Tirthankar Roy

in Company of Kinsmen

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780198063780
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080144 | DOI:

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In pre-colonial India, agricultural growth was a group effort and relied on the cooperation between military tribes and dominant peasant lineages. After the 1970s, administration strengthened private property rights and caused the formerly armed elite to lose their powers. In contrast, commercialization created divisions within the community. Market exchange triggered the collapse of the peasant community. Increasingly, the collectives consisted of the male kin of a cluster of families who controlled resources, including a legal title to land. Three factors were responsible for the change: trade and credit divided peasants into debtors and creditors, trade disputes led to the enactment of laws that favored peasant-capitalists, and property law recognized the rights of joint families, even though these concepts were beginning to be challenged in courts.

Keywords: India; peasants; property rights; commercialization; market exchange; collectives; trade; credit; property law; joint families

Chapter.  11012 words.  Illustrated.

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