Social Scientist. v 14, no. 156 (May 1986) p. 3.

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Production Relations and Agrarian Change

Some Findings from a Case Study in Tamil Nadu

IN THE LIVELY debate on the mode of production in Indian agriculture conducted mainly in the pages of Economic and Political Weekly and Social Scien-" tist in the late' sixties and early' seventies, some important issues concerning the impact of production relations in agriculture came to the fore1. Among diem were the role of landlordism and usury as obstacles

We proceed as follows. In the following section, we provide a brief description of the study area and the methods we have used to collect the material. We then present a summary picture of the relations of production and of agrarian class structure as it emerges from our exercise in classification that we have reported in detail elsewhere (Athreya et al 1983). Finally we turn to the bearing that our findings may have on some issues raised in the ongoing debate on agrarian development in India\

The Field Area and Methods Used

Tills study is set in Kulithalei and Manaparei Panchayat Union., in Tiruchy District in Tamil Nadu, South India. In this area we find a microscopic representation of the major ecological types in Tamil Nadu agriculture.

This geographically small area contains two verv different agrarian ecotypes which we call the wet and the dry area, corresponding to what Baker [19841 after Ludden [1978 a and b], calls the valleys and theplains^ two mapr divisions in Tamil Nadu's social ecology. The wet area refers to a belt stretching along the river Kaveri, where a canal system benefits .he alluvial lands. The densely populated villages are cool and shady, situated along the canals,

* Bharatidasan University, Tiruchirapam, lamilnadu.

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