Dalit Assertion and the Question of Land Acquisition: A Case Study of Malwa Region of Punjab

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:50
Oral Presentation
Khushwant SINGH, Panjab University, India
In Indian society, land is not only an asset providing economic gains but also pride, prestige and power. Those who are landless are not only dependent on the landlords for living nevertheless face oppression and atrocities much often from upper caste landlords. According to the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 Punjab has the highest Percentage (36.74%) of Scheduled caste households in the country. Punjab has 45.34% landless households where as national percentage is nearly 22%. In recent years Punjab, particularly the malwa region of the state, has witnessed political mobilization of this marginalized section of the society i.e small marginal peasants and agriculture labor. For equitable growth of all sections of society the government intervened at the policy level by introducing land reforms in the form of – abolition of intermediaries, tenancy reforms, fixing ceiling on land holdings, consolidation of land holdings and distributing surplus land to landless households and reserving land for the dalits in the common village land. This paper tries to explore that how land ownership changed the socio- economic status of the dalits of malwa region of Punjab and the difficulties faced by them. This paper is divided into five sections; the first section is about the introduction. Second section deals with the socioeconomic profile of the dalits. The third section deals with the types of restrictions and difficulties faced by dalits for acquiring land share and feeling of self esteem, respect and economic gains associated with land. In the Fourth section, the role of various peasant movements and organizations and how effective they have been in all these years, also state’s stand will be analyzed. The fifth and final section of the paper concluded the facts and findings.