ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Land Reforms Rhetoric and Reality

Land reforms can be expected to be a moderate success only in states where the potential beneficiaries, the rural masses, are highly organised, politicised and capable of fighting for their rights. But even then if the centre is ruled by representatives of the rural elite, such reforms can easily be scuttled as has happened in the past.

Karnataka Backward Classes

Karnataka Backward Classes P Radhakrishnan Karnataka chief minister Veerendra Patil has repeatedly announced his government's commitment to implement the report of Karnataka Third Backward Classes Commission. However, if the stirrings in some of the communities excluded from reservation benefits, like the numerically strong and politically crucial Lingayaths and Vokkaligas, and their demands for rejection of the report are any indication it is unlikely that there will be any earnestness in fulfilling this commitment.

Backward Classes in Tamil Nadu 1872-1988

P Radhakrishnan The evolution of backward classes lists in Tamil Nadu clearly shows that, far from being a creation of the Indian Constitution, these were created by the British administration, supported and sustained by missionary educationists. Understanding the emergence and growth of these lists is crucial for rationalising the present backward classes categories. For it is these lists, and not any other arrived at after proper enumeration, which have been used to fill the three backward classes categories envisaged by the Constitution. More importantly, their adoption for dispensation of the far-reaching special treatment provisions of the Constitution has in effect reduced the perception and practice of these provisions to a mere concessionist policy.

TAMIL NADU-Ambasankar Commission and Backward Classes

TAMIL NADU Ambasankar Commission and Backward Classes P Radhakrishnan Under mounting pressures from the Vanniyars, the DMK ministry in Tamil Nadu announced in March the introduction of compartmental reservations by setting aside, out of the overall 50 per cent reservations, 20 per cent for the most backward classes and denotified communities. This announcement and the tabling of the Ambasankar Commission's report in the state assembly suggest that there is some hope for the real backward classes in the state.

Land Reforms and Social Change-Study of a Kerala Village

Study of a Kerala Village P Radhakrishnan The implementation of the Kerala Land Reforms (Amendment) Act of 1969 has led to loss of land by the group in which land was traditionally concentrated, namely the Nambootiris. Consequently, the Nambootiris have also lost the status, power and authority which they Enjoyed in the villages during the pre-reform period.

Economics of Brideprice and Dowry

into account a whole host of considerations (not all of which are short-term or even 'economic') which may not have anything to do with a simple- minded ERP exercise.

The Soviet Dilemma

P Radhakrishnan The Road to Gdansk: Poland and the USSR by Daniel Singer, Monthly Review Press, New York and London, 1981; pp 256; $ 15/ THE book under review is on the dissident movement in Poland and the USSR, but its focus is on the latter, and developments in the former are portrayed only to portend what the author thinks is the most likely scenario in it. Considering its focus on the Soviet system, it is only to be expected that the book will have both its ideological adherents and adversaries. The purpose of this review, however, is to bring out the main issues discussed in an important, albeit controversial, treatise on the Soviet system, which has been largely ignored both by the Indian and the Western media for nearly two years after its publication.

Land Reforms and Changes in Land System-Study of a Kerala Village

In agrarian societies, land is the most important means of wealth and source of power and prestige. Consequently, changes in the institutional framework of agriculture

BACKWARD CLASSES-In Defence of Mandal Commission

BACKWARD CLASSES In Defence of Mandal Commission THE Backward Classes Commission appointed by the Janata government, with Bindeswari Prasad Mandal as its Chairman; submitted its report in [December 1980, just before the Lok Sabha election that returned the Congress (I) to power a the Centre. The report was shelved by the new government until the last session of the Parliament, thereby amply demonstrating its ambiguous attitude to both the Commission and its report. Unable to scuttle the report or to shelve it any longer, the government finally placed it on the table in both houses of the Parliament in the last session without however, indicating its own reactions to the report.

Land Reforms in Theory and Practice-The Kerala Experience

The Kerala Experience P Radhakrishnan If land reform is to serve as an effective instrument of planned social change

Logan s Legacy

P Radhakrishnan William Logan: A Study in the Agrarian Relations of Malabar by K K N Kurup; Sandhya Publications, Calicut, 1981; pp x + 128; THIS slender vllume, an excellent study of the nineteenth century agrarian history of Malabar in the colonial context, presents a perceptive analysis of the pathetic wreck of the happy harmony of customary agrarian relations in Malabar wrought by the 'revenue- hungry' British administration, and of the reports of the numerous commissions appointed by the same British government to suggest palliatives to the consequent agrarian discontent. According to the author, prior to the second half of the eighteenth century, each taravad (matrilineal family organisation of the Nayars) was a unit of land-control, by virtue of which it was also a political unit and administrative office having hereditary jurisdiction and administrative functions over a territorial unit. However, the right over the land under its control was not the proprietary right as in the Roman concept of dominium or proprietas. For, "when an office of taravad and other dignities attached to a desavazhi {ruler of a desam or a territorial unit) were sold .. the purchaser had to recognise the inferior rights of the persons involved in the land transactions". In other words, the customary rights in land of persons holding the inferior rights, such as kanakkar (intermediary or supervisory tenants), verumpatta- kkar (simple or cultivating tenants) cherujanmakkar (small birth-right or Janmam-holders .such as artisan and service castes), hutment-dwellers, slaves and so on, remained unchanged no matter which 'aravad formed the unit of land-control, and no matter whether the land was sold or purchased. The purchaser was entitled only to a fixed shire of the produce of the soil plus of course the customary dignities and privileges attached to the unit of land-control, in his capacity as a " taravad i or tamvattu- karan or desawazhi'.

Peasant Struggles and Land Reforms in Malabar

Peasant Struggles and Land Reforms in Malabar P Radhakrishnan The history of land reforms in India shows that far from being a gift from an enlightened government, the modest reforms that have till now been legislated (though poorly, if at all, implemented) have been the outcome of long and protracted struggles by the peasants. This paper briefly chronicles such a struggle, lasting over a century, by the peasants of Malabar in present-day Kerala, Its conclusion is that even though Kerala has a relatively better record than many other states both in the legislation and implementation of land reform measures, the process is far from complete. Indeed, former tenants who now own land are not always themselves cultivutors of this land. The economic and social changes induced by the land reform measures have also affected the middle peasantry which has chiefly benefited from these measures. Hence, land reform cannot he said to have been achieved till the vast masses of agricultural labourers most of whom remain landless even today actually come to possess the land on which they work.

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