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

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Against Feudalism

Historians and economists have propounded various theories of 'feudalism' and 'semi-feudalism' in order to explain social formations in India. The theory of 'Indian Feudalism' has two versions, the Universalist and the Particularist. This paper offers a critique of both these versions and argues that a theory of social formations derived from European experience has little relevance to Indian conditions. Indeed, there are no corresponding Indian equivalents in practice to many essential components of Euro- pean feudalism like vassalage, serfdom, fealty, etc.

Who Is Afraid of Economists

words are being written one reads in the newspapers the announcement of the IMF loan finally going through, India accepting every one of the conditions about which there has been so much of rumbling in the country. The state- ment issued by the "23 eminent economists from different parts of the country who met in Calcutta on August 7 and 8 at the invitation of the Government of West Bengal" does not seem to have had any effect on the course of events.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward

Ashok Rudra If a political party aims at majority support among the agricultural population, it cannot but in the ultimate analysis betray the most exploited and the most oppressed sections of the rural masses.

Labour Employment and Wages in Agriculture-Results of a Survey in West Bengal, 1979

Agriculture Results of a Survey in West Bengal, 1979 Pranab Bardhan Ashok Rudra I an earlier paper (EPW, August 30) the authors reported the results of a survey of a random sample of 110 villages in West Bengal 1979 on the specific question of different types of attachment relations between an employer and a labourer in agriculture. In this paper they report on other results relating to labour employment and wages yielded by the same survey.

Types of Labour Attachment in Agriculture-Results of a Survey in West Bengal, 1979

Types of Labour Attachment in Agriculture Results of a Survey in West Bengal, 1979 Pranab Bardhan Ashok Rudra THE First (1950-51) and the Second (1956-57) Agricultural Labour Enquiry in India classified all agricultural labourers into two categories: attached and casual. In a rather devastating critique of the concepts used in the First Enquiry, Daniel Thorner (1956) noted that the terms 'attached' and 'casual', as interpreted by the designers of the Enquiry, proved in practice to be "mutually nonexclusive catch-alls for non-homogeneous groups", and what was worse, the specific content and meaning of these two terms were left sufficiently vague as to allow arbitrary and conflicting interpretations by different field investigators in different areas. Raj (1962) reiterated similar criticisms of those two terms as used in the Second Enquiry, Faced with these criticisms, the statistical bureaucracy reacted in a characteristic fashion: they dropped the casual/attach- ed classification altogether in subsequent Enquiries.

Farm Size and Labour Use Analysis and Policy

Ashok Rudra Amartya Sen The debate on size and productivity relations in Indian agriculture', which began with the publication of a note by one of the authors of this paper eighteen years ago, was joined by the other author six years later. Since then, many other scholars, including the present authors, have contributed to the debate.

Capitalism without Private Capital

Ashok Rudra IN some sense it is too late to review this book; ; some other sense it can never be too late. As a matter of fact it may even be considered too early. Bettelheim wants to cover the history of Soviet society from 1917 to 1953 in a number of volumes of which this is only the first. This covers the period 1917 to 1923. A second volume covering the period 1924 to 1927 has already appeared in French two years back and it might have also appeared in English by now. Obviously no definitive assessment of this projected monumental work can be thought of before the appearance of all the volumes. The first volume, however, possesses an extra especial interest in that it sets out explicitly the method of analysis the author proposes to use; further, one gets a good sample of the way the author makes use of that method for analysing the zig-zag course of events of that crucial period when Lenin was still at the helm of affairs.

Class Relations in Indian Agriculture

The author, in the course of this article, develops and presents a thesis regarding the class composition of the Indian agricultural population. The thesis is that there are only two classes in Indian agriculture, one of which is termed 'the class of big landowners' and the other 'the class of agricultural labourers'. These two classes are in antagonistic contradiction with each other, and this contradiction constitutes the principal contradiction in our rural society, The thesis implies rejection of the commonly accepted class differentiation in terms of agricultural labourers, poor peasants, middle peasants, rich peasants, landlords, etc. While recognising that this scheme id sanctified because of its formulation and application by Lenin and Mao Tse-tung, the author argues that the scheme is not helpful when it comes to Indian conditions. By 'helpful is meant helpful from the point of view of practice. In this, the authors idea is the fundamental Marxian thought that the only test of the correctness of theories and the usefulness of concepts lies in their application in practice.

Class Relations in Indian Agriculture

Ashok Rudra The author, in the course of this article, develops and presents a thesis regarding the class composition of the Indian agricultural population. The thesis is that there are only two classes in Indian agriculture, one of which is termed 'the class of big landowners', the other 'the class of agricultural labourers'. These two classes are in antagonistic contradiction with each other, and this contradiction con- stitutes the principal contradiction in our rural society.

CAPITAL VIEW

of Kerala Joan P Mencher The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of agrarian relations in the two main rice regions of Kerala, Kuttanad (a low-lying area covering parts of Alleppey, Kottayam and Quilon Districts) and Palghat, in order to examine one, forces interfering with production and, secondly, the elms relations that serve to impede a more equitable distribution of food and other commodities. The paper describes some of the striking contradictions in each area, and offers some tentative predictions for their future development.

WEST BENGAL

September 3, 1977 WEST BENGAL

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