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By Joseph Tharamangalam

ISBN-10: 0774801263

ISBN-13: 9780774801263

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Extra info for Agrarian Class Conflict: The Political Mobilization of Agricultural Labourers in Kuttanad, South India

Sample text

From the 1920's they were in the forefront of banking, which saw rapid growth during the next 15 years. 8 It is of interest that these new banking institutions were concentrated mainly in those regions where agricultural development and growth were most prominent. This means that the development of banking and commerce were related to the development of capitalist agriculture, and that conversely, "the capitalist developments in agriculture . . , which were not even municipal towns then. It was only later that these banks opened out branches in larger towns.

4-1 1-2 2-4 4-6 more than 6 Total Alleppey District No. 7 100 100 Kottayam District No. 8 100 100 Total No. 4 hectares = 1 acre Source: Government of Kerala, Report on Kuttanad Development Project, 1974, p. 8 100 Source: Compiled from Tables 2 and 9. of Alleppey district as a whole (see Table 12). 3 per cent of the cultivators are big farmers owning 2 or more hectares of land. However, roughly 1 per cent of the cultivators hold 6 or more hectares of land. It is significant that Kuttanad taluk, which has the largest kayal padasekharams (paddy fields in the lake area), also stands out as having the highest proportion of large landowners.

What is important to note here is that at least during the last few hundred years a clear relationship has existed among caste, landownership, and the extent of participation in labour. Thus, for instance, the landless agricultural labourers of today are also in large part untouchables whose ancestors constituted the bulk of the actual tillers of the land before the abolition of slavery in 1855. To discuss agrarian structure in Kuttanad it is necessary to place it in the context of the historical development of land and society in Travancore and, to some extent, in the whole of Kerala.

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Agrarian Class Conflict: The Political Mobilization of Agricultural Labourers in Kuttanad, South India by Joseph Tharamangalam

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