The special issue develops the agenda of the relationship between agrarian transition and Left politics first discussed in a two-day workshop organized in July 2011, supported by the Economic Social and Research Council, Goldsmiths College University of London and the Contemporary South Asia Studies Programme at Oxford University. An initial commentary on the workshop was published by Shah and Harriss-White (2011) in Economic and Political Weekly. We are grateful to the participants of that workshop for the rich papers and discussions that have informed this special issue and to Terry Byres, Deepankar Basu and Debarshi Das for helpful comments on the introduction. The usual disclaimers apply.
Introduction: Agrarian Questions and Left Politics in India
Article first published online: 16 JUN 2013
© 2014 The Authors. Journal of Agrarian Change published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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Journal of Agrarian Change
Special Issue: Agrarian Transitions and Left Politics in India
Volume 13, Issue 3, pages 337–350, July 2013
How to Cite
Lerche, J., Shah, A. and Harriss-White, B. (2013), Introduction: Agrarian Questions and Left Politics in India. Journal of Agrarian Change, 13: 337–350. doi: 10.1111/joac.12031
- Issue published online: 16 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 16 JUN 2013
- Economic Social and Research Council
- Goldsmiths College University of London
- Contemporary South Asia Studies Programme at Oxford University
- agrarian questions;
- Communist Party of India (Maoist);
- Communist Party of India (Marxist)
This special issue is concerned with agrarian questions in India and their importance for, and impact on, political analyses and strategies of the Indian Left. In the 1970s, the development of Left politics generated the modes of production debate and many of the communist parties used their interpretations of agrarian change then to guide their Indian path to socialism. More than 40 years on, ongoing changes in economic and social relations in the agrarian sector and in society at large make it important to revisit those earlier debates and conclusions. On the basis of the papers of this special issue, the introduction outlines the development of capitalism in the Indian countryside, its relation to the development of capitalism in India and to neoliberal globalization. It raises the question of how rural class relations have developed in different parts of the country and discusses the extent to which Indian Left politics has analysed and strategized such development.