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

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Returning Agrarian Reform to Centre-Stage

clarifies about the nature of the main protagonists. More to the point, the pitfalls in trying to analyse the complexities of Bihar's rural violence generated in the course of agrarian struggles are indeed many. The upper caste poor's reluctance to join the camp of the peasant movement can only be partially explained by their caste prejudices towards those lower in the social hierarchy. It has perhaps much more to do with their class position as non-cultivating owners of small parcels of land who find the demand for higher wages detrimental to their interests and are not supposed to benefit from the slogan of 'land to the tillers". On the other hand, they, as owners of property, still continue to identify themselves with their richer caste bretheren and in turn serve as the rural rich's foot-soldiers in varied jobs like perpetrating violence at dalit hamlets as well as polling booths.

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