Land reform that has been carried out in this country may by classified under two heads:-
a) Land reform carried out before independence.
b) Land reform carried out after independence.
a) Land reforms carried out before independence:
In this country land reforms were not considered to be something good for the British rulers. They thought that of the foreigners. They therefore, included these farmers and no land reforms with the name were carried out. Whatever land reforms were carried out were under compulsion and in order remove the difficulties that might crop up.
In this period also land reforms and reforms in the land tenure system were carried out when Congress came into power in various states in 1936. Since the beginning had been made so after World war and also during this period foreign ruler tried to don certain things that would remove the dissatisfaction among the agriculturists.
B) Land reforms carried out after independence:
It was after the freedom of the country that real land reform was carried out. They started with providing security to the farmers in regard to their ownership of land during various Five Year Plans several measures of changing the land tenure system and improving the conditions of the agriculturists were taken. The first plan recognised that the pattern of and ownership and cultivation was a fundamental issue on national development.
The policy elaborated in second Plan was to remove such impediments in the way of agricultural production as arise from the character of the agrarian structure. The Third Plan envisaged implementation of the evolved during the Second Plan and embodied in legislation on the various aspects of land reform undertaken by states in pursuance of the accepted policies. In the fourth Plan suggestions were made for an orientation of land policy. In the fifth Plan, especially attention has been given to the tenancy problems. It would be worthwhile to enumerate these measures one by one.
1) Abolition of Zamidari and doing away of middleman. 2) Change on the land revenues and Bhumidari right of the farmers 3) Determining the ceiling of the land. 4) Consolidation 5) providing land to the landless 6) Co operative farming.
It would be better of each of these measures taken up one by one and discussed in detail:-
1) Abolition of Zamindari and during away of middlemen:-
As soon as the popular Govt came to power in various states the Zamindari system, due to which the middlemen earned a lot from the farmers, were do away with. Now crores of farmers who were under these middlemen came in direct contact of the Govt. These middlemen child get lot money, as a result of compensation but it gave a thought of relief to crores of agriculturists in this country.
As a result of Zamidari abolition, the farmers got a lot of economic relief. Now the farmers after depositing certain prescribed land revenue all the categories of the farmers who under took the job of dealing the land were given the right to cultivate the land various measures were enacted that made it impossible for the Govt, and other authorities to reject these farmers.
Those persons who are in possession of land were given the right to have control over the land. They could cultivate the field that was under their possession, various conditions were improved but they were also given relief. If the agricultural production has improved the credit goes to abolition of zamindari, mahalbari, zagirdari and other such systems which made the life of the farmers uncertain.
2) Charge in the land revenues and Bhumidari right of the Farmers:
As a result of the abolition of Zamindari, the farmers got the relief in land revenue. In most of the cases the land revenue was reduced. The farmers were required to deposit and revenue of certain years at a time, and this thing give them a lot of relief. They also got the ownership of the land. As a result of the Bhumidari right which was nothing but ownership of land, they secured the right to sell it or mortgage or do something for improving, their system of agricultural production.
3) Determining the cerling of the land:
After the abolition of Zamindari cerling was imposed on Zamidari in regard to their sir land. Later on ceiling was imposed on the agricultural land. Now a person can not passes land beyond prescribed limit. Because of these most of the farmers who did not possess the land are now getting it. This gives relief to them in regard to their condition and agricultural situation.
In order to give the farmers economic holding the process of consolidation was resorted to. Through this method, the farmers got one chauk and land instead of their scattered holdings. This process has been going on for several years and is now radically at the end. This consolidation of holding in spite of the various drawbacks caused by consolidation of holding in spite of the various drawbacks caused by corruption amongst the agency responsible for it has given relief to the farmers.
They have now their field at one place and do not have to run various places. This has improved their condition economically and also in other respect. As result of consideration of holding, the land tenure system has improved land reform has been completed.
5) Providing land to the landless:
Right from the beginning of the story of the Five Year Plans, every attempt has been made to provide land to landless. The surplus land that was secured as a result of imposition of ceiling has been given away to these landless. The land that has been made cultivable has also been given to these people. The land that was secured as a result of Bhudan has also been distributed to these people.
In the recent years this programme has been very much accelerated and it is expected that very soon most of the landless people shall get land and they shall add to the agricultural production of this country.
6) Co operative farming:
In various Five Year Plans and in other progress of the Govt for the improvement of agriculture, the co operative forming has been included. Several co operative societies were set up for the purpose and certain pilot projects were also launched. As a result of these programmes the farmers at various places have got the relief.
Those who are having un economic holdings or small holding are able to join others and have mechanised forming at low cost. As a result of these, the mechanisation of agriculture has taken place and the farmers have been able to get better yield.