Open Science Repository Sociology

doi: 10.7392/Sociology.70081935


A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley


Waseem Majeed Shah, Arvind Chauhan

Department of Sociology, Barkatullah University, Bhopal, India


Abstract

The present research paper is concerned with the agrarian relations, and throws light on some aspect related with the big farmers and their hired agricultural labourers. It discussed the various issues where land-owners and their hired agricultural labourers come in contact with each other. Here the discussion has been made on the mode of cultivation employed by the selected farmers on the farm fields to produce the agricultural outputs. Also, it has been observed that a certain type of culture is developed between the agricultural owners and their hired agricultural labourers and that developed culture exists between the same parties for a longer period of time.

Keywords: agrarian relations, big farmers, agricultural laborers, labor system, cultural system.



Citation: Shah, W. M., & Chauhan, A. (2013). A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley. Open Science Repository Sociology, Online(open-access), e70081935. doi:10.7392/Sociology.70081935

Received: January 29, 2013

Published: February 28, 2013

Copyright: © 2013 Shah, W. M., & Chauhan, A. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Contact: research@open-science-repository.com



Introduction


Our aim in this paper is to explore the multiple and recursive interactions between the big farmers and agricultural laborers. Big farmers always depend on laborers for carrying-out their all types of agricultural related tasks. No doubt that these big farmers and their family members also participate with these hired agricultural laborers in their farm fields, but most of the related farm practices are being finished by the help of the laborers. Here we have tried to analyze the maximum interactions taking place between the hired agricultural laborers and the farm owners. This piece of research work mainly deals with the expenditure of big farmers for carrying-out their agricultural related production practices with the help of hired agricultural laborers. We are only taking into consideration the money spent by the big farmers on their hired laborers for completing their process of agricultural production. The money spent by the big farmers is not only their expenditure but is at the same time the earnings of laborers for their performance. Additionally, the data presented and discussed in the paper reveals that some part (13.33%) of the labor force used by the big farmers in their agricultural farm fields is made available from the other states and countries, such as Bihar and Nepal. But the bulk of the labor force for the labor purposes is available within the Kashmir Valley. Some other issues are also discussed in this piece of work, like other benefits offered to the hired agricultural laborers during their working hours by the big farmers, like daily meals, whether the laborers use to come at their respective work places in groups or individually, what is the role of the family members of big farmers in their agricultural practices, whether the farmers are using the daily, contractual or both types of labor system to  carry out their agricultural practices and if the process of working together of family members and laborers give rise to any type of cultural-system.
 
Many other researchers have also worked on the same or related research problem in many parts of the world. We are here reviewing some of them for building up a clear understanding. Irfan Habib (1999), during his research in India, found that in pre-colonial India under the Mughal rule peasants were the decisive proprietors of the land and, most importantly, the ownership of the land was based on the traditional ancestral bases. According to Habib, in India land, tenancy and sharecropping had started in the Mughal period, providing an opportunity to the landless population of the country to earn their livelihood from agriculture as agricultural laborers and sharecroppers. Before this, the sharecropping was not being exercised and laborers were not performing the agricultural tasks for earning purposes. The agricultural laborers, along with their family members, were tilling the land. Throughout the research, it was mostly found that the landowners used to get their land cultivated by the tenants and, on certain occasions, when the owners become skilled to cultivate the land by themselves, the land was transferred to them by agricultural tenants. Anand Chakravarti (2001), in his book ‘Social and Everyday Relations’, intensely examined the power in rural India, where class and social power conditioned by caste and poverty are inextricably linked with notions of hierarchy. Further he discussed about the polarization between the landholding class and landless petty laborers. Anjana Chaudhry (2004) had studied the role of family labor in agricultural practices of India. The research mainly focused on the use of labor by family members on per farm size. The study revealed that in Indian agriculture family labor is constantly increasing on the basis of farm size with the increase in land holdings. As the land holdings per family increases, family labor also increases in the same proportion. K.C. Alaxender (1981) examined the socio-historical process of change in some areas of Kerala and Tamilnadu, such as Alleppy, Palgat and Thanjuvur, where rice was the foremost crop. In these areas, there was much concentration of tenants, agricultural laborers and the scheduled castes in rice-growing areas. Also, it has been found that most of the agricultural laborers were from the scheduled castes in these areas. Moreover, these agricultural related laborers were responsible for the ‘Agrarian Movement’ in the areas of Kerala and Tamilnadu. Mohibul Hassan (2004) studied the agricultural system of Kashmir and concluded that the conditions of Kashmiri peasants were very unfavorable under the rule of Mir Dynasty (1349-1561). People were subjected for the system of beggars. Under the Mir Shah’s rule, the people were forcibly employed to separate the saffron from petals and stamens and for this they were given certain quantity of salt as their wages, but, from the time of Ghazi Shah Chak (1561-1585), the conditions of farmers had changed positively to some extent. R.A. Cramb (2007), in ‘Land and Longhouse: Agrarian Transformation in the uplands of Southeast Asia’, writes that the Ibans2 (Inhabitants of uplands of Southeast Asia) have been the active agents in their own transformation. These peasants were engaging with both market and state while retaining community values and governance. Victor Nee et al. (2000), during their research in China, worked on the peasants and mentioned that a central component of economic development was the reallocation of household labor. The relocation was from subsistence agriculture to non-farm employment. This occurred in the advanced market economies during the Industrial Revolution. With the advent of industrialization all over the countryside, the peasants moved from agricultural related activities and tried to settle themselves other occupations, like industrial workers, for the purpose of better living standard. The study illustrated the path dependence in the shift out of subsistence agriculture to off-farm employment. In this way, the peasants started cutting down their relation with the agricultural practices and became more attracted by the industrial revolution. Antonio Bellisario (2004) worked on “Chilean Agrarian Transformation” and observed that, between 1960 to 2002, the agricultural workforce fell from 30% to 13%. Also he found that up to 1960s Chilean agricultural society had been gradually passing from old traditional agrarian establishment of capitalist modernity. Ivan Lukinov and A.P. Michail (1991), in European countries, observed that the agrarian transformation and relations are based on an alteration to a market economy, different property and economic management forms and a revival of co-operative principles for farm production management and agribusiness development.
 
