Change and Development in Rural Society

Change and Development in Rural Society

Question

What are the different factors that have enabled certain groups to transform themselves into new wealthy, entrepreneurial, dominant classes? Can you think of an example of this transformation in your state?

Answer

There are several factors (economic, social etc.) that have enabled certain groups of the Indian society to tranform themselves into new wealthy, enterpreneurial dominant of the society.

(i) Ownership of the land is considered the major factor which had enabled certain groups to transfer themselves in new wealthy enterpreneur and dominant classes in the society. The caste as classes who have become rich and have purchased big pieces of land as well as latest agricultural machines, apprators, tools and using latest technology of agricultural production and costly inputs of agricultural such as good qualities of seeds, chemical, fertilisers, pesticides, tractors, trollies, commerical crops, farming and participating in the process of globalisation are called wealthy to enter-preneur and dominant people of the society.

(ii) In most region of India the major landowning groups belong to castes i.e. the Shudra or Kshatriya Varnas.

(iii) In each region, there are usually just one or two major landowning castes, who are also numerically very important. Such groups were termed by the sociologist M. N. Srinivas as dominant castes. In each region, the dominant caste is the most powerful group, economically and politically, and dominates local society.

Example: For instance some of dominant landowning groups are the Jats and Rajputs of U.P., the Vokkaligas and Lingayats in Karnataka, Kammas and Reddis in Andhra Pradesh, and Jat Sikhs in Punjab.

(iv) Middle or High rank caste: While dominant landowning groups are usually middle or high ranked castes, most of the marginal farmers and landless belong to lower caste groups. In official classification they belong to the Scheduled Castes or Tribes (SC/STs) or Other Backward Classes (OBCs). In many regions of India, the former ‘Untouchable’ or dalit castes were not allowed to own land and they provided most of the agricultural labour for the dominant landowning groups. This also created a labour force that allowed the landowners to cultivate the land intensively and get higher returns.

(v) Access to land and resources: The rough correspondence between caste and class means that typically the upper and middle castes also had the best access to land and resources, and hence to power and privilege. This had important implications for the rural economy and society. In most regions of the country, a ‘proprietary caste’ group owns most of the resources and can command labour to work for them.

(vi) The first Green Revolution: In most of the Green Revolution areas, it was primarily the medium and large farmers who was able to benefit from the new technology. This was because inputs were expensive, and small and marginal farmers could not afford to spend as much as large farmers to purchase these inputs. When agriculturists produce primarily for themselves and are unable to produce for the market, it is known as ‘subsistence agriculture’ and they are usually termed ‘peasants’. Agriculturists or farmers are those who are able to produce surplus, over and above the needs of the family, and so are linked to the market. It was the farmers who were able to produce a surplus for the market who were able to reap the most benefits from the Green Revolution and from the commercialisation of agriculture that followed.

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