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

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The Agrarian Question and Development of Capitalism in India

The Agrarian Question and Development of Capitalism in India Utsa Patnaik This paper seeks to develop some of the important themes which Daniel Thorner initiated on the essential features of India's agrarian structure and growth problems. What has been the precise nature of the 'built-in depressor', the term coined by Thorner to denote the complex of agrarian relations which made it paying for landlords to live on extracting rent, usurious interest and trading profit out of an impoverished peasantry rather than go in for productivity-raising investment? What have been the circumstances under which the operation of the 'depressor' has ceased at least in certain cropping regimes in certain parts of the country and what have been the reasons for such cessation? In what ways has the development strategy followed under the Plans in the last three decades impinged upon and altered agrarian relations? And what is likely to be the reciprocal effects of the way agrarian relations have been affected upon the rate and structure of industrialisation? Finally, at the end of some quarter century of the growth of the capitalist tendency in rural areas, where are we today with respect to the so-called 'mode of production' controversy?

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