ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal-Variations Across Socio-Economic Groups

Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal Variations Across Socio-Economic Groups Nikhilesh Bhattacharya Manabendu Chattopadyay Ashok Rudra This is the last in a series of six papers reporting on changes in the level of living in rural West Bengal as reflected in the results of a resurvey of households in villages of Bardhaman, Birbhum and Purulia districts. In this paper the authors report some results obtained on changes in housing conditions and the level of consumption for sample households classified by occupation groups and caste-tribe identities.

A Case for Oversampling the Rich in Statistical Investigations

In view of the systematic underestimation of aggregates which are associated with the richer sections of the population in the National Sample Survey and other large scale sample surveys, this paper makes a case for over- sampling the rich in such surveys.

Share of Agriculture in Labour Force

Labour Absorption in Agriculture by Anne Booth and R M Sundrum; Oxford University Press, 1984; Rs 100. ANNE BOOTH and R M Sundrum's book is one of those which are difficult to review for falling between the two stools of being a research monograph and a text book. The book is essentially a survey of literature in the field of development economics of agriculture. It presents too few research results from the authors

Teachers Strike A Dissenting View

Ashok Rudra THE pieces by Sumanta Banerjee (SB), Gurbir Singh (GS) (EPW, September 19) and Krishna Bharadwaj (KB) and Tanika Sarkar (TS) and others (EPW, October 17-24) about the teachers' strike have made me decide to take up my pen and to explain my own stand which has been that of total opposition to that 'historic' strike. It was indeed an historicevent, a record not only in the matter of duration but also in the matter of the total unity and almost hundred per .cent participation. SB does not hesitate to recall in this connection the 26-day railway strike of 1974. The teachers' strike, which exceeded that length by four days, is thus a repetition of another historic event. But, as Marx said, when history repeats itself, the second instance is usually in the nature of a farce. The railway strike was also a failure Why and how? The full force of the state's passive apparatus was unleashed to break the strike. The police beat up strikers, arrested their leaders, raped their women and set fire to their houses. Compared to that the kid-glove treatment meted out to the teachers should raise doubts as to the stakes involved. The 2,70,000 teachers enjoyed a holiday, bridging the gap between the summer vacation and the October vacation, with no repression of any kind to face. The strike collapsed on its own just about the salary day at the beginning of September, as might easily have been predicted.

Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal-Perceptions of the People

This paper is the fifth of a series reporting the results of a resurvey of villages and households carried out m 1985-86 in three districts of West Bengal-Bardhaman, Birbhum and Purulia-that had been covered in the 27th and 28th rounds of the NSS during 1972-74. The findings reported in the earlier papers covered several aspects of the people's level of living-private consumption, social consumption, housing conditions and stocks of consumer durables. The present paper presents a summary of the people's responses to questions on their own perceptions of changes in different dimensions of their level of living.

Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal-Consumer Durables, Clothing and Footwear

Consumer Durables, Clothing and Footwear Nikhilesh Bhattacharya Manabendu Chattopadhyay Ashok Rudra This is the fourth of a series of papers reporting on changes in the level of living in rural West Bengal as reflected in the results of a resurvey of villages and households in Bardhaman, Birbhum and Purulia districts. It reports on changes in the stocks of consumer durables, clothing and footwear.

Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal Housing Conditions

Housing Conditions Nikhilesh Bhattacharya Manabendu Chattopadhyay Ashok Rudra This, the third of a series of papers reporting on the results of a resurvey of villages and households in Bardhaman, Birbhum and Purulia districts, reports on changes in housing conditions in rural West Bengal between 1972-73 and 1985-86. The first two papers in the series described changes in private and social consumption.

Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal-Social Consumption

In the first of a series of articles comparing the results of a resurvey in 1985-86 of villages and households in three districts of West Bengal which had been covered by the NSS in its 27th and 28th rounds, the authors had reported stagnation in food consumption of households and only a mild improvement in non-food consumption. In this article, the second in the series, the authors study social consumption and find that there has been considerable improvement in the level of social consumption, although the absolute level even after the improvement remains most dismal.

Changes in Level of Living in Rural West Bengal-Private Consumption

A resurvey in 1985-86 of villages and households in three districts of West Bengal which were covered by the National Sample Survey in its 27th and 28th rounds reveals that there was little change in consumption standards for the food component of household consumption and only a mild improvement in the non-food part. Absolute levels of household consumption remained nearly as dismal in 1985-86 as in 1972-73.

Labour Relations in Agriculture-A Study in Contrasts

A Study in Contrasts Ashok Rudra It is an implicit assumption that in a developed region not only would the different forces of production be developed but also the relations of production would be more advanced. This comparative study of two rural areas in West Bengal, one relatively developed and the other relatively backward, seeks to test this hypothesis. It was expected that labour relations in the developed area would be more advanced than those in the Bankura area. Actually, the investigation shows that labour relations in the backward area are more advanced that those in the developed area.

Spitting Upwards at the Stars

Spitting Upwards at the Stars Ashok Rudra WHAT does one do when laced with stuff like that written about Simone de Beauvoir in the Calcutta Diary by AM? Ignore it, as many of us systematically do with his other Diary pieces? For their being just "flutters and expostulations"

Through a Glass, Darkly

mutual sectarianism, antagonism and opposition, it is developing by today into a fruitful dialogue, marked for instance by the recent important Marathi work of Raosaheb Kasbe, "Ambedkar ani Marx". For the fact is that what Khare describes as the ideology of the Untouchable is closer to what we know of as 'Marxism' than to 'Hinduism', INDIA has been a happy hunting ground for social scientists from the West for quite some time. For reasons which may not be all concerned with the demands of the discipline, social anthropology has in practice meant study of societies which according to some criteria are more backward than the societies to which the investigating scholars belong, even though the same scholars adamantly deny the validity of the concept of one society being more advanced or backward than another. So, social anthropologists of Europe and America go to India, Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, etc; following the line, Indian social anthropologists choose by preference tribal societies. If there are any scientific reasons for Western scholars not studying their own societies from a similar approach they are not known to this reviewer. There are of course many sociological studies of different aspects of Western societies like women's problems, family, sexual behaviour, etc. But can one think of any study like the one under review for a European small town society attempting to unravel connections that might be there between rituals in the local church, local occurrences of Christian festivals, the European theatre form and such continent- wise political phenomenon, like say, Euro- Communism? One cynical explanation for this systematic choice of geographically and culturally distant subjects might be the easy opportunity that it offers for escaping examination by competent critics. Thus, no other Western scholar has probably made an anthropological study of the society of Vishnupur. The total number of Western scholars who have studied any aspect of Bengali culture may not exceed a dozen in all. Even among them command over the Bengali lauguage may not be upto the needed standard, as may be inferred from the numerous linguistic mistakes one comes across in the book under review (about which more later). The same must be true of studies of other linguistic and ethnic groups in India as well as in the rest of Eric Wolfs "World without History''. This makes it possible for every other Western scholar to become an "authority" in his own small reserved domain.

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