Agrarian Bengal: Economy, Social Structure and Politics, by Sugata Bose

By Sugata Bose

In addition to being an excellent contribution to Indian fiscal and social background, this ebook attracts very important conclusions approximately peasant politics mostly and concerning the results of foreign fiscal fluctuations on basic generating nations. Dr Bose develops a common typology of structures of agrarian creation in Bengal to teach how those replied to varieties of strain from the realm financial system, and treats intimately the results of the area melancholy on Bengal. Separate chapters are dedicated to the topics of agrarian clash and non secular strife in east Bengal, the agrarian size of mass nationalism in west Bengal and sharecroppers agitations within the frontier areas. the realization makes an attempt a synthesis of the typology of agrarian social constitution and the periodisation of peasant politics, putting this within the wider context of agrarian societies and protest in different components of India and in South-east Asia.

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102. A typology of agrarian social structure 27 populated area around Mahadebpur they consist largely of landless labourers, but in the area as a whole it is the ordinary raiyat who adds to his profits by the cultivation of khamar land... 45 Similarly, the settlement officer of Mymensingh states quite plainly that nearly all bargadars had jote lands of their own. The bargadars, he wrote, 'do not form a class by themselves... 47 The dominance of the peasant smallholding system in early twentieth-century east Bengal is undeniable.

132-3. , Pater Kabita (Juriya, Assam, 1930). 24 Radhakamal Mukherji, Changing Face of Bengal, p. 275. The demographic background 51 terms, although the eastern districts still held an edge. 25 As the pressure of population intensified after 1920, holdings subdivided and shrank in size. In the fertile regions of east Bengal, the number of uneconomic holdings multiplied as a function of demographic growth in the interwar period. The process is more obscure in the infertile tracts of west Bengal: here a considerable fraction of the land in most holdings continued to lie fallow, but this may have been because the decline in the fertility of the soil made frequent fallowing necessary, and a large part was not, therefore, available for cultivation by an expanding population.

In a very poor district such as Bankura there is no lack of hired labourers. Indeed the Bauris as a class are usually landless men who work for others. 54 make an entry on the debit side of the balance sheet of the whole body would merely involve the necessity of including the same figure as an asset of the body on the credit side'. Noakhali SR, p. 48. The accounting is dubious, but the passage does suggest the absence of a distinct landless labour class in Noakhali. 53 Midnapur SR, p. 30. This was an area of rising population and expanding cultivation since the withdrawal of the salt monopoly in the mid-nineteenth century.

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