De­cline of land­lordism

Em­pow­ered tenants and agri­cul­tural labour­ers

FrontLine - - COVER STORY - BY

The DMK’S rise to power in 1967 led to the pass­ing of sev­eral laws that in Tamil Nadu in im­por­tant ways and con­sol­i­dated po­lit­i­cal power among the lower castes. Karunanidhi was cen­tral to these so­cio-eco­nomic changes.

DE­SPITE HAV­ING EMERGED AS A MODEL State in re­cent years, Tamil Nadu has of­ten been cri­tiqued for its poor im­ple­men­ta­tion of land re­forms. Al­though many laws have been passed, the ex­ist­ing lit­er­a­ture on these mea­sures re­peat­edly high­light the enor­mous loop­holes in them and the poor im­ple­men­ta­tion of the pro­vi­sions of these laws.

In this con­text, one would there­fore nat­u­rally pre­sume that land­lordism would have thrived in its ear­lier form with high lev­els of ten­ancy and stiff rents, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas such as the Cau­very delta re­gion, which has been noted for high in­ci­dence of ten­ancy. How­ever, land-

J. JEYARANJAN MAY 27, 1990: Chief Min­is­ter M. Karunanidhi giving away land pat­tas be­long­ing to the Vadamath­i­man­galam Sug­ar­cane Cor­po­ra­tion to a land­less farm labourer.

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