 

Methodology


The present study was based on the primary source of the data gathering. Sonawari Tehsil, from Bandipora district, has been taken as a study unit for the demarcation of agrarian relations, with special reference to the big farmers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The research methodology included the preparation of the interview schedule for the purpose of collecting data on the agricultural relations of big farmers in three villages of Bandipora district of Jammu and Kashmir state. The prepared interview-schedule for collecting the data contained both close ended and open ended questions for the selected big farmers. After the preparation of interview-schedule, there was a necessity of sampling. For this purpose, random-sampling method was employed to select the required respondents from the study field for gathering the research related data. The big farmers were randomly selected from the selected villages of the district Bandipora. The empirical study provided an opportunity to interact with the big farmers and to gather the data regarding various facts, which were related with the agrarian relations of the district and villages, with special reference to big farmers. As a result, a systematic type of research methodology was prepared for the collection of data from the selected field area with the help of selected big farmers. Exploratory research design has been used in the present work. The data available to us revealed that the problem can be studied further for more research as it has been suggested by exploratory research design.
 
 

Results and discussion


The available data gathered from the selected respondents in the study field was then given a shape of specific codes and, after that, were put into the shape of tables. The percentages of the responses were also measured. The tabulated data were then accordingly discussed respectively. Here we are going to show the collected results and discussion.
 
Table 1.1
Mode of Land Cultivation

S. No

Mode

Frequency

Percentage

1

Laborers

28

9.33

2

Self and laborers

272

90.66

 

Total

300

100


 
Primarily the researcher reached to the point where he came to know about the mode of cultivation of farm land by the farmers. When this question was asked to the respondents, the answers collected and analyzed revealed that 9.33% respondents used to cultivate their land, whether irrigated or un-irrigated, by the use of labor force. These farmers do not participate in their agricultural practices and productions at all, except supervision, but all agricultural practices were being done with the help of laborers. The use of labor-only force for agricultural purposes by these families was due to many reasons. One reason was that either the family members were all engaged in some other kind of activity, like education, employment, etc., or these families have nuclear family structure and, because of this feature, they remained busy in other works at their habitat. Another section of  the respondents, who were 272 in number, contributing 90.66% to the total size of 300 respondent families, were using laborers for their agricultural practices as well as were also participating themselves in carrying out  the agricultural production. In every condition these families used to participate either fully or to some extent. At least these families were providing daily meals to the agricultural laborers and the meals were prepared by the family members themselves at their own residence and then were supplied to the laborers from time to time. In this way, some of the families were participating in the agricultural-system. This indicated that no doubt in rural areas of Kashmir Valley, especially in Bandipora district, big and rich farmers still used to participate in their agricultural practices. Additionally, these families were having joint family structure which enabled them to have enough time to put that in agricultural practices.
 

