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

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From 50 Years Ago (14 January 2006)

first Plan for experiments in cooperative When land is given away to tillers, econom- FROM 50 YEARS AGO farming has remained unclaimed. ics of cultivation demands that cultivation The realists may also claim facts to be on should be organised on a basis other than that their side in resisting the policy of distribution of petty and fragmented holdings. Since we being carried too far. The progress in agri-have no means of organising mutual aid under culture during the last two to three years is central direction except insofar as community undeniable even when a generous allowance projects may achieve this object, how to Vol VIII, No 2, January 14, 1956 is made for favourable monsoons. If inequali-reconcile equity with efficiency of cultiva ties of landholding are a serious impediment tion? Those who are impressed most by theLand

first Plan for experiments in cooperativeWhen land is given away to tillers, econom-

FROM 50 YEARS AGO

farming has remained unclaimed.ics of cultivation demands that cultivation

The realists may also claim facts to be onshould be organised on a basis other than that

their side in resisting the policy of distributionof petty and fragmented holdings. Since we

being carried too far. The progress in agri-have no means of organising mutual aid under

culture during the last two to three years iscentral direction except insofar as community

undeniable even when a generous allowanceprojects may achieve this object, how toVol VIII, No 2, January 14, 1956

is made for favourable monsoons. If inequali-reconcile equity with efficiency of cultivaties of landholding are a serious impedimenttion? Those who are impressed most by theLand – The Biggest to agricultural improvement, how could theseurgency of redistribution of land fondly hoperemarkable results have been achieved with-that once land is given to him, the peasant willChallenge out any substantial progress in the directionnot be found lacking and will have the sense(Off the Record) of redistribution? to work out a system of joint cultivation onApart from the economic argument, how-his own, without waiting for the blessings of

The argument against redistribution of landever, which rests primarily on the powerfulthe Registrar of Cooperative Societies. Howto indigent peasantry on the ground thatincentive which ownership gives to the urgeever that may be, land is going to present thehowever desirable it may be as social policy,for development, there is a powerful socialbiggest challenge; an appropriate social policyeconomically it will be a backward step, ascase for a new deal to the landless. This is will have to be worked out in respect ofit will lower the efficiency of cultivation, willbased on the study of village society. Thelandownership in the second Plan period.take a lot of answering. To answer it effectively,village community does not represent a har-And not only in regard to land. Indeed, itit is not enough to say that it is implicit in themony of interests; on the contrary, it is torn bylooks as if questions of social policy will comeredistribution of land that the State undertakes internal dissensions largely arising from theup uppermost, not at the stage of the formuthe responsibility of providing credit and find-maldistribution of land. It is very oftendividedlation of the second Plan perhaps, but in theing the resources necessary for efficient culti-into warring camps, on the one side beingcourse of its execution. The emphasis onvation. Even that is not enough. For the answer,those who have the land, mostly belongingtoemployment itself is a thin end of the wedge;forthe first Plan dependend on cooperative farm-the upper castes and on the other, the landlessgradually employment is coming to be recoging. This has made so little progress, however,– mostly the Harijans and the lower castes.nised as one of the given premises accordingand experience of these five years has givenSo to talk of building from the bottom, andto which planning has to be modified, even if inlittle hope of its ever being realised. Even thecreating a healthy rural base, are equally un-that process, the rate of growth achieved beallocation of Rs 50 lakhs recommended in the meaning until this basic disparity is removed. comes slower than what it could be otherwise.

Economic and Political Weekly January 14, 2006

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