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

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The Farmers Movement in Punjab- Politics of Pressure Groups and Pressure of Party Politics

The agrarian transformation in Punjab has broadly undergone three phases. During the British colonial rule, the military-feudal-imperial nexus operated through the canal colonies, enabling the Britishers to extract large profits through colonial extraction. Contradictions within this feudal agrarian system led to peasant mobilisations over tenurial rights, largely under the Kisan Sabha of the Communist Party, culminating in the Land Ceiling Act in the post-independence period. Introduction of new farm technology and the consequent monetisation of agricultural activities under the 'green revolution' signalled the second phase of agrarian transformation. Unequal terms of trade between rural and urban sectors became the major contradiction characterising this phase, and farmers' movements arose seeking redressal of this discrimination. The latest phase of agrarian transformation is signified by the shift of farmers' organisations from non-electoral politics of pressure groups to active participation in electoral politics. This change reflects the growing need to address farmers' issues to wider legislative processes of decision-making and power.

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