‘Rural’ and ‘urban’ are the foremost categories through which social life has been visualised and engaged with in modern and contemporary times.
The idea of the ‘rural’ or the ‘village’ has been of particular significance in India. British colonisers represented India to the world as a land of ‘village republics’. This representation was so influential that even the nationalist leaders accepted it uncritically.
Gandhi advocated ‘a return to the village’ as the only genuine way to gaining swaraj, or self-rule. Nehru and Ambedkar too saw the village as the site of India’s traditional life; however, to them it was also a signifier of India’s economic backwardness and social ills. These notions have shaped social science scholarship, popular politics and public policy.
The idea of such a demographic transition continues to be a core element of state policy and an important indicator of positive social change and economic growth/ modernisation. However, the ‘rural’ in India persists; nearly two-thirds of India’s population still lives in rural settlements.
A Handbook of Rural India, brings together 36 research papers written by some of the leading social scientists, from the early 1950s to the present. It provides a historical perspective on the subject of the ‘rural’ and covers a wide range of topics that have been critical to the imaginings and empirics of village life in contemporary India.
List of Abbreviations
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgements
Surinder S. Jodhka
Ethnographies of the Rural: Early Village Studies.
The Social Structure of a Mysore Village
Village Structure in North Kerala
E. J. Miller
A Himalayan Village
A Bengal Village
Shrimati Jyotirmoyee Sarma
Social Structure in the Punjab
A Deccan Village
Change in a Malwa (MP) Village
Adrian C. Mayer
Sripuram: A Village in Tanjore District
A Changing Village of Rajasthan
Rural Development: Perspectives, Policies and Programmes
Structural Change: An Approach to Poverty in Asian Rural Development
Ralph H. Retzlaff
Community Development Programme: Its Political Impact
Baldev Raj Nayar
Social Consequences of Rural Electrification
Green Revolution and Social Inequalities in Rural India
D. N. Dhanagare
‘Garibi Hatao’: Can IRDP Do It?
Politics and Implementation of Integrated Rural Development Programme
Operation Flood and Rural India: Vested and Divested Interests
Power, Politics and Village-Level Organisations: Oilseeds Growers’ Co-operatives in MP
One Kind of Democracy: Implementing MGNREGS
Siwan Anderson, Patrick Francois, Ashok Kotwal and Ashwini Kulkarni
Falling into Poverty in Villages of Andhra Pradesh: Why Poverty Avoidance Policies are Needed
Anirudh Krishna, Mahesh Kapila, Sharad Pathak, Mahendra Porwal, Kiranpal Singh and Virpal Singh
Rural Non-Farm Employment in India: Access, Incomes and Poverty Impact
Peter Lanjouw and Abusaleh Shariff
Changing Rural Landscapes: Social, Economic and Political Life
The Myth of Self-Sufficiency of the Indian Village
M.N. Srinivas and A.M. Shah
Chamar Family in a North Indian Village: A Structural Contingent
Bernard S. Cohn
Urbanisation in a Delhi Village: Some Social Aspects
Rurality, Modernity and Education
Dominant Castes or Rich Peasants?
India’s Rural Politicians: Two Faces of Power
Satish K. Arora
Transitory Residence and Invisible Work: Case Study of a Rajasthan Village
Who Borrows? Who Lends?: Changing Structure of Informal Credit in Rural Haryana
Surinder S. Jodhka
Maps of Experience: Narratives of Migration in an Indian Village
Marriage Norms, Choice and Aspiration of Rural Women
Masculine Spaces: Rural Male Culture in North India
Wife-Beating in Rural India: A Husband’s Right, Evidence from Survey Data
Shireen J. Jejeebhoy
Politics at the Margin: A Tale of Two Villages
The Elderly in Rural Orissa: Alone in Distress
Pradeep Kumar Panda
Emergent Ruralities: Revisiting Village Life and Agrarian Change in Haryana
Notes on the Authors
Surinder S. Jodhka is Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.