Land Tenures and Agricultural Development

Land Tenures and Agricultural Development
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Land Tenures and Agricultural Development

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Publisher: Abhijeet Publications
ISBN: 9788188683086
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Preface
The present study deals with the evolution of land tenure system and its impact on agricultural development of a backward and predominantly agrarian region of northern part of West Bengal state of India. This area is known as the Duars region where unlike other parts of Bengal, the British did not introduce Permanent Settlement in 1793. Tis area was under the Bhutanese subjugation prior to 1865. It was permanently annexed to the British territory after the Anglo-Bhutanese War of 1865. Then Tem porary Settlem ent was introduced in this area. The Government settled lands directly with the cultivators called Jotedars . For different reasons the Government thought it appropriate to introduce temporary settlement of land for this region, what were these reasons What were the consequences of the introduction of Temporary Settlement for agricultural development of the region It was these two basic questions, which led or rather guided the author to undertake the present study. As is expected, in the course of development of the study he has raised many more interrelated questions and has tried to answer them through delving into the available secondary research materials and through field investigation. It is well recognized by development economists that possession of a plot of agricultural land carries with it high psychological and social value. It helps to raise the status of the weaker sections of society and give them a sense of belonging to the hub of social life. In fact 'land is not only the most important
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economic asset in an agricultural economy, it is an essential resource because without land there can be no state, no habitation and no groundwork for carrying on human activities. Land is a mother resource which gives rise to various other things of economic value. Even in urban societies, it is regarded as the most valuable resource from the economic point of view ' Wadhwa, D.C., 'Guaranteeing Title to Land A Preliminary Study' in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXIV, No. 41, October, 14, 1989, p. 2323 . It may be worthwhile to note here the dictum of a Nigerian chief about land 'I conceive that land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless members are still unborn' cited in Meek, C.K., Land Law and Custom in Colonies, Oxford University Press, 1946, page opposite to the title page . Obviously, the study of the evolution of land-tenure system assumes a special significance, as land is one of the most important sources of production, which has an important bearing on the lives of cultivators. The mode and quantum of holding land determines the economic, political and social status of a cultivator. Any more by the Government to change the existing land relations would therefore be reacted upon and change the status of the