1. Read the passage given and answer the questions:
The harsh working conditions suffered by labourers in Aghanbigha were an outcome of the combined effect of the economic power of the maliks as a class and their overwhelming power as members of a dominant caste. A significant aspect of the social power of the maliks was their ability to secure the intervention of various arms of the state to advance their interests. Thus, political factors decisively contributed to widening the gulf between the dominant class and the underclass.
(i)Why do you think the maliks were able to use the power of the state to advance their own interests?
(ii) Why did labourers have harsh working conditions?
(i) (a) The maliks being dominant caste were very powerful politically, economically and socially.
(b)Because of power they were able to use the power of state for their vested interests.
(c)They were successfully able to secure the intervention of various arms of the state for their own benefit.
(ii)The labour have been working under harsh conditions because being dalits, they were not allowed to own land and compelled to work in the lands of dominant caste people as a labourer.
2. What measures do you think the government has taken, or should take, to protect the rights of landless agricultural labourers and migrant workers?
Measures to protect the right of Landless:
- Abolition of bonded labour legally: Bandhua mazdoor (bonded labourers) practice in U.P and Bihar, Halpati System in Gujarat and Jeeta System in Karnataka has been legally abolished by Government of India.
- Abolition of Zamindari System: The intermediaries between the peasants and the state were the Zamindars. The state very effectively and intensively passed legislation and this system was abolished.
- Abolition and regulation act for Tenancy: These laws discouraged tenancy or ‘Batai’ system. In West Bengal and Kerala, where CPI systems government was in power the tenants got the land rights.
- Imposition of Land Ceiling Act: According to this act the upper limit of land for an owner is being fixed. Because of this act to identify surplus land and redistribute among the landless became programme of the state. Binoba Bhave’s Bhoodan yojna instructed this legislation but there are many shortcomings in this act and should be taken care of.
- To improve the condition of landless people living in villages the state should take appropriate measures and this whole sector should be organised.
- The economic conditions of villages should be improved by the state. Villages should be well connected to the ties, job opportunities should be creaked in the villages. Education and health facilities as well as entertainment facilities should be developed in the villages to discourage migration. MANREGA is an effective measure in this duration.
- Consolidation of Land: Landowner farmers are given one or two bigger piece of land in lieu of their several scattered small fields. It may be done as voluntary consolidation or as compulsory consolidation. This can bring about lot of efficiencies in agriculture process as a farmer.
3. There are direct linkages between the situation of agricultural workers and then- lack of upward socio-economic mobility. Name some of them.
- Indian rural society is totally dependent on agriculture. It is the only source of their livelihood. Unfortunately it is unevenly distributed, not organised and many people of rural society are landless.
- Indian rural society has patrilineal kinship system. According to legal system women are supposed to have an equal right of family property but actually it is simply on papers. Because of male dominance, they are deprived of their rights.
- Most of the people in villages are landless and for their livelihood they become agriculture workers. They are paid below the statutory minimum wages. Their job is not regular and employment is insecure. Mostly these agriculture workers work on daily wages.
- The tenants also have lower income because they have to pay a large amount of production to the landowner.
- The ownership of land or its total area determines the position of the farmers upward or downward mobility in his socio-economic system. Therefore the agrarian society can be understood in terms of its class structure which is structured through Caste system.
Although this is not always true. In rural society Brahmins are the dominant caste but they are not main landowners so they are part of rural society but fall outside the agrarian structure.These questions are based on Self-Study. Students should do them solves.