmakara or hired labourers. Taxes and tributes were collected in kind from the peasants by the king and his officers. The priests and warriors had hardly any connection with the primary aspect of production (Sharma 1983: 116). The beginnings of the jajmani system could be traced to this period.

iii) Introduction of Iron

Iron-based production in agriculture and crafts became central in the age of the Buddha (c. 600-322 BC). Now, iron ploughshare, socketed axes, knives, razors, sickles and other tools were used for productive purposes. Rice, wheat, barley, millets, pulses, sugarcane and cotton were grown extensively. A considerable portion of land was possessed by the two upper varna, that is,

the Brahman and the Kshatriya. But a greater part of the land was in the hands of gahapati (peasant proprietors) belonging to the Vaisya varna. Peasants paid taxes directly to the king. Villages supplied food for the king, nobles, merchants, soldiers and artisans who lived in towns, with the growth of

urbanisation.

iv) State and Agriculture

State control of agriculture became an important feature of the Mauryan period (c. 322-200 BC). Big farms were established and managed by the state. Slaves and hired labourers belonging to the Shudra varna were employed in them. Moreover, the state provided tax concessions and support in the form of cattle, seed and money to the Vaisya and Shudra to settle in new settlements for

extension of agriculture. Royal tax on agriculture was one-sixth of the produce, which could be raised in the time of emergency. State provided some irrigation facilities and levied cess for the same. But in the post-Mauryan period (c. 200BC-AD 300) no state farm was maintained. Land was mainly in the possession of individual cultivators.

v) Feudal Relationships

A feudal type of society started emerging during the Gupta perigd (AD 1300- 600) which gradually got stabilised. Land grants were made by the Gupta emperors, their feudatories and private individuals which created a class of powerful intermediaries between the king and the masses. Grants of land and villages were made to the Brahmans and temples. They got the land cultivated

by permanent as well as temporary tenants belonging to Vaisya and Shudra varna. They collected land rent from the peasants without any obligation to give a share of it to the king. The feudatories were also assigned administrative powers in their areas. But free peasants cultivating land with their family labour and paying taxes to the king in areas not gifted to anyone probably still possessed

a major portion of the land. At the same time their position depreciated due to imposition of various taxes. Further, land grant became more common during the post-Gupta period. Grants of land to officials in lieu of cash salaries got intensified in this phase. The grantees could deprive peasants of their means of production and curtail their rights to the use of land and pastures.

Medieval Period

(i)Farming

It was a period of abundance of cultivable land. Agriculture provided food for people and fodder for cattle. A large number of crops were grown such as wheat, barley, millet, peas, rice, sesame, gram, oilseeds, cotton etc. Land was irrigated by wells, dams and canals. Some water-lifting devices were also used. But generally use of the traditional implements in agriculture and crafts continued. The vast area of land depended mainly on nature (rainfall) for sustenance, as is largely the case even now.

ii) Arts and Crafts

A variety of arts and crafts based on agricultural produce were practised in rural areas. Villagers manufactured ropes and baskets, sugar and jaggery (gur), bows and arrows, drums, leather buckets, etc. Various categories of craftsmen specialised in their hereditary caste occupations such as weaver, carpenter, leather-worker, blacksmith, potter, cobbler, washerman, barber, water-carrier,scavenger and oil-presser. These manufacturers and craftsmen fulfilled most of the needs of the rural people. Irfan Habib (1963: 60) observes that there would have been little left that a village would need from outside.

iii) Trade

Both long distance inter-region trade and local trade were carried during the medieval period. Long distance caravan trade dealt in high value goods. Banjara (nomadic groups) monopolised trade in goods of bulk like foodgrains, sugar, butter and salt. Local trade largely meant the trade between towns and villages. Townsmen received from the rural areas foodstuffs to eat and raw materials

for manufacturing various goods.

iv) Classes in Rural Areas

During the medieval period the entire rural population was divided into two broad classes, i.e. the big land-holders who collected land revenue from peasants in addition to owning tax-free land and the masses comprising peasants, artisans and landless labourers. The big land-holders constituted the rural segment of the ruling class headed by emperor and his nobles. They were known as khirt, mugaddam and chaudhuri during the Sultanate period and deskhmukh, patil, nayak and usually malik during the Mughal period. They had a good life without directly participating in the process of production. They collected land tax from the peasants and owned their own land free from taxes. They were generally prosperous enough to ride horses, wear fine clothes, own good houses, gold, and silver ornaments and thus maintain a high standard of life.

