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Q: Explain the reasons behind the implementation of land reforms in India after independence. Discuss the objectives of land reform and the measures taken to achieve them. (15 Marks, 250 Words)

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After gaining independence, India implemented land reforms to address historical injustices, alleviate rural poverty, promote social equity, and enhance agricultural productivity.


Need of Land Reforms in India after Independence:

The exploitative nature of land tenure system (Zamindari and Ryotwari system) prevailing during the pre-independence period:

  • Under Zamindari System:
  • High rent: As much as 25% of produce was taken away by the intermediaries in the form of rent.
  • Illegal extraction: Encroachment of communal rights in pastures, forests, etc and the farmers were made to pay for accessing these.
  • Begar and force labor were common: Other than high rent and illegal extractions, farmers were also forced by zamindars into forced labor.
  • Low capital investment: Low income for famers led to lack of investment in agriculture, low capital intensity and antiquated methods -> stagnant productivity.
  • Poor records maintenance: It led to difficulty in mortgaging and selling of land. It also led to poor development of credit institutions in these areas.
  • Even under Ryotwari system where rent was directly paid by Ryots (cultivators) to
    government, several shortcomings had developed. Here, moneylenders and Mahajans
    had come to play a very important role. By the time of independence, more than 20% of
    the area under cultivation had passed under open tenancy.


Objectives of Land Reforms:

  • Remove impediments to Agri production that derives from agrarian structures inherited from the past.
  • To eliminate all forms of exploitation and social injustice within the agrarian system, to provide security for the tiller of soil and assure equality of status and opportunity to all sections of the rural population.
  • Redistributing land: The main objective of land reform was to redistribute land from large landowners to landless and small farmers, thereby reducing inequalities in land ownership.
  • Ensuring land tenure security: Land reforms aimed to provide secure land tenure rights to farmers, protecting them from eviction and ensuring their long-term investment in land.


Measures taken to achieve the above objectives were:

  • Abolition of intermediaries: Abolishment of Zamindars and bringing farmers in direct contact with state
  • Tenancy Reforms: It included regulation of rent, security of tenure and ownership rights of tenants.
  • Ceilings on Agricultural Landholdings: So that access land could be redistributed.
  • Reorganization of Agriculture: Redistribution of land, consolidation of land holding and cooperative farming.


Despite various implementation challenges, these land reforms significantly contributed to rural poverty reduction, and social equity in India, thus underlining the importance of land reforms in advancing the socio-economic conditions of marginal and small farmers.