Changing Land Distribution System in India – A comparative analysis of 48 th and 59 th round By Gaurav Arya

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  Changing Land Distribution System in India – A comparative analysis of 48 th and 59 th round By Gaurav Arya
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  CASIRJ Volume 5 Issue 1 [Year - 2014]   ISSN 2319  –  9202 International Research Journal of Commerce Arts and Science http:www.casirj.com Page 302 Changing Land Distribution System in India –  A comparative analysis of 48 th  and 59 th  round By Gaurav Arya Ph.D.Scholar   CSRD/SSS Email: -  arya.csrdjnu@gmail.com  Jawaharlal Nehru University  New Delhi-110067 Introduction Agriculture in India holds a pride of place in terms of both income and employment. It is a way of life that penetrates its organisational structure and moulds its value system. In India unequal distribution of property and income forms the basis of agrarian hierarchy. The prevailing value system justifies this existing inequality. Both the privileged and the unprivileged believe that men are born unequal. The respect for higher status runs through every level of the social system. The hierarchical values and un-equal social structures reinforce each other thereby making the change of any status quo very difficult. Indian agriculture comprises multiple social systems each displaying a different process of change. This structure thus provides ample opportunities for research in land systems and reform procedures. Before exploring the inherent complexities of the Indian agrarian sector, we shall trace the process of evolution which contributed to this complex structure. Land distribution and tenancy among the various social groups, especially in rural India is important issue in these days because in rural areas land is major sources of income and employment. But there is very diversification in land distribution in India. These diversification increases the inequality in rural areas. The inequality is very high among different social groups in rural areas because, in rural areas economy is based on agriculture. Some upper society groups have their property right on agricultural land. On the other hand scheduled cast and tribes are the most advantages to the agricultural land.  CASIRJ Volume 5 Issue 1 [Year - 2014]   ISSN 2319  –  9202 International Research Journal of Commerce Arts and Science http:www.casirj.com Page 303 In India where the agriculture is the prime source of livelihood for a vast majority of people living in rural and tribal areas, land continues to be the pivotal property in terms of both income and employment, around which socio-economic privileges and deprivations revolve. Though the members of scheduled castes and tribes mostly reside in the countryside and derive their livelihood by working on land, they are the most disadvantaged in respect to the land. The incidence of landless is more having minuscule holdings or are   sharecroppers or other types of insecure tenants. In India 10 percent of households are landless in 2003 while eighty percent are marginal, the areas under them only 23 percent. On the other hand 0.6 percent households having 11.55 percent of owned land. India is a land of small farms, of peasants cultivating their ancestral lands mainly by family labour. Although farms in India are typically are typically small throughout the country, the average size holdings by state ranges from about 0.5 hectare in Kerala and 0.75 hectare in Tamil Nadu to three hectare in Maharashtra and five hectare in Rajasthan. Factors influencing this range include soils, topography, rainfall, rural population density, and thoroughness of land redistribution programs in India. This various distribution of land increases poverty and decreases efficiency of per capita per hectare. In this study we are analysing the land distribution system in India among major states through a comparative study  between 48 th  and 59 th  round of NSSO (national sample survey organisation). Literature review The land reform (LR) policy was concretised for the first time in the First Five-Year Plan (1951-56). Agrarian classes were classified into intermediaries, large owners, small and medium owners, tenants at will and landless workers [Government of India 1951]. Special emphasis was given on the abolition of intermediaries, enactment of radical tenancy laws and resumption of cultivation based on peasant proprietorship. The need for providing a ceiling and lower limit to agricultural lands was recommended. The ceiling issue was later given proper importance in the Agra session of the All India Congress Committee. Later the panel on land reforms under Gulzarilal Nanda (1955) elaborated the method of imposition of ceiling, the unit of ceiling fixation and the requisite precautions required to plug the loopholes of the ceiling law.  CASIRJ Volume 5 Issue 1 [Year - 2014]   ISSN 2319  –  9202 International Research Journal of Commerce Arts and Science http:www.casirj.com Page 304 The panel also dealt with the question of security of tenure and introduction of co-operation in the case of non-viable units. Land reforms have been treated as one of the principal instruments for the creation of an egalitarian rural society, in tune with socialistic spirit, as provided in the preamble and under part-4 of the constitution (Directive Principles of state policy). It has also been   included in the ninth schedule to ensure speedy and unhindered implementation of various legislative measures. However, land reform being a state subject, the legislative as well as the administrative responsibility devolves on states, and the union government lays down only the general guidelines. Therefore, the nature of legislative measures and their implementation and achievement are likely to vary from state to states because they are influenced by the complex interaction of historical necessities and socio-political and economic forces, which are largely state or region specific. In such a context, a comprehensive and comparative analysis of the legislative measures of various states relating to land rights of the schedule groups and their consequent effects on land distribution is imperative as these are issues of major policy concern. Though the question