Week 4 - Day 1
1. Discuss: Classes in agrarian society in India. 20
2. Where do you situate 'live-in relationship' within the institution of marriage? 10
Model Structure 1.
● In British-India, little surplus was available thus stratification in terms of class was non-existent.
● Post- Independence, we can say that rural India has structured itself into four classes and that is what becomes a part of the system.
● If we look at the agricultural field then it has three classes within itself- landowners, tenants and the laborers; while the fourth class being of the non- agriculturalists. The data of the distribution of these classes is as follows: landowners- 22%, tenants- 27%, agricultural laborers- 31% and non-agriculturalists only 20%.
● Because of the most population depending and sustaining their lives on agriculture, India is known as an agrarian country.
● The marketing process is all in the hands of the intermediaries who are a link between the producers, cultivators, and sellers and regulate the trade. The village people live a miserable economic life which includes the agrarian proletarians, uneconomic holders of land in large numbers, few artisans and self- employed people. The agrarian structure establishes certain relations which can be classified as:
○ Defined and enforced by law -
- Which are customary
- Which can fluctuate
○ Daniel Thorner gives a three fold classification in his ‘The Agrarian Prospects of India, 1956’ as – Malik, Kisan and Mazdoor on the basis of right over land. He also maintains that these three classes also reflect social structure too as most of Maliks belong to upper castes and Mazdoors from lower castes and Kisan belong to Artisan class. Maliks are those whose income is derived primarily from property rights in the soil and whose common interest is to keep the level of rents up while keeping the wage-level down. They collect rent from tenants, sub-tenants and sharecroppers. Kisans are working peasants, who own small plots of land and work mostly with their own labor and that of their family members. They own much lesser lands than the Maliks. Mazdoors don’t own any land. Development of capitalist relations in the agrarian sector of the economy has also changed the older class structure. For example, in most regions of India, the Maliks have turned into enterprising farmers. Similarly, most of the tenants and sharecroppers among the landless mazdoors have begun to work as wage laborers.
● D.N. Dhanagre Classification:. He says there are five classes: landlords, tenants, subtenants, sharecroppers; rich peasants or small landowners who have sufficient land to support their family, rich tenants have substantial holdings and give rent to landlords; middle peasants with medium size holdings; and poor peasants which include landowners whose holdings are insufficient to support their family and are thus forced to rent someone else’s land. The poor peasants and labourers are always exploited by rich landowners which makes their relationship unhealthy. The rich are the ones who have all the social, economic and political power which keeps them in a safe zone even if someone speaks to them.
● However certain societies set up in villages for public welfare try to curb the situation yet the Maliks emerge strong. These cooperative public societies have been unsuccessful whereas the private traders are benefitting.
● It is important to somehow control the power of the landowners to reduce exploitation, otherwise there won’t be collective progress amongst the classes in our country and class relations will continue to get disintegrated.
Model Structure 2.
● The live-in relationship, also known as cohabitation is a consensual arrangement wherein a couple lives together without entering a formal marriage. It need not necessarily involve sexual relations. It may be equivalent to Social Monogamy.
● Reasons for live-in (Please give reference otherwise it looks a generalist view.)
○ to test compatibility before marriage
○ do not want the hassles of a formal marriage
○ see no benefit in the institution of marriage
○ not in a position to legally marry
● Elderly persons who have lost a partner or got divorced are increasingly preferring a live-in relationship.
● In some countries like the UK & US, there is a provision for live-in partners to get themselves registered as domestic partners, but this does not make formal divorce necessary.
● Live-in relationships are not illegal but considered socially and morally improper.
● Legally, it is permissible only for unmarried major persons of opposite sex. (Now no longer valid after removal of section 377)
● If a live-in relationship is continued for a long time there is a presumption of marriage, and all the laws regarding domestic violence, the legitimacy of children, maintenance rights, inheritance rights are applicable.Previous Post