8.6        ndian    onom
     cost of the precious ecology and biodiversity—a                of modern institutional factors to
     new challenge. India needed a new kind of green                agriculture, etc.
     revolution which could deliver it the physical,         (ii) The other objective of the land reforms
     economic as well as ecological access to food—                 in India was related to the issue of socio-
     the Second Green Revolution—an all-in-one                      economic inequality in the country.
     approach towards the agriculture sector.                       The high inequality in land ownership
                                                                    not only had a its negative economic
        lAnd reForms                                                impact on the economy; but it was badly
     The official stance and emphasis on land reforms               intertwined with the caste system in India
     in India have been changing over the time in wake              and the allocation of social prestige and
     of the emerging issues, which may be seen in the               status by the society at large.14 More
     following two phases.                                          than 80 per cent of the population from
                                                                    its livelihood inherited the agrarian
     PhAse-i                                                        system which had inequitable ownership
     This phase commences just after Independence.                  of the asset, i.e., land to earn income.
          All economies were agrarian before they                   The government wanted to go for a
     were industrialised, only their periods vary. Once             restructuring of land ownership in the
     democratic systems developed, the first thing the              economy on logical grounds and with
     developed countries of today did was to complete               public welfare approach. This objective of
     the agrarian reforms in a time-bound way. As                   land reforms got enough socio-political
     land remains the means of livelihood for the                   attention as it tried to dismantle the age-
     larger section of society in an agrarian economy,              old agrarian structure in the country. It
     the successful completion of agrarian reforms                  became such a hot issue that land reforms
     benefitted the maximum number of people                        in India got a ‘bad-name’, synonymous
     thereby improving their economic conditions.                   to land-grabbing by the government and
     At the time of Independence, India was a typical               allotting them to the landless masses.
     agrarian economy and had inherited a very
                                                            (iii) The third objective of land reforms
     inequitable agrarian system. Land reforms will be
                                                                    in India was highly contemporary in
     a major plank of independent India and as part
                                                                    nature, which did not get enough socio-
     of the agrarian reforms it was made clear by the
                                                                    political attention—it was the objective
     pledge of the Indian National Congress in 1935
     itself. Land reforms in India had three objectives             of increasing agricultural production
     similar to the other economies which opted for it              for solving the inter-related problems
     in the past:                                                   of poverty, malnutrition and food
          (i) Removing institutional discrepancies                  insecurity.
               of the agrarian structure inherited from        To realise the objectives of land reforms, the
               the past which obstructed increasing       government took three main steps which had
               agricultural production, such as, the size many internal sub-steps:
               of agricultural holding, land ownership,
                                                           14.   L.I. Rudolph and S.H. Rudolph, In Pursuit of Lakshmi:
               land inheritance, tenancy reforms,                The Political Economy of the Indian State (Bombay:
               abolition of intermediaries, introduction         Orient Longman, 1987), pp. 45–50.