This book explores issues related to poverty in South Asia in a two-pronged manner—by focusing on injustice created and perpetuated by the unjust nature of a social order as its source and by providing concrete suggestions about how policymakers may move to challenge these injustices.
Drawing on research inputs from studies across various South Asian countries, the book redefines poverty as a process which excludes certain segments of the society from equitable participation in development opportunities as well as decision-making. It further identifies a variety of operational ideas which can be used by policymakers, political activists, and civil society advocacy groups committed to build a more just, inclusive and poverty free society in South Asia.
Chapter 3: Promoting Agrarian Reform
Promoting Agrarian Reform
The Importance of Land in the Agrarian Economy
The countries of South Asia under study, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, inherited largely agrarian societies at the time of their independence. The majority of the population lived in villages and agriculture was the primary source of their livelihood. Ownership of land was, thus, the principal source of economic inequality as well as social disparity and thereby served as a critical variable in the distribution of political power. Over the next half century, significant structural changes have taken place in the economies of the countries which has impacted on the alignments of social and economic power both between urban and rural society, as well as within the rural community. Though the ...