Agrarian Conditions in Coimbatore District: 1800-1947

Muhammad Fathima


The peasantry was not homogeneous in class sense. It did not consist of peasant of a single type, in spite of all oppressing merchants, moneylenders and landlords yoke. In as much as in our countryside serf owing society is being eliminated by present day society in so much the peasantry ceases to be class and becomes divided into the rural proletariat and the rural bourgeois (big, middle, petty and very small). In as much as serf owing relationship still exist, in so much the peasantry continues to be a class, i.e., we repeat, a class of serf owing society rather than of bourgeois society.1 “Lenin’s famous in as much in so much”. Covering the process, dynamic and dialectics of the transition by feudal society to bourgeois one, considering the colonial nature was undoubtedly applicable to India.2

It is true that the entire history of British rule was one of the depeasantisation and pauperization process was not only slowly oppressing, and social differentiation was very painful for the masses. The peasants output was increasingly becoming a commodity. Taxes and a number of measures of imperialism turned the peasants economy into the clutch of the finance capitalism.

Imperialism destroyed situation of the cottage industry connected with farming. A system of semi bourgeois semi feudal private ownership of the land was created. The organization of the enormous plantations made alienated the traditional hill peasantry also. The peasant’s labour power became a commodity. A sect of agricultural workers, field labourers and farm servants evolved enormously. At the same time the method of agricultural production and technology remain in changed. The feudal oppression ruined the peasant holdings, share cropping predominated. In some region rent in kind rather than in money prevailed. The reports of the peasantry rented land on harsh terms developed. All these factors created a differentiation in the agrarian structure. It could not be simplified.

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