This process is described as the process of
urban areas declined or in some cases vanished for all practical purposes.
The unfortunate men who were traditionally engaged in those handicrafts
took mostly to agriculture, claiming a share in the family land, to which
they were entitled according to the Hindu and Muslim laws of succession
and inheritance. This sudden swelling in the number of agriculturists
resulted in sub-division and fragmentation of agricultural land. This
resulted in the problem of uneconomic holdings, unproductive agriculture
and growing rural indebtedness.
Commercialization of Agriculture: Due to revolution in the means of
transport and communications after 1850 and due to gradually widening
opportunities for the sale of agricultural commodities of various types
abroad, significant changes began to take place in the pattern of
agricultural production in India. Whereas formerly the farmers produced
to meet only the needs of their family members and to meet their share of
such obligations as the cost of upkeep of village menials and of state
revenue, now they began increasingly to produce for cash sales. Thus,
subsistence farming began gradually to give place to what is known as
‘commercialization of agriculture’. Instead of growing all types of crops
for home consumption as was the traditional practice, farmers began to
produce one or two crops suitable to the region and which could be sold
for highest profit. This led to certain amount of regional specialization in
the field of agricultural production. The use of money or cash began to
penetrate villages in India. “Cash nexus” came to be gradually established
after 1850 between the Indian villages and the outside world.
Appearance of Middlemen: Transition from subsistence farming to
commercial farming also brought about another change. A class of
middlemen gradually came into existence specializing in collecting and
marketing of cash crops now being produced by increasing number of
farmers. The middlemen became a sort of link between small cultivators in
villages producing commercial crops on the one hand, and export agencies
with worldwide connections on the other.
Linking of Indian Market with World Market: Gradual establishment
of links between the agricultural producers in villages and the world
market resulted in bringing