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SSER Monograph 21/2
Written by: Vikas Rawal, Vaishali Bansal
Type of document: Scientific article
Resolution of the land question in contemporary rural India remains an unfinished task and a critical issue. With neoliberalism as the dominant ideology guiding state policy, Indian state has abdicated the responsibility of implementing land reforms. This makes it even more important for people interested in progressive change to revisit the land question and the need for land reforms.
What is the land question in rural India today? How unequally is land distributed in rural India and how has land distribution changed over time? What have been the trends in respect of landlessness in rural India? Are land reforms still relevant?
This paper deals with these concerns. It presents a detailed analysis of data on landholdings in an attempt to answer some of these questions.
The paper is organised as follows.
In Section 2, we discuss the data and their limitations.
Section 3 presents a discussion on the extent of landlessness in Indian states and in India. It also discusses disparities in land ownership among different social groups and gender.
In Section 4, we present data on inequality in ownership of land in India. In this section, we specifically examine whether there has been a proliferation of very small holdings in India and if the large landholdings have disintegrated in recent times.
Section 5 presents a discussion on variation in incidence and forms of tenancy in India.
In the concluding section, we argue that the evidence presented in the paper points at continued relevance of land reforms in India.
2021_rawal-vikas_inde_sserwp2102.pdf (740 KiB)