Ideology in Agrarian Research
P C JOSHI, LAND REFORMS IN INDIA, TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES, Allied Publishers Private Limited, New Delhi 1975, pp 181, Rs 15.
THE PRESENT reviewer had on an earlier occasion (Social Scientist 25, August 1974) referred to a few academics who were critical of Indian Marxists. Among them was P C Joshi who derided, in his contribution 10 Seminar 178 on "Marxism and India", the theoretical works of Indian Marxists as "pamphlet Marxism."
It was then pointed out that among the theoretical activities of Indian Marxists should be counted the studies by the Bengal Kisan Sabha and the present reviewer himself, among others, on the agrarian question as well as the national question in India which produced such works as Bhowani Sen's Nutan Bangia, P Sundarayya's Visalandhra and the present reviewer's Aykya Kerala. Reference was also made to "the amount of theoretical work that lay behind a brief passage in the programme of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which summed up the main features of Indian society handed down to us during the centuries of its existence and development."
It is now the pleasant duty of this reviewer to note the ample amends made by P C Joshi. In the work under review he has taken a balanced view of the respective roles played by the early British administrators, successive generations of nationalist and radical politicians (including Marxists) and trained academics, in the development of the study of agrarian structure in India. The present work is a valuable contribution to the understanding of how the theory of the agrarian question in India developed.
The book is divided into two parts. The first deals with "the trends and perspectives of land reforms" while the second gives a selected bibliography, themewise and regionwise. Part One again is divided into two sections, dealing respectively with the pre-and post-independence agrarian