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Land distribution in Bihar: political or social issue

Recent report of The Bihar Land Reforms Commission (2006-08) has put emphasis on distribution of land and right to tenants but consolidation of land could not get place in the report. However, the consolidation of land is expected to exert more positive influence on agricultural production and productivity. Land reform has been hot topics among social reformists as well as political mass. Before independence the social as well political class have very blurred line and often objective of both group was same. Land reform was driven by social agenda and primary led by socialist class in their initial days. However it was hijacked by political class often in disguise of social reformer. This crucial issue got a ugly twist and become cause of long social tension between two artificial classes created in the society. Often the victims of this tension were innocent people from both artificially created classes of the society ( landowner and landless).

The current report on land reform need to be analysed properly to understand political motive/compulsion or appeasement of political class.

Now going beyond this report or any past report, society need to ask question whether any of these solution can solve their problem. Can more fragmentation of land lead to prosperity of the community?
Can blind politically motivated solution bring sustainable prosperity? Can we come out of false notion of social justice?

Let me put an example of small farmer from Pojh, Nalanda. Mr Pragas Singh has about 2 bigha land (he is not sure of actual area) which is fragmented into 7-8 pieces. He and his son is working on this land and they also have two buffalo (he added recently to increase his earning). Earning of whole family is about Rs 25000 in good year which include 3 members of the family (Pragas, his wife Sankuni devi and his unmarried son Latua (17), his daughter (14) is going school). So average earning per member of the family is about Rs 8000. In bad years like this year this income may become negative as he will try to get crop by using high risk low return cropping model (investing high in inefficient irrigation or other technology). Now this is typical of subsistence agriculture model. Mr Pragas can be trapped into bad debt. He has to marry his daughter in few years time and he may put his land on sale or get some high interest loan by mortgaging his land.
His means of survival will be taken then he may be forced to migrate to Delhi/Calcutta and journey of Bihari will become… This story is repeated thousands times in many part of Bihar and society is busy in creating Bihari…

I will continue this blog to explain you land reform agenda of Bihar pontential and consequence…


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