Beneficiaries of Land Reforms: The West Bengal Scenario

Anon Anon inprekorr at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 15 23:51:03 MDT 2003


Economic and Political Weekly (India) Book Review
5 July 2003

Beneficiaries of Land Reforms: The West Bengal
Scenario by Anil K Chakraborti in association with
Apurba Kumar Mukhopadhyay and Debesh Roy; State
Institute of Panchayats and Rural Development,
Kalyani, Nadia, Government of West Bengal, Spandan,
Kolkata, 2003; pp 154, Rs 150.

Reviewed by D Bandyopadhyay

There is a burgeoning literature on land reforms in
West Bengal.’Operation Barga’ initiated by the Left
Front (LF) government in 1978 by a novel participatory
process in which the bureaucracy played a major role
in an unconventional way attracted attention of
scholars and social scientists of home and abroad.
Quite a number of serious studies were conducted by
well known academic persons. In spite of the growing
volume of books and articles there remained a big gap.
Most of the studies were based on secondary data,
often supplemented by primary data generated on small
samples in one or two districts. There was not any
comprehensive probe on a large sample covering the
whole state. This book fills up that void thereby
making a significant and major contribution to the
literature on the subject. The author spent more than
two and a half decades in the implementation of
various programmes of land reforms in the state. So he
has not only the knowledge and skill but more
importantly a ‘feel’ of the subject which some of the
scholastic persons often lack. That perception, that
intuition makes all the difference between an arid
quantitative report and an insightful discourse on
land reforms and also brings out both the strength and
the weakness of the programmes implemented.

full text at:
http://www.epw.org.in/showArticles.php?root=2003&leaf=07&filename=6000&filetype=html


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