G S BHALLA AND G K CHAOHA, GREEN REVOLUTION AND THE SMALL PEASANT: A Study of Income Distribution among Punjab Cultivators, Concept Publishing Co, Delhi, 1983, pp xii+167, Rs 40.
THE BOOK under review is the expanded version of a survey report on the green revolution in the Punjab conducted during 1974-75. The authors have set themselves the task of stu4ing "the impact of the green revolution on income generation and income distribution as also levels of living of various categories of cultivating households in the Punjab"
With a sample of 1,663 households drawn from 180 villages all over the state, the authors' claim to have gone beyond the small samples and the limited scope of enquiry of most earlier studies on the, subject is undoubtedly justified. Information on a wide range of issues has been collected, including the structure of production, technology, income generation, patterns of consumption and investment outlets.
Apart from the question of scale and scope of enquiry? however, the authors' conception of where their study is to be placed in relation to the earlier literature on the green revolution is somewhat unclear. The preface seenrs to imply that the earlier studies were mistaken in characterising the green revolution as being biased in favour of large farmers, as serving to accentuate inequalities and tensions in the countryside, and as being compatible with the continued existence of poverty. ("'The initial reaction of many well-meaning scholars..9';
"Some scholars tried to show 'convincingly'.. "; Preface, p v)» The" authors' own conclusions, on the other hand, do not differ significantly, serving in fact to underscore the conclusions of the earlier studies, whether it is the question of the unequal gains from the new technology (p 160), the countinued existence of poverty (p 153), or the heightening of agrarian tensions (p 161). Perhaps this is only a semantic anomaly rather than a substantive 'contradiction'.
Conducted in conjunction with the 30th Round of the NSS, the survey follows rigorous sampling procedures using the basic NSS stratified two-stage design. Households are categorised into six size-classes of area operated ranging from below 2.5 acics to above 25, and a self-weighting system of selection of households from these categories is used. Theie is also a classification into three different agriculturally homogenous regions using the criteria of soil type, cropping patterns and the structure of irrigation. Data are systematically and neatly presented across size-classes for Punjab as a Vvhole and for each region