Economic Change in Rural India: Land Tenure and Reform in Uttar Pradesh, 1800-1955

Economic Change in Rural India: Land Tenure and Reform in Uttar Pradesh, 1800-1955

Economic Change in Rural India: Land Tenure and Reform in Uttar Pradesh, 1800-1955

Economic Change in Rural India: Land Tenure and Reform in Uttar Pradesh, 1800-1955

Excerpt

Land reform is the chant of the times. In the present struggle of former colonial areas to raise their standards of living it has become axiomatic that land reform is a prerequisite to any advance, while the present tenurial systems are often blamed on the colonial powers. Land reform has been supported by interests as diverse as scholars, U.N. committees, American ambassadors, independence movements, and Marxist revolutionaries. Countries as different as Guatemala, India, and Hungary have undertaken to redistribute the land and change the systems of tenure. The purpose is always to assure the agriculturalist security, prosperity, and a "fair share." Behind the reforms lie an interpretation of history and an assumption about peasant motivation. Land reform rests partly upon a theory of exploitation: a belief that a small group of landlords has lived parasitically on the labor of the cultivating "masses," and that as a rule the landlord has secured his position . . .

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