CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL SOCIETY
1. Indian Society is primarily a rural society. Agriculture and related occupations are the source of livelihoods for the majority of the rural population.
2. Occupation of the rural population
- Agriculture is the single most important source of livelihood for the majority of the rural population.
- Many activities also support agriculture and village life and are also sources of livelihood for people in rural India. For example, a large number of artisans such as potters, carpenters, weavers, ironsmiths, and goldsmiths are found in rural areas;
- Rural life also supported many other specialists and craftspersons as storytellers, astrologers, priests, water-distributors, and oil-pressers
3. Diversity of occupations in rural India is reflected in the caste system, Explain.
- Rural life also support many other specialists and craftspersons as storytellers, astrologers, priests, water-distributors, and oil-pressers
- The diversity of occupations in rural India is reflected in the caste system which in most regions includes specialist and ‘service’ castes such as Washermen, Potters, and- Goldsmiths.
4. AGRARIAN CLASS STRUCTURE
- In rural areas, no straightforward relationship exists between caste and class. In many cases, there is a correspondence between caste and class as one moves down the hierarchy but in some cases it is not so for eg: Brahmins the higher castes are not the major landowners.
- In most regions, a proprietary caste group owns most of the resources and commands labor from low ranked caste group.
5. Begar is free labor
- It is prevalent in many parts of northern India.
- Members of low ranked caste groups had to provide labor for a fixed number of days per year to the village zamindar or landlord.
- lack of resources, and dependence on the landed class for economic, social, and political support, meant that many of the working poor were tied to landowners in hereditary’ labor relationships (bonded labor).
- It is known by different names such as the halpati system in Gujarat and the jeeta system in Karnataka.
- COLONIAL PERIOD Most rural areas were administered through ZAMINDARI SYSTEM and RAIYATWARI SYSTEM
6. The primary objective of land reforms in India
- To remove the obstacles which arose from the inherited agrarian structure of the past.
- To eliminate all elements of exploitation & social injustices that existed within the agrarian system, in order to ensure equality of status and opportunities to all sections of the population.
- Various lard reforms introduced after independence. (the 1950s to 1970s).
- ABOLITION OF ZAMINDARI SYSTEM: removed the layer of intermediaries, rights taken from zamindars weakening their economic & political position.
- TENANCY ABOLITION AND REGULATION ACTS—More security to the tenants, granted land rights to tenants(West Bengal & Kerala)
- CEILING ACTS — Limits to be imposed on the ownership of land. Ceiling depended on the productivity of land ie High productivity land low ceiling, while low productivity land had a higher ceiling.
Drawbacks of Land Ceiling Act/”Benami Transfers”
- Most landowners were able to escape from having their surplus land taken over by the state.
- Some very large estates were broken up, and landowners managed to divide the land among relatives and others, including servants, in so-called ‘Benami transfers’ - which allowed them to keep control over the land (in fact if not in name).
- In some places, some rich farmers actually divorced their wives (but continued to live with them) in order to avoid the provisions of the Land Ceiling Act, which allowed a separate share for unmarried women but not for wives.
7. A. GREEN REVOLUTION: (1960’s& 1970')
- The Green Revolution was a government programme of agricultural modernization.
- It was largely funded by international agencies that was based on providing high- yielding variety (HYV) or hybrid seeds along with pesticides, fertilizers, and other inputs, to farmers.
- Green Revolution programs were introduced only in areas that had assured irrigation because sufficient water was necessary for the new seeds and methods of cultivation.
- It was targeted mainly at the wheat and rice-growing areas.
- Hence, only certain regions such as Punjab, western U.P, coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu, received the first wave of the Green Revolution package.
B. Social transformations that were brought about as a result of the Green Revolution.
- Agricultural productivity increased sharply because of the new technology.
- India was able to become self-sufficient in food grain production
- Increase in agricultural productivity especially in Punjab, Haryana etc. It has been considered a major achievement of the govt. & scientists.
C. The negative social & economic effects of Green Revolution (1st phase)
- Only the medium & large farmers benefitted.
- Displacement of tenancy cultivators
- Displacement of service caste groups
- Worsening of economic condition for agricultural workers due to rising prices & shift in the mode of payment.
- Commercialization & market-oriented cultivation, leading to livelihood insecurities.
- Worsening of regional inequalities.
- The traditional system of cultivation practices & seeds is being lost.
- Environmental hazards
- The medium and large farmers benefitted from the new technology.
- This was because inputs were expensive and small and marginal farmers could not afford to spend as much as large farmers, to purchase these inputs.
- It was only the farmers who were able to produce a surplus for the market who were able to reap the most benefits from the Green Revolution and from the commercialization of agriculture that followed.
8. ‘Subsistence agriculture’?
When agriculturists produce primarily for themselves and are unable to produce for the market, it is known as ‘subsistence agriculture’
Difference between Peasants and Farmers
Peasants: Agriculturalists who primarily produce for themselves and unable to produce for the market are peasants.
Farmers: Those agriculturalists who are able to produce a surplus over and above the needs of the family and are linked to the market.
9. CIRCULATION OF LABOUR
- The commercialization of agriculture led to the growth of migrant agricultural labor that circulated between their home villages and more prosperous areas.
- Men migrated periodically in search of work and better wages, while women and children were often left behind in their villages with elderly grandparents.
- Migrants were more easily exploited by the wealthy farmers and were usually not paid the minimum wages.
- These migrant workers were termed ‘footloose labor’ by Jan Breman.
- These laborers got employment only during a part of the year i.e. the harvesting time.
- As migrant laborers are not locals and come from poor regions, they were in a weak position relative to employers.
- Women are also emerging as the main source of agricultural labor, leading to the ‘feminization’ of the agricultural labor force.
10. FARMER SUICIDES:
- Many farmers who committed suicide were marginal farmers because of loss of crop due to disease, excessive rainfall or drought.
- Lack of adequate support or market price unable to bear the debt burden or sustain their families.
- Unable to meet the needs expected for marriage, dowries, education, medical care, etc.