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

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Green Revolution and Agricultural Labourers

The New Orthodoxy IT lias become part of the new orthodoxy in official circles in India that the only feasible as well as the surest way of improving the economic conditions of the weaker sections of the rural population (like agricultural labourers) is to encourage faster agricultural growth through subsidisation of the chemical- biological breakthrough in production and through the promotion of agrarian capitalism in the countryside. Let the enterprising capitalist fanners fatten themselves and then the agricultural labourers can thrive on , the bigger crumbs off their table: this, in effect, is the New Agricultural Strategy that has dominated the Government agricultural policy in the 1960s. Confidence in the essential soundness of this policy has been nurtured by the glowing accounts by visiting foreign friends about the all-round prosperity they have seen while driving through their favourite Punjab villages, and by occasional Government or semi-Government reports about the high cash wage rates that the agricultural labourers supposedly demand and get nowadays. The only major concern seems to be that the Green Revolution is not spreading at a fast enough rate to paddy agriculture; but there too it is only a matter of time before some Rice Research Institute somewhere, working overtime on Rockefeller Foundation patronage, hits on exactly the right strains of high-yielding rice suited to the soil-climate complex of the paddy regions in India.

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