How the government buried the idea of a land reforms policy

Put through a bureaucratic maze, the decade-long exercise to complete the ‘unfinished task’ of land reforms in India has come to nought.

In the heady years after India’s independence, when the Constitution promised equality to all, the union and states began enacting laws and policies to build the nation and undo centuries of inequality. Among these were laws and rules to end inequality in the ownership of the most important resource of all—land. Few farmers owned land in India. Most were under the grip of feudal zamindars, or landlords, and had no title to the land. So, states enacted laws that abolished zamindari (a system harking back to colonial times where landlords owned vast tracts of land), set limits to ownership of …


Nihar Gokhale

Nihar Gokhale led the Chaos coverage at The Morning Context. Nihar wrote on the environment, the economy and resource conflicts in India. He has reported from across the country on everything from displacement, pollution and environmental violations to land regulation, corruption and human rights. He was earlier associate editor at Land Conflict Watch, and his work has appeared in Scroll, The Wire, IndiaSpend, The Caravan and Mongabay India.

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