COLONIAL RURAL ECONOMY

De-industrialisation

The British colonial rule in India shattered the traditional rural economy. It broke up the sustainable pattern of growth of rural economy. The healthy union between agriculture and village industries was destroyed. Indian economy was subordinated to the interests British trade and industry.

Rural artisan industries were hard hit under the British rule. Domestic goods were made with primitive techniques on a small scale. They could not compete with mass-produced machine made cheaper goods imported from Britain. The cotton spinning and weaving industries suffered the most. Silk and woollen textiles also were badly affected. Similarly, tanning, dyeing, oil-pressing and

iron industries suffered due to introduction of machines for these purposes. Moreover, introduction of railways hastened the process of decline of the rural industries. Now, the British goods could reach the remotest corner of the rural areas. Increased export of agricultural raw materials from India for British industries injured Indian handicrafts.

New Land Revenue Policy

i) Permanent Settlement

Under the permanent settlement (also known as the Zamindari settlement) the zamindars (landlords) were given hereditary ownership, over very large tracts of land known as zamindaris. They had to pay a certain portion of the land revenue they derived from the peasantry to the colonial government keeping the rest for themselves. The share of the government was fixed in perpetuity. However, the landlords could raise the rate of land revenue collected from the

peasants at their will for their own advantage. This they normally did in order to meet the growing desire for an extravagant life style. The result was disastrous for the tenants, as they grew impoverished. Moreover, the peasants were made mere tenants being deprived of their long-standing rights to the soil and other customary rights. Further, the peasants had to pay land rent in

time irrespective of good or bad harvest failing which they were dispossessed of their land by the landlords. This forced them to take loans from the moneylenders or from the zamindars (landlords) themselves. The peasants were even compelled to sell part of their land for paying the rent. Their indebtedness kept on mounting and added to their poverty.

ii) Ryotwari Settlement Rural Economy

In the Ryotwari areas the cultivator was recognised as the owner of his land, subject to the payment of land revenue directly collected by the state, which acted in practice as a zamindar. The rate of land revenue was periodically revised and raised compelling the peasants to get trapped in indebtedness to the money-lenders or lose land in case of inability to pay the dues.

iii) Mahalwari Settlement

The Mahalwari settlement of land revenue was made by the government with landlords or heads of families who collectively claimed to be the landlords of the village or the estate (mahal). In this case also the peasants suffered in the same manner. Therefore, Bipin Chandra (1977:187) rightly commented that the peasantry was crushed under the triple burden of the government, the

zamindar or landlord, and the money-lender. Thus the peasants life under this system was characterised by poverty and famine.

iv) Consequences of the New Policy

Other important consequences of the new land revenue policies were the ruin of most of the old zamindars and rise of new landlordism. The government was very rigid in collecting land revenue from the zamindars. The old zamindars had lived in villages. They were lenient in collection of revenue from the peasants especially in bad times. Therefore, failure in payment of revenue on

their part to the government resulted in the dispossession of the zamindari. The government then auctioned off the zamindari. In most areas these came into the possession of merchants and money-lenders. These new zamindars generally lived in towns and were very ruthless in the collection of land revenue even in case of failure of crops. In addition, the process of subinfeudation grew up. Subinfeudation means that the landlords sublet their right to collect land revenue to other persons on profitable terms. They in turn also sublet their rights to the other. Thus developed a chain of rent-receiving intermediaries between the state and the actual cultivator. The burden of cultivators increased. In sum, Bipin Chandra (1977: 189) observed that as a result of overcrowding of agriculture, excessive land revenue demand, growth of landlordism, increasing indebtedness and growing impoverishment of the cultivators, Indian agriculture began to stagnate and even deteriorate, resulting in extremely low yields per acre.

Commercialisation of Agriculture

Another impact of the British rule was commercialisation of agriculture. The rate of land revenue was high. It had to be paid in cash. Moreover, the manner of collection of revenue was also very rigid. Hence, the cultivators were forced to sell a significant portion of their produce in market after harvest, at low prices. The cultivator was to remain half-fed or go empty-stomach. There was

no improvement in the technique of agricultural production, which could enable cultivators to produce surplus grains for sale in the market. In fact it was a forced entry of cultivators in the market economy.

