March 27, 2023
Write a brief essay on the peasant movement in India between 1921 and 1947. [1980, 60m]

Deccan Peasants Uprising (1875):

It was against the corruption of the Marwari and Gujarati money lenders. It started as social boycott of the moneylenders by the peasants but was later transformed into an armed peasant revolt in the Poona and Ahmadnagar districts of Maharashtra. 

The peasants then attacked the moneylender’s houses, shops and burnt their records and bond documents down. 

The uprising later received support from M G Ranade of Poona Sarvajanik Sabha. 

The Bardoli Satyagraha (1928):

In Surat district, the Bardoli taluk was the centre of this intensely politicised peasant movement. 

It was led by [Sardar] Vallabhai Patel. The locals gave him the title of “Sardar” for his leadership. 

When the British government increased the land revenue by 30% in present day Gujarat, resistance was showed by the residents. 

This led to the organisation of a ‘No-Revenue Campaign’ by the Bardoli peasants including women. 

There were unsuccessful attempts by the British to suppress the movement. But finally an Inquiry committee was appointed to look into the matter. It found the hike unjustified. 

Tebhaga Movement (1946):

In Bengal rich farmers (Jotedars) leased the farms to sharecroppers known as Bargadar. 

The Flood Commission, had recommended tebhaga. under that the Bargadars (sharecropper) should get 2/3 of crop share and the Jotedar (landlord) should get 1/3rd of crop produce share. 

Tebhaga movement was aimed at getting the recommendations of Flood Commission implemented through mass struggle. 

It was led by Bengal Provincial Kisan Sabha, against the zamindars, rich farmers (Jotedars), moneylenders, local bureaucrats and Traders. 

The Muslim league government led by the Suharwardy introduced the Bargardari Bill along with repression by force. 

These were the initial organized movements in the history of Indian Socio-Economic Independence Struggle. They added to the other constitutional angle in the Indian Movement which brought in masses in the manifold. Masses were able to connect with this issues and this became a sub-part of larger Indian Freedom Struggle.

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