Social Scientist. v 12, no. 135 (Aug 1984) p. 2.

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The three notes in this number are on very diverse themes. The note on tenancy in Bihar is interesting for drawing attention to the persistence of a phenomenon which many writers have tended to play down of late, namely, sharecropping tenancy where the lessees are landless semi-proletarian peasants. It is often argued that tenancy as a phenomenon has itself lost significance, and that even within such tenancy as exists, a new kind of tenancy where the well-to-do capitalist farmers and rich peasants lease in land from the poor and marginal peasants has come to coexist with or even overhadow the old familiar kind of tenancy. While the note does not go into the quantitative dimensions of the older kind of tenancy either in Bihar or in the particular region studied, it is of interst for revealing that this kind of tenancy prevail almost in its text book purity: oral leases, short leases, compulsory labour service, fifty-fifty product sharing despite zero contribution t^ costs by landlords etc.

Atui Goswami's note underlines the heterogeneity among the various tribes in India, and particularly in the North-East. It criticises^ the strategy of "tribal development'^, so-called, for using a legalistic term as defined in a constitutional schedule or a Presidential notification as a unit of analysis for a planning exercise, and draws attention to the social havoc that such "development" is creating in many instances.

Finally we publish a short piece on the Eighth Finance Commission report and its sequel, which introduces to the readers of Social Scientist an issue which has been much discussed in the parliament and the press recently.

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