ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Science for the People

March 8, 1980 have left the rural poor in Telengana almost in the same position as those in Basti. Why was this? In part Sunil Sen's "Agrarian Relations in India" is an attempt to answer this question. In contrast to Rao's collection, it is a study by an ex-activist in the peasant movement who worked "without any financial assistance from the proliferating research institutes" (vii). According to Sen, commercial agriculture helped lay the basis for the growth of capitalist relations of production, and the growing class of rich peasantry who benefited from this not only had their quarrels with merchants and landlords and so entered the agrarian movement, but also came to dominate it and to emerge after Independenpe as a rising class of capitalist farmers who were the main oppressors of the rural poor. (Though Sen notes that merchant and! usurer capital remain significant in many areas, and tends to stress the capitalist transformation as occurring most completely in the Punjab.) Sen is critical of the Kisan Sabha (and thus indirectly of its communist leadership of which he evidently remains a part) for its ambivalent attitude towards the khetmajurs and for appeasement of the rich peasants

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