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Ram, Bindeshwar (1988) Land and Society in North Bihar, India: Agrarian Relations in the Later Nineteenth Century. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis discusses the origin and development of land ownership, tenancy and labour, and the pattern of economic organization, in North Bihar. These questions are considered both in terms of the relation between production and rural trade, and in regard to tenancy and other laws of British administration. The attempt is to make an over-all estimation of agrarian relations in the region. This includes the value of land, the rent system, the nature of the proprietary interest, and the social and economic gap between the upper and lower classes of the population. In particular, the intention is to describe the historical current in the structure of society, land tenure, production and subsistence. Did the condition of the lower classes as revealed in the courses worsen in relation to the condition of the agricultural community as a whole? Was there a rise in population, and if so with what effect? What was the impact of tenancy legislation from the point of view of changes in the condition of the agricultural classes? How important was government policy generally in relation to the agrarian society of Bihar? The thesis concludes, among other things, that institutional factors and social and economic ideas were responsible for the development and maintenance of the social hierarchy. The conditions of the lower classes worsened, as their rights were not increased. Government legislation at first ignored tenant rights too, but later improved the position of occupancy tenants. The internal market continued to be controlled by landed proprietors or local merchants, but their external interests, in towns and trade, increased their desire to control the village economy.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:19

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