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

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Expectations Belied

if any, of the ceilings provisions of the law. Whether tenancy legislation, in conditions of high population density, can ever be effective in the absence of redistribution of land ownership, is a question which has arisen in many countries. It would be interesting to know whether the recent experience in Kerala can throw any fresh light on it. Of course, it cannot be argued that measures for land redistribution would now be likely to have such a favourable effect on development as the reform of 1865 in Travancore. For one thing, all the cultivable land has now been taken into cultivation. The strength of peasant ownership in Travancore has been undermined by subdivision of holdings accompanying the growth of population, and leasing and subleasing of land is on the increase. Even if drastic redistribution of property were carried out in Malabar and Cochin, the problem of land shortage would still be acute. As Varghese emphasises, the only way of increasing farm output now is by means of intensification, for which there is certainly much scope, owing to Favourable natural conditions and the comparatively high proportion of population in non-agricultural occupations. Is it not possible that the division of the extensively cultivated large proper- tics would also contribute to intensification? This is only one of the, many questions which arise from this stimulating, sound and original exposition of the problems of Kerala.

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