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

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Agrarian Violence in Bihar

This paper argues that the present spate of agrarian violence in Bihar is a manifestation of intense struggle between the rural oligarchy and the direct producers, the latter comprising agricultural labourers and cultivators who use mainly family labour in their cultivation, EnmesHed in the feudal tradition of extra-economic coercion, the rural oligarchy is engaged in a feudal mode of appropriation of surplus and in intensification of exploitation. The direct producers have now decided to resist this exploitation and this antagonistic contradiction manifests itself in class struggle which surfaced in the late sixties and is now becoming bloodier every day The struggle has intensified as the economic crisis has deepened because of non-development in an agrarian structure which remains dominated by semi-feudal relations of production even after more than three decades of independence. It may be possible to suppress the militant poor peasant movement by using the para-military forces in a big way, but not for long. If the economic roots of the peasant movement are not tackled by massive investment in water management and land reform measures providing land to the tillers to the exclusion of intermediaries, the movement is bound to surface again and again involving larger and larger geographical areas.

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