4. Man-Land Relations after Independence

After independence, the first goal was to abolish relicts of colonial times: foreign landed property was nationalized, and intermediaries' rights created by colonial powers were abolished. The confiscated land, together with the land owned by the government, was the land pool used for distribution to the refugees, who had to be provided with a plot of land to assure their survival.

As this land proved to be insufficient and the political call for more economic and social equity became louder, ceiling legislation was introduced. This, too, was supposed to reduce the landlords' economic and political power as well as to obtain land for distribution to the landless during the period of land reforms. These land-to-the-tiller reforms were introduced with the argument of justice, but also to absorb the increasing population on the land, since the slow progress of industrialization could not provide livelihood for the numerous landless. Shortage of land for distribution because of the multiple ways of evading confiscation, but also the distribution policy resulted in the fact that the majority of tenants, especially share tenants, were bypassed by land reforms. Governments felt obliged to issue special laws to reform tenancy. However, they resulted more in abolishing than reforming tenancy. Many tenants lost their rights because of the unclear regulation of the "self-cultivation" clause, and laws were evaded by transferring open tenancy contracts into disguised ones. The tenants' lot deteriorated more and more, and perhaps those who lost their tenancy contract were often better off in other activities in the long run.

The maintenance of feudal relations between landlords and tenants as well as the reduction in farm sizes because of the inheritance custom led to production increases in agriculture that were below the population increase. The development policy of the time enforced this trend by concentrating an industrial development while neglecting agriculture. The result was widespread food shortage and little demand from agriculture for industrial products and services, the prerequisite for non-agricultural development. Attempts to improve land management through extension services, Promotion of cooperatives and general measures of community development failed.

A transformation in this rather stagnant agriculture was brought about by the biological-technological and subsequent mechanica-technological changes introduced by the process called "Green Revolution" in the 60s. The high yielding varieties and machinery increased the landowners' production and income, but had, in time, far reaching consequences for man land relations. Landowners found it in their interest to change to self management and dismissed tenants. Cultivation was done in a more businesslike manner, and land and labour productivity thus increased. A general economic upswing at the time absorbed most of the dismissed tenants. Larger farmers tried to use their resources for participating in modern forms of agriculture. Labour relations. traditionally regulated by custom and involving mutual responsibilities though heavily biased changed to contractual relations. The fact that participation in the Green Revolution required sufficient and controlled irrigation limited it to some regions, thus widening the disparities between the countries' rich and poor areas.

The Example of India:

Prior to independence already, the demand for an agrarian reform was a component of the leading parties' strategy to gain power. Independence brought a favourable climate for such measures, and reforms helped the government to legitimize its power. The first step in the agrarian reform was to abolish the "intermediaries", the numerous revenue collectors who often did not have a definite function. They lost their rights, however against compensation, and this burdened the government with great obligations.

Since the measures aimed at abolishing specific legal conditions, land belonging to the same people under other legal conditions was not affected, nor was land confiscated that was cultivated by the owner,. On the contrary, those who, until than, had not cultivated land were granted the right todismiss tenants from up to three times an average family holding and start to cultivate the land themselves. In the absence of a clear definition of the term "self cultivation", many manipulations were effected, and numerous tenants lost their rights.

While the abolishment of intermediaries was successful, the following attempts to improve tenancy proved ineffective. The law foresaw measures to strength ten the tenants' position, but as a compensation before enforcing the law, the landlords were granted the right to give notice to the tenants if they wanted to cultivate the land themselves. The unclear definition of self cultivation was interpreted as "supervision of cultivation ',and again numerous tenants became labourers on the same land. As wall, it was possible to re employ them as sharecroppers as these were not defined astenants in the laws.

Efforts to limit the amount of landed property and redistribute land to the landless started only within the course of time and in steps, the railings being reduced from time to time. Anyhow, after 30 years, large scale landed property was restricted and land concentration reduced. Only by dividing land among family members, could larger areas be held within a family, but hardly in the hands of individuals. However, in view of the high population increase, the biased relation between the landless and the landowners remained the same. The winner in the whole land reform process was the middle class, i.e. the small landlords and the larger owner-cultivators. With more and more emphasis on production increase in the agricultural policy, they gained economic and political power, and the more so, when the so-called "Green Revolution" started. These "progressive farmers" had the necessary information and resources to participate from the beginning and gained from the higher yields. Re investing the proceeds in tubewells and tractors, they developed into commercial farmers and dismissed their tenants. After some time, they tried to rent in land from smallholders who did not have the means to participate in the commercialization of agriculture.

While the dismissed tenants by and large did not fall into misery because of the general economic upswing in the area of the Green Revolution, the technological changes had far reaching consequences. The whole process was limited to the irrigated areas, thus widening the difference between rich and poor areas. As well, the polarization between already rich and poor peasants increased. In them course of time,the traditional relation between landlords and their dependents,which included obligations and protection, changed to purely contractual, unstable relations which soon led to unrest in the countryside. The changes had political consequences, as the economic power of the progressive farmers was soon transformed into political power, and this privileged group safeguarded its interests against other sections of the population. However, the Green Revolution also had distributive effects. While it solved the food production problem at the time, it did not solve the land tenure problem, but only created new problems in the man- land relations.

The Example of Korea:

After independence, a number of motives led to land reform. Political instability and spread of communistic ideas, availability of land from former Japanese owners, hindrances to productivity increases and the need to provide subsistence to the large number of refugees were among the more important reasons. The main goal of the reform was of an egalitarian type and included abolition of tenancy, limitation of land ownership to 3 ha and land to the tiller policy. It was successful in its intent to improve political stability and provide subsistence to landles refugees. The new climate led to productivity increases. Tenancy was reduced, but never abolished. Disguised forms of tenancy became widespread.

Apart from land reform, government policy neglected agriculture, and the rural areas became areas of poverty, causing increasing migration to the cities. With the third five year plan, an all out effort was made to develop the countryside. This included a technological change in agriculture to
ease production and fill the food gap, as supporting measures for a improvement in the institutional support of agriculture and the living conditions in the rural areas. Both met with considerable success, but not enough to stop the rural- urban migration.