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By Joseph Tharamangalam

ISBN-10: 0774801263

ISBN-13: 9780774801263

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Extra info for Agrarian Class Conflict: The Political Mobilization of Agricultural Labourers in Kuttanad, South India

Example text

Drainage operations are carried out on a large scale, covering a whole padasekharam at a time, and are done through the Punja Special Office, which gives the job to private contractors through auction. Part of the expenditure for this operation is borne by the government in the form of a subsidy to the farmers. Drainage operations usually continue uninterrupted for three to four weeks, at the end of which the farmers begin repairing the inner bunds that demarcate the individual plots within a padasekharam.

These developments placed the cultivators of Travancore in a favoured position in relation to their counterparts in British India, particularly in Malabar whose misery and insecurity under a very oppressive land tenure system are well known. However, they did not spell the end of landlordism or pave the way for the emergence of independent peasant cultivators generally. Such a tendency was arrested and even reversed, at least partly, as new land leasing began to develop with a variety of tenurial rights.

Given the unpredictable and erratic pattern of yields in Kuttanad, it seems likely that the average yields would work out to be less than the 675 paras per hectare over a period of a few years. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that labour unrest in Kuttanad seems to have had little or no adverse effect on productivity. There is little doubt that paddy cultivation in Kuttanad has become a much more lucrative enterprise than before, although it still remains risky and requires much more capital and more skillful operations.

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Agrarian Class Conflict: The Political Mobilization of Agricultural Labourers in Kuttanad, South India by Joseph Tharamangalam


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