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

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A Silent 'Revolution'? Women's Empowerment in Rural Tamil Nadu

One of the most significant social changes over the past 25 years in Tamil Nadu is the entry of women into the local political bodies at the village and village union levels through the 33% reservation system. Simultaneously, women are now, to a significant extent, organised in self-help groups. Through these about one-fourth of the households can access loans for small entrepreneurship or, rather more frequently, for smaller emergency/consumption loans. There has also been increased participation of women in the non-agricultural labour market and the emergence in Tamil Nadu of a rudimentary "barefoot" welfare state. In this article we report from a 25-year panel study of 213 agrarian households in six villages in Karur and Tiruchirapalli districts.

Agrarian Change and Social Mobility in Tamil Nadu

This is a study of social mobility over 25 years in six villages in the former Tiruchirapalli district in Tamil Nadu. The two most important external drivers are local industrialisation and social policy in a broad sense. It is shown that the overall effect seems to be a centripetal tendency in agrarian structure, with a movement towards a strengthened position for family farming and for the underdogs in the old agrarian society to leave agriculture altogether, seeking improved life chances in the non-agrarian economy, both inside the villages and in the wider economy.

Backward Classes and Reservations

R Vidyasagar V Suresh The reservation policy has been evolved primarily to contain the rising aspirations and consequent unrest among the deprived classes. It only co-opts the propertied classes of the backward communities for legitimising the political system and preventing challenges to the existing economic structure.

Vanniyars Agitation

Vanniyars' Agitation R Vidyasagar The vanniyars' agitation in Tamil Nadu and the harijans' uprising as a response to it pose a severe test to the revolutionary movement which has a relatively better mass base among the harijans. Will the revolutionary movement be able to assimilate the democratic components of both the communities outflanking their parochial consciousness?
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