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Land Reforms In India Essay

2925 words - 12 pages

Land Reforms & Duty Of State:
“Verify, The Land Belongs To Him Who Labours On It”
Changes brought about in the agrarian structure through direct intervention are characterised as land reforms. It incorporates the changing of laws, regulations regarding land ownership. Land reforms are an attempt by the Government to achieve social equality and optimum utilization of land by redistributing the land holdings. These reforms are intended to eliminate exploitation and social injustice within the agrarian system, to provide security for the tiller of the soil and to remove obstacles arising from the agrarian structure that has been inherited from the past.

It is the scheme of the government ...view middle of the document...

At the same time, neither was the landlord particularly concerned about improving the economic condition of the cultivators. As a result, agricultural productivity suffered and oppression of tenants resulted in a progressive deterioration of their plight. And therefore, the concept of land reforms came into practice.

System Of Land Tenure
At the time of Independence, land tenure system was quite unfavourable to the farmers. There were three types of land tenure systems prevailing in the country - Zamindari System, Mahalwari System and the Ryotwari System. The main distinction in these systems was regarding the payment of land revenue, that it deals with the entire revenue jurisdiction that how it is to be paid, to whom it is to be paid.

Zamindari System
This system was introduced by East India Company in 1793, when Lord Cornwallis entered into ‘permanent settlement’ with landlords with a view to increasing the revenue of the Company. East India Company has entered into permanent settlement with landlords who had big chunk of lands, for the commercial gain that is to expand their business. Under the settlement, the landlords were declared full proprietors of large areas of land, thereby creating a permanent interest in the land and the task of collecting rent from the farmers was also entrusted to them for which they received a commission. With the passage of time these landlords became the intermediaries between the cultivators and the State.

The Zamindari System suffered from a number of defects. It conferred unlimited rights on the Zamindars to expropriate as much rent as they wished. It also entitled them to share the produce without participating personally in the productive process. The actual cultivator was left with no surplus to invest in better instruments and neither was there any extra incentive for him to increase agricultural production and productivity.

Mahalwari System
This system was introduced by William Bentick in Agra and Oudh. And later on it extended to Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Under this system, the whole village was treated as one unit as far as payment of land revenue is concerned and it was the responsibility of the village headman for collecting the land revenue. It implies that in certain areas where the landlords did not have chunk of land, whole village was treated as one unit and for each village revenue was required to be paid.

Ryotwari System
This system was not much into practice and was prevailing in very few parts of the country. Initially it was introduced in Tamil Nadu and later it was extended to Maharashtra, Barar, East Punjab, Assam, and Coorg. Here the responsibility of paying the land revenue was of the cultivator himself who was having the land and was required to pay to the Britishers. There were no intermediaries here between him and the state. The ryot was free to sub let his land and had full rights regarding sale, transfer and leasing of land and enjoyed permanent settlement...

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