Social Scientist. v 2, no. 16 (Nov 1973) p. 3.


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SUHAS CHATTOPADHTAT

On the Class Nature of Land Reforms in India since Independence

TOWARDS the end of the 1960s there was a widespread opinion at the governmental levels and in some academic circles that a considerable progress in land reforms had gradually and almost imperceptibly transformed the semi-feudal agrarian structure of pre-independence India into a largely peasant economy.1 The claims for the progress in land reforms were as follows:

(i) zamindaris, jagirs, inams and other intermediary tenures had been practically abolished, bringing 20 million tenants into direct relationship with the state and making available to the state governments several million acres of cultivable land for redistribution to landless agriculturists;2

(ii) complete security of tenure had been ensured in Uttar Pradesh (where the landlords could not resume any land), and in the Union territory of Delhi, in West Bengal in respect of under-raiyats (other than bargadars) and in Rajasthan in respect of a minimum holding, having a net annual income of Rs. 1200;8

(iii) in Gujarat, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mysore, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh and Tripura, security of tenure was subject to the landlord's right to resume land for personal cultivation in specified cases. The period within which such resumption could be exercised had, however, expired in most cases. In some states



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