of control and use of land among the scheduled castes and tribes has not  been left of the planning commission, 48 per cent of the population of scheduled entirely out of scientific inquiry, it has received only occasional. Mohanty B.B. (2001), in recognition of the basic proposition that poor land ownership position of the scheduled groups accounts largely for their perpetual poverty and makes them vulnerable to social injustice and exploitation, the government of India has made a systematic endeavour to protect and promote their rights with regard to control and use of land through land reforms and allied measures . Land distribution in India closely follows social hierarchy. While the large landowners invariably belong to the upper castes, the cultivators  belong to the middle castes and the agricultural workers largely to the scheduled castes and tribes (Beteille 1972). Land being the important socially valued asset, its un-equal distribution helps maintain the hierarchical structure and strengthen the basis of dominance of the privileged groups by perpetuating inequality and deprivation in various socio-economic spheres. Seen from this point, the idea of fair distribution of land directly strikes at the roots of such social relations.  CASIRJ Volume 5 Issue 1 [Year - 2014]   ISSN 2319  –  9202 International Research Journal of Commerce Arts and Science http:www.casirj.com Page 305 Therefore, the upper castes' landed interests have opposed the legislative measures with respect to land redistribution through various methods (Mohanty, 2001). But when the magnitude of resistance of the deprived people challenges the existing order or shows signs of potential threat, the resultant change provokes reform measures. In an insensitive democracy like India, state action is identified with people's action and people's empowerment rests on their collective resistance and agitation. The measures to promote and protect the interests of the deprived are   not usually expected without persistent demands and protracted struggles. Land reforms in India have been launched in response to compelling demands expressed through agitation, struggle and movements (Dhanagare 1983, Radhakrishnan 1989). But, land reform policy being fundamentally a political issue, the state passes legislation only to  pacify and neutralise the agrarian tension (Suri and Raghavulu 1996). In order to monitor the implementation of such measures, the existence of strong social movements is crucial. The entrenched dominant landowning privileged groups would never like to surrender their power and privilege without exertion on them of mounting pressure from the deprived people. According to census of India, (1991) 64 per cent of scheduled castes and 36 per cent of scheduled tribes mainly workers are agricultural labourers as against 31 per cent of others. It also reveals that 25 per cent of the scheduled castes and 55 per cent of scheduled tribes are cultivators compared to 40 per cent of others. The poorest among the poor in the Indian society are largely from these groups. As per the estimates castes and 51 per cent of scheduled tribes are below poverty line. The all India figure according to the millennium study by Chaddha, shows that the share of scheduled castes in the total rural population, land and incidence of landlessness has all increased. Land owned by these households has been highest in West Bengal (24 per cent). On the other hand, for the scheduled tribes it is seen that the share in both population and land has increased but share for incidence of landlessness has declined. Land owned by these households has been high in Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and west Bengal. While, the share of non-scheduled castes and tribes has declined for both population and land but have marginally increased for incidence of landlessness. The incidence of landlessness among the SC households  CASIRJ Volume 5 Issue 1 [Year - 2014]   ISSN 2319  –  9202 International Research Journal of Commerce Arts and Science http:www.casirj.com Page 306 stood at 13.34 per cent compared with 10.54 per cent among the non-SC and ST households and 11.50 percent among the ST households. An understanding of the pattern of ownership and operational holdings of land is, therefore of central importance to an understanding of the agrarian class structure. Data on landholdings in India, in particular, on ownership holdings of land have been fraught with    problems. Data from land and livestock surveys conducted decennially by the national sample survey organisation (NSSO) are the most important source of information on distribution of landholdings in India. As part of these surveys, detailed data are collected on ownership and operational tenancy, nature of land use, status of irrigation, and cropping pattern. According to the 59 th  round of the land and livestock surveys, only about 10 per cent households did not own any land (Sharma 1994, 2007; Chaddha, 2004). Primary data-based studies from most states report a much higher level of landlessness. Also, NSS surveys themselves report much higher level of landlessness (of order of about 40 per cent) in terms of operational holdings. Such a large level of discrepancy between landlessness in terms of ownership holdings and landlessness in terms of operational holdings cannot be explained by the extent of tenancy. Framework of the present study The present study brings out various facts of households ownership holdings ownership holding of the countries in rural areas. It covers different aspects of ownership holdings in terms of alternative uses to which land is put, types and terms of lease, and their variation over size classes of ownership holdings. It also brings out the estimates of area under household ownership holdings, average size of holding, the number and proportion of landless households etc. In the present stud y size distribution, the “broad size classes” are further merged into six size classes. The first of these, called „nil‟ relates to households that operated no land or operated a land of area of less than 0.02 hectare during the reference period. The other five size classes are found along the lines adopted in the agricultural census of India.
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