Agrarian Question

A Short Reader

R.V. Ramana Murthy

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The Agrarian Question and its resolution in the global context of capitalist development has a protracted scholarship developed over last one century and more. Capitalism in its last two centuries history has evolved through different historical stages since mercantile phase to industrial, national to imperialist and to post-imperialist post-colonial regimes. The agrarian question, understood as a process of transformation of agrarian sector towards capitalist modes, dispensing much of its small and petty producers, producing surplus for the industrial sector and supplying the industrial proletariat, with a clear resolution towards formation of industrial society remained as varied as it could be in the uneven development of capitalist system. The structural transformation that happed successfully for a privileged countries in the capitalist centre, proved to be a formidable challenge for a vast number of post-colonial countries in the capitalist periphery. The global and local condition and the political and economic conditions of the contemporary times makes it a considerable challenge for political economists to explain. This reader aims to provide an understanding on range of conceptual and empirical issues of the role of agrarian transformation for capitalist system, with a special focus on Indian agrarian transition. The reader consists of short summaries of fourteen selected works on agrarian question in the Indian and global context.

R.V. Ramana Murthy

R.V. Ramana Murthy teaches political economy of development at the School of Economics, University of Hyderabad.