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

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Agrarian Revolution, Not Wage Increases

Agrarian Revolution, Not Wage Increases K Balagopal GAIL OMVEDT and Chetna Galla (July 2) agree that what needs to be discussed is revolutionary strategy, but they themselves refuse to do so. The class character of the rural poor" is that they have an objective interest in expropriating the rich, smashing the existing state and social structure and building a new society based on collective labour and collective appropriation. This is precisely what is not the objective interest of the most vociferous sections of the movements for 'remunerative prices'. And that marks a genuinely Marxist class division of the rural people. If the rural poor are to be described empirically then one has to take a variety of conditions into consideration. The class certainly includes all of the agricultural labourers (between 25 and 30 per cent of rural families); equally certainly it does not include those of the 'middle peasants' whose cultivation is characterised by dependable irrigation and capital infrastructure, whatever marketing and pricing problems they may have. The rest of the peasants with self-sufficient family holdings must be judged by these characteristics to decide whether they can be included in the class of the rural poor or can be counted as neutral elements. This is not an economic division based on income but a class division based on the existence of an irreconcilable conflict with the system. The conflict is irreconcilable because the developments of the last forty years have shown that the system is incapable of meeting the needs of the rural poor, though it has done

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