Agrarian Bengal: Economy, Social Structure and Politics, by Sugata Bose

By Sugata Bose

In addition to being a great contribution to Indian fiscal and social heritage, this ebook attracts very important conclusions approximately peasant politics quite often and in regards to the results of overseas fiscal fluctuations on basic generating international locations. Dr Bose develops a normal typology of structures of agrarian creation in Bengal to teach how those replied to varieties of strain from the realm financial system, and treats intimately the results of the realm melancholy on Bengal. Separate chapters are dedicated to the subjects of agrarian clash and spiritual strife in east Bengal, the agrarian size of mass nationalism in west Bengal and sharecroppers agitations within the frontier areas. the belief 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 components of India and in South-east Asia.

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Scott, The Moral Economy of the Peasant (Yale, 1976) and Samuel L. Popkin, The Rational Peasant (Berkeley, 1979). M. Postan allows a far more dynamic role to market forces, in introducing structural change than E. Le Roy Ladurie, who tends to stress the precedence of the demographic factor in any causal sequence. See E. Le Roy Ladurie, The 34 Subsistence and the market I 35 Marxist critique has called into question all the variants of the demographically determined model and asserted the centrality of pre-existing agrarian class structures in shaping the nature of social and economic change.

9 The distinction between 'wet' and 'dry' cultivation, so crucial to ecological classification in other parts of India, is not relevant for the agriculture of Bengal. As one proceeds down the Ganges valley, dry crops such as wheat, barley, millet and maize become less and less important, and wet-zone crops predominate. P. Chatterji, Bengal in Maps (Calcutta, 1949). P. Chatterji, Bengal in Maps (CalcuUa, 1949). 44 Subsistence and the market I early twentieth century over 90% of the cultivated acreage in Bengal.

17-18. Beyond that, in Braudel's definition, a structure 'means a reality which can distort the effect of time, changing its scope and speed'. 2 Subsistence and the market I Rural Bengal in the first half of the twentieth century poses all the conceptual problems and complexities of an agrarian society with an extensive subsistence base which at the same time was tied firmly to a far-flung market. In such circumstances, does the peasantry constitute a distinctive moral and political economy largely retaining its 'nonmaximising subsistence ethic', or can it be seen as a body of 'rational economic decision-makers' responding to 'market opportunity'?

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