Uttam Chand Gupta
Capitalism and Peasant Farming: Agrarian Struc¬ture and Ideology in Northern Tamil Nadu by John Harriss Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1982, 357 pp., 125
Sept-Oct 1982, volume 7, No 2

The development of capitalism in agriculture continues to be the subject of controversy in contemporary India, a situa¬tion reminiscent of the 19th century debate in Russia. Various viewpoints that are being propagated range from insistence on the continuing existence of feudal relations in Indian agriculture or the distorted character of capi¬talist development to the rela¬tively liberal attitude that India is well on the road to complete capitalist tranformation. The book under review provides one of the most ex¬haustive documentations of existing literature on these con¬troversies. John Harriss juxt¬aposes various theories, high¬lights important theoretical and methodological issues and builds up a perspective appro¬priate for an examination of the process of capitalist trans¬formation of agriculture in a village of South India. The author finally re-examines some of contentious points in the light of the results from his detailed and highly investi¬gative field research.

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