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

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Kulaks and the Left

I HAVE a few comments to offer on Gait Omvedt's angry article on the Shetkari Sanghatana (November 28). (1) The changes that she describes as having occurred "in the rural sector since independence'' are far from universal. They are broadly valid for the 20 per cent irrigated area, but in the rest of the agrarian .society the rich peasants (i e, those who take in labour in addition to that of their families) are not capitalist farmers (except in the purely formal sense of employing wage-labour) nor do they constitute "a part of India's ruling bloc as a whole". Mather, they are either part of a generally oppressed peasantry (as in the still very much feudal areas like large parts of Telengana) or merely the leading stratum of a 'peasant' society that lives from day to day (as in a considerable part of the dry regions in the country). This does not mean that they do not indulge in violence against the rural poor, but that docs not in itself make them part of the country's 'ruling bloc".

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