Social Scientist. v 5, no. 50 (Sept 1976) p. 78.


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BO OK RE VIEW

Review Article

Kindly Light that Led Village India

D N DHANAGRE, AGRARIAN MOVEMENTS AND GANDHIAN POLITICS, Institute of Social Sciences, Agra 1975. pp 122. Rs 10.

THREE LECTURES compressed in this volume form part of the author's doctoral dissertation. He rightly acknowledges in the preface that some of the questions and issues raised have not been fully examined. His ^Framework for Analyzing Peasant Movements", the theme of the first lecture, does not take into account a dialectical understanding of the peasant movement which is bourgeois in essence but revolutionary in the existing historical context. ^Land to the tiller' does not do away with market relations, it only deepens the inroads of the appropriating classes into semi-feudal sharecropping society; but in a period when socialism and revolutionary struggles have driven the bourgeoisie into the arms of semi-feudal landlords all over the world, such a demand becomes dangerous to the status quo as it threatens the land monopoly in rural areas.

The author's one-sided perspective leads him to describe Marx's view of peasants as ambivalent.l He is right when he states that to Engels, peasantry is internally split, unorganized and hence politicallly impotent unless mobilized by the organized working class. Marx, too, held this view. But Dhanagre's inference from it that the revolutionary potential was only implied in the peasantry and not ^posited" is vague.2 The decisive contribution of the peasantry to the October Revolution and later on to the Chinese revolution proved the revolutionary potential of the peasantry more directly. The Marxist-Leninist conceptions8 of the peasantry were not seriously challenged in China, as contended by the author, for Mao is emphatic in asserting that New Democracy is a part of the world socialist revolution led by the working class. The author indulges in wild generalization by stating that ^Lenin's revolutionary



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