By Sugata Bose
In addition to being an excellent contribution to Indian financial and social background, this booklet attracts vital conclusions approximately peasant politics usually and concerning the results of foreign monetary fluctuations on fundamental generating nations. Dr Bose develops a normal typology of platforms of agrarian creation in Bengal to teach how those answered to kinds of strain from the realm financial system, and treats intimately the consequences of the realm melancholy on Bengal. Separate chapters are dedicated to the subjects of agrarian clash and non secular strife in east Bengal, the agrarian measurement of mass nationalism in west Bengal and sharecroppers agitations within the frontier areas. the realization makes an attempt a synthesis of the typology of agrarian social constitution and the periodisation of peasant politics, putting this within the wider context of agrarian societies and protest in different elements of India and in South-east Asia.
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Extra resources for Agrarian Bengal: Economy, Social Structure and Politics, 1919-1947
Baker's review in MAS, 14,3 (1980), pp. 513-18. M. Islam, Bengal Agriculture, pp. 54*5. 38 Subsistence and the market I stimulus of a secular rise in population. About 1920, this expansion in east Bengal reached its extensive margins. Continued demographic growth resulted in migration further east and rapid fractionalisation of landholdings. In west Bengal, amelioration of malaria mortality meant that from the 1920s, the population graph began to move upwards. Towards the end of our period, it was apparent that Bengal, once famous as the granary of the East, was finding the strain of an enormous agricultural population difficult to bear both in the decaying west and in the fertile lands of the active delta in the east.
25 As the pressure of population intensified after 1920, holdings subdivided and shrank in size. In the fertile regions of east Bengal, the number of uneconomic holdings multiplied as a function of demographic growth in the interwar period. The process is more obscure in the infertile tracts of west Bengal: here a considerable fraction of the land in most holdings continued to lie fallow, but this may have been because the decline in the fertility of the soil made frequent fallowing necessary, and a large part was not, therefore, available for cultivation by an expanding population.
34. A typology of agrarian social structure 23 moneylending and grain-dealing landlords. The question of a socio-economic hierarchy within the peasantry does not lend itself very easily to a quantitative analysis. Legal categories do not fit real social categories. Nonetheless, the available statistics have to be considered before moving on to a discussion of the qualitative evidence. It was only in 1938-40 that an attempt was made to establish the number of families in different acreage classes for Bengal as a whole.
Agrarian Bengal: Economy, Social Structure and Politics, 1919-1947 by Sugata Bose