Land Reforms

Bookmark added to your notes.
View Notes

India under the British Raj had witnessed a lot of such atrocious regulations that exploited the poor and helpless in many aspects. Among them, land ownership contributed significantly to preventing socio-economic growth of the backward population.

The government of independent India came up with acts and laws to establish equal rights and ownership of land, which now constitutes a crucial episode of India’s economy. In the following lesson, you will come across a detailed discourse on land reforms in India after independence and their importance.

Why Were the Land Reforms Introduced?

Almost all agricultural lands of India before independence were owned by intermediaries, like jagirdars and zamindars, among others, and not by the farmers who worked in these lands to produce crops. These farmers naturally suffered from exploitation when the landowners paid no heed in agricultural requirements and were solely concerned about the rent they collected from these labourers.

After independence in 1947, an inadequate agricultural output was apparent. In order to fix this situation, the Indian government took measures to alter existing regulations for a better outcome. These acts formed agrarian reforms in India after independence.

Objectives of the Land Reforms

The Indian government aimed at speeding up the socio-economic advancement of rural India and its agricultural industries with this land reform system. Some important objectives behind their implementation have been listed below.

  • The primary objective concerned an overall renewal of law structure for agricultural lands in India.

  • These acts aimed at an equal and uniform distribution of agricultural lands so that concentration of ownership was not in few hands.

  • Abolition of intermediaries of the medieval land-ownership system in India.

  • Facilitating optimum agricultural produce with healthy and economic practices.

  • Ensuring social and economic justice for previous violations of the tiller’s rights.

  • Uniform ownership of land would prevent exploitation of tenant farmers and will help in reducing rural poverty.

Types of Land Reform in Post-Independence India

Read on to get detailed descriptions on some of the most notable acts from the long list of land reforms in India since independence.

  • Abolition of Intermediaries 

The first step taken by the Indian government under land reforms post-independence was passing the Zamindari Abolition Act. The primary reason of a backward agrarian economy was the presence of intermediate entities like, jagirdars and zamindar who primarily focussed on collecting sky-rocketing rents catering to their personal benefits, without paying attention to the disposition of farms and farmers. Abolition of such intermediaries not only improved conditions of farmers by establishing their direct connection with the government but also improved agricultural production.

  • Regulation of Rents

This was in direct response to the unimaginably high rents which were charged by intermediaries during British rule, which resulted in a never-ending cycle of poverty and misery for tenants. Indian government implemented these regulations to protect farmers and labourers from exploitation by placing a maximum limit on the rent that could be charged for land. 

  • Tenure Security

Legislations were passed in all states of the country to grant tenants with permanent ownership of lands and protection from unlawful evictions on expiry of the lease. This law protects tenants from having to vacate a property immediately after their tenure is over unless ordered by law. Even in that case, ownership can be regained by tenants with the excuse of personal cultivation. 

  • Land Ceilings

This law was enacted to prevent the concentration of land ownership in a few hands. It placed an optimum limit on the total measure of land which an individual or a family can hold. Along with fixation of land ceilings, this rule enables the government to take ownership of the additional or extra amount of land, which in turn, is given to minor tillers or farmers with no land. 

  • Consolidation of Land Holdings

A major problem of the agrarian structure of India is land fragmentation, which hinders large-scale farming and production. This problem was solved with this regulation which permitted farmers to consolidate minor fragments of land owned by them into a singular piece of land. This enabled tenants to carry out agricultural operations in a larger field, which could be done by exchanging land or purchasing additional pieces.

Lands reforms constitute an important part of CBSE Class 12 Commerce syllabus and might contribute to long-answer type questions in final exams like writing a short note on land reforms in India. If you are looking for more information on the topic, land reforms in India after independence pdf from Vedantu can help with detailed explanation on crucial concepts. You can avail these study materials from our website, or you can install the app from PlayStore.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Why Do We Need Land Reform?

Ans. There are several benefits that land reforms present us with. Some of them have been mentioned below.

These reforms secure ownership of land by cultivators.

Farmers and labourers are ensured complete payment for their works and are saved from exploitation.

Proper ownership, reasonable rent, free transferability, and security of tenure enable better production at lower or no extra expenses.

Abolishing intermediaries facilitate the establishment of more viable relations between governments and cultivators, making it easier for authorities to implement regulations.

2. Why Were Land Reforms Not Implemented Successfully? In Which States Were Land Reforms Successful?

Ans. Some of the major reasons for the unsuccessful implementation of land reforms were as follows.

A variety of political complications prevented the timely implementation of mentioned land reforms, which enabled tenants to devise tricks to avoid these policies.

Specified terms of these reforms freed tenants from its obligations if their farming land was being used for cultivation for domestic needs. A lot of cultivators used this exception to their advantage.

Corruption among government officials and procedures also added to the final doom of proper implementation of land reforms.

The only two states where land reforms attained utmost success were Kerala and West Bengal.

3. How Does Land Reform Affect the Economy?

Ans. With effective implementation of land reforms, the government expected to open up more employment opportunities in rural India, leading to a reduction in poverty. This, in turn, would lead to increased agricultural production, directly fuelling the country’s economic growth.