RURAL ECONOMY AFTER INDEPENDENCE

A) Changes in the Agrarian Structure

i) First step was the abolition of the Zamindari system. Its objective was to bring the cultivators into direct relationship with the state through eliminating the intermediary interests of the zamindars and the chain of subinfeudation. The intermediaries were allowed to retain their khudkasht i.e. land for personal cultivation. The rest of their land had to be with the tenants for which the zamindars were compensated by the revenue. This measure led to eviction of tenants on a large scale by the zamindars who claimed major portion of their land as khudkasht.

ii) Secondly, the tenancy reform measure taken by the state aimed at providing security of tenure, reduction of rent and facilitating acquisition of ownership rights by tenant cultivators. Usually when

tenants were found to be cultivating the land for a continuous period of five years they were declared permanent or ‘protected’ tenants who could not be easily evicted by the landowner. Land rent was reduced. It was one-fourth or one-sixth of the value of the gross produce. The tenants got the right to acquire ownership of land they cultivated by paying rent for a limited number of years, say, eight years or ten years. A substantial number of tenants acquired security of tenure and ownership of land. But this measure also led to the eviction of tenants. Subtle and concealed tenancy arrangements were made. The phenomenon of share-cropping became more common.

Landlords continued to exploit tenants.

iii) Thirdly, ceilings were imposed on present family landholdings as well as on future acquisitions. The state had to acquire surplus land from the big landowners with due compensation and distribute the same among the marginal peasants, small peasants and landless agricultural labourers. However, delay in enactment and implementation of the law enabled the landlords either to sell off

their surplus land or to partition the land and transfer the same in the name of relatives and friends and thereby evading the law to a great extent.

iv) Another land legislation concerned consolidation of fragmented landholdings of landholders. Once implemented this measure would promote adequate investment of capital and inputs in land and boost efficiency and economy in agriculture.

The Green Revolution

A process of very important biological and mechanical innovations in agriculture begun since the mid-sixties is known as the Green Revolution. In the beginning, it covered the states of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Gradually, it has penetrated into certain areas of some other states. In these areas, cultivators use high yielding variety of seeds, high doses of chemical

fertilisers, abundant supply of water for irrigation, and modern agricultural implements like tractors, powered threshers, tubewells, pumpsets, etc. The total area under the high-yielding-varieties programme was a negligible 1.9 million hectares in the financial year of 1960. Since then the growth has been spectacular, increasing the same to nearly 15.4 million hectares by the financial year of 1970, 43.1 million hectares by the financial year of 1980, and 63.9 million hectares by financial year 1990. The rate of growth decreased significantly in the late 1980s, as additional suitable land was not available.

This important change in agriculture has increased the cropping intensity, total output and productivity of agriculture. Demand of agricultural labourers has increased. Employment of hired labourers in agriculture has become more prevalent. Gap in supply of labour in states like Punjab has been filled by migrant labourers from other states, e.g., Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Further, the progressive farmers cultivate their land under personal supervision rather than leasing out to tenants. In addition, they lease-in land from poor peasants who cannot afford costly inputs required for cultivation. According to Andre Beteille (1986: 89) the most striking features of these farms is that they are organised in a manner which resembles more a business enterprise

than a feudal estate.

The major benefits of the Green Revolution in India were experienced mainly in northern and north western India between 1965 and early 1980s; the programme resulted in a substantial increase in the production of food grains, mainly wheat and rice. Food-grain yields continued to increase throughout 1980s, but the dramatic changes in the years between 1965 and 1980 were not duplicated. In the 1980s, the area under high yielding varieties continued to increase, but the rate of growth overall was slower. The Eighth Five Year Plan aimed at making high-yielding varieties available to the whole country and more productive strains of other crops.

i) Causes of Disparity in Agricultural Production

The Indian Green Revolution created wide regional and interstate disparities. The plan was implemented only in areas with assured supplies of water and the means to control it, large inputs of fertilizers, and adequate farm credit. These inputs were easily available in some parts of the states of Punjab, Haryana, and western Uttar Pradesh; thus, yields increased most in these states.

In other states, such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, in areas where these inputs were not assured, the results were limited or negligible, leading to considerable variation in crop yields within these states.

ii) Class Differentiation

The Green Revolution has also resulted in differentiation within the peasant class, which is a sign of capitalist growth in agriculture. In her study of Haryana agricultural holdings operating 15 acres or less, Utsa Patnaik (1987: 199-208) found two peasant classes. The first one were the rural well-to-do and the labour hiring classes of the rich and middle peasants. The second one were the rural poor, the remaining classes of the peasantry, e.g. small and poor peasants. The former possessed large household assets, virtually monopolised modern agricultural equipments and sold nearly three-fifth and over two-fifths of their output in the market. But the latter owned meagre household assets,

traditional livestock and implements and sold merely one-third of output in market. The new technology therefore, favoured the large landholders and small landholders did not derive much benefit out of the new technology.

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