Social Scientist. v 12, no. 134 (July 1984) p. 2.


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2 SOCIAL SCIENTIST

material \vas available to him at the time, was itself subject to development and never perhaps reached any degree of finality. And since the concept has been often distorted and used for reactionary ideological purposes, notably in the writings of Wittfogel, Marxists on their part have also been rather lukewarm about it. M J K Thavaraj in his article reviews this chequered history, and wonders if one cannot profitably use some of Marx's insights embedded in this concept for understanding a certain period of Indian history.

Nasir Tyabji's article locates the origin of the small industries policy of the government as well as the subsequent shifts in this policy within the overall political economy of India's development. Tyabji draws a pertinent distinction between the small enterprise and the small entrepreneur. The governments promotion of small enterprises is often taken edvantage of by monopoly capitalists, to the exclusion of the genuine small entrepreneurs themselves; the latter moreover are often victims of the squeeze by monopoly capitalists, whether as competitors or as ancillary producers. There is therefore an anti-monopoly ire among small entrepreneurs which the democratic movement should reckon with and profit from.

B R Shyamala Devi's note on the Lambada tribe is important for a particular reason among others. This is one of the few tribes which has a system of admitting "outsiders" into the tribe, a fact which has of late aroused a good deal of intrest among anthropologists. Her firsthand account of an actual "admission" ceremony in which she not only participated, but even initiated a move for reform, is of considerable intrest in this context.

And finally, the note by Ram Subas draws attention to what Kautsky and Lenin called the process of "parcellisation" of land holdings, occurring in eastern Uttar Pradesh. While subas5 data do not show any tendency towards increasing concentration of land holding among the households with land, the fact that in a situation of retarded capitalist development with little employment opportunities outside agriculture, parcellisation itsef tends to general pauperisation of the lower peasantry, is vividly brought out by his figures.



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