Social Scientist. v 2, no. 13 (Aug 1973) p. 27.

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Some Features of the Political Economy of Agriculture in a Tamil Village1


A year ago the Indian food crisis was triumphantly declared solved. The drought which has struck large parts of the country this year has dramatically falsified those claims. By now it is obvious to most observers that the 'green revolution3 was no revolution at all. The current agricultural policy is a repetition of an old and well-known pattern : it is favourable to the big farmers and to the agro-industry which supplies the modern inputs to them namely, fertilisers, pesticides, tractors and so forth. It is unfavourable to the small farmers and to the tenants who are left out of the 'green revolution3, who become impoverished and gradually tend to lose their land. The increased production has not brought a decrease in prices. On the contrary, the continuously spiralling food prices show that the 'green revolution3 has not even been favourable to the consumers.2 These effects are only what can be expected from the agricultural policy of a government which has been rightly characterised as a bourgeois-landlord government.3 Under the cover of radical phraseology which is designed to attract middle class and working class voters, the government continues to pursue a policy which enriches the ruling classes and which impoverishes the people at large. Or, as more commonly expressed, it is

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