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

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Interpreting Marx The Balancing Act

collection, not a proprietary right in land. On p 128 Singh describes the existential constraints on the "potential despotism'' of the rajas and zamindars; with a small population, land was relatively surplus and the cultivators were entitled to settle down on the land of the maliks. Hence, despite the seemingly despotic power of the rajas and the zamindars, there were builtin economic constraints against their despotism over the cultivators. An oppressive landlord was, during the first four decades of British arrival in Basti, a curse on his family and a shame on his lineage. Though potentially despotic, the rajas and zamindars had little scope of actually indulging in despotism.

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