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

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Rural Change in Times of 'Distress'


This brief prelude to the current issue of the Review of Rural Affairs attempts to provide context to the five papers being presented. Even when they differ in their subject, perspective, and arguments, they all provide glimpses into ground-level processes of change and thus together go beyond the dominant narrative of crisis in Indian agriculture. The crisis is indeed real, but approaching everything from the singular narrative of crisis tends to conceal the diverse realities of rural and agrarian life. Such an approach also tells us little about the multiple ways in which it is experienced by those living and working in Indian agriculture in diverse regions. To do this we need to empirically explore and critically understand the ground-level processes and emergent agrarian realities by asking questions that are specific to the given regional/social context.

For example, the recent protest by farmers across different states in India appear to be very similar to the farmers’ movements of the 1980s. However, the two sets of protests/movements will appear very different when we locate them in history, political economy, and social dynamics of rural life.

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Updated On : 5th Jul, 2018
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