Table: 1.2
Number of Labor Days Hired Per Year

S. No

Days

Frequency

Percentage

1

Up to 60

04

1.33

2

70

03

1.00

3

80

01

0.33

4

90

23

7.66

5

100

58

19.33

6

110

31

10.33

7

120

121

40.33

8

130

10

3.33

9

140

-

-

10

150

24

8.00

11

160

01

0.33

12

170

-

-

13

180

19

6.33

14

190

-

-

15

More than 190

05

1.66

 

Total

300

100


 
While working in the study area, researcher also gathered data on how much labor days are being required by each land owner for every year, i.e. for how many days a land owner hire laborers in every season. The available data showed that 1.33% respondents were using labor days up to 60 in every agricultural season. Only 1% of the respondents answered that for carrying out their agricultural practices they need laborers for almost 70 days in every season. This percentage consisted of 3 respondents of the total number of 300 respondents. Only 1 farmer said that he requires laborers only for 80 days in every season, which consisted in only 0.33% of the respondents. After that, 7.66% farmers responded that they use agricultural laborers for 90 days in every agricultural production season, who were 23 in number from all the 300 respondents. Almost 100 days in every year were required by 58 farmers, consisting in 19.33% of the total size of respondents for the purpose of agricultural practices and production every year. These above mentioned farmers were using the least number of days for agricultural purposes in every season, because these families generally have the joint family structure which resulted in fewer requirements of laborers and labor days, as they finish most of the agricultural tasks by themselves. During the field study, 31 farmers answered that they were using laborers for 110 days in every year for carrying out the agricultural practices. These respondents were 10.33% of the total number of respondents. A largest number of the 121 respondents reported that, for every agricultural season, they require almost 120 days to complete their agricultural practices. These farmers were 40.33% of the total number of all respondents. This section of farmers was the one and only largest group of farmers who used laborers at least for 120 days in every year. Only 10 respondents were found who for every year hired laborers for 130 days, and these respondents contributed to 3.33% of the total respondents. After that, 8% of the respondents answered that they hired agricultural laborers for 150 days in every year for agricultural purpose and these farmers were consisting in 24 of the total number of 300 respondents. Those farmers who used agricultural laborers for 160 days in every year were only 10 in of the total size of respondents, contributing 0.33% to the respondents. It was found that 6.33% respondents said that for every year they hire agricultural laborers for 180 days, and these farmers were 19 of  the total number of respondents. Finally, 1.66% respondents reported that they are using labor force for more than 190 days in every year, and these farmers were 5 of the total size of 300 respondents.
 

Table: 1.3
Number of Laborers Hired per Day

S. No

Laborers

Frequency

Percentage

1

Two

10

3.33

2

Three

110

36.66

3

Four

117

39.00

4

Five

51

17.00

5

Six

06

2.00

6

Seven

02

0.66

7

Eight

02

0.66

8

More than eight

02

0.66

 

Total

300

100


 
Proceeding towards the collection of data from the respondents, the researcher found how many agricultural laborers are being hired per day by an agricultural land owner. As per data available, 3.33% farmers were hiring 2 agricultural laborers per day, during the agricultural season, for their agricultural practices. This percentage constituted about 10 respondents of the total number of 300 respondents. A large number of 110 farmers reported that they hire 3 agricultural laborers per day and these farmers consisted in 36.66% of the total respondents. Another group of 117 farmers answered that they hire at least 4 agricultural laborers per day for agricultural practices and production, which means 39% of the total 300 respondents. After that, 17% of the farmers, which were 51 in number, were using 5 agricultural laborers per day during the agricultural production season. Only 2% farmers said that they were using 6 agricultural laborers per day, contributing 6 respondents to the total size of respondents. Just 0.66% farmers were using to hire 7 agricultural laborers per day during the agricultural season. These farmers were only 2 in of the total number of all the respondents. 2 more farmers, that is 0.66%, answered that they hire 8 agricultural laborers per day for agricultural purposes. In the same way, 2 more farmers reported that they hire more than 8 agricultural laborers per day for the agricultural production and marketing. The lastly mentioned three groups of farmers were basically big land owners with both irrigated and un-irrigated farm land. Moreover, these farmers were using only labor force for carrying out the agricultural practices and, because of this reason, the number of laborers hired per day was more than 8 agricultural laborers.
 

Table: 1.4
Number of Labor Hours per Day

S. No

Hours

Frequency

Percentage

1

Eight

119

39.33

2

Nine

181

60.33

 

Total

300

100


 
During the field work, the researcher also tried to know the labor hours required per day by land owner from agricultural laborers. In Kashmir Valley, where in most of the months temperature remains low and, also, for most of the months, especially near winter season, days are of short length/time. As in winter season agricultural laborers perform their work less than normal time period in a day, and in contrast to this in some months in Kashmir Valley days remain pleasant with longer time period during summer season, the capability of performing work also increases, sometimes going up to nine hours per day, while in winter season, due to shorter days. it remains only eight hours as work time. Except for these seasons, sometimes wages of the agricultural laborers decides their working hours. In addition to that, sometimes the travelling distance of the laborers from their residential place to working place also decides their working hours. As shown in the above table, 39.33% respondents reported that their agricultural laborers perform their work for 8 hours per day. These farmers with the same answer were 119 of the total number of 300 respondents. The reason for the 8 hours of labor work by agricultural laborers was that either the seasonal conditions were such that it only allow to work for 8 hours or sometimes depends upon the per day wages given to the agricultural laborers by land owner. A majority of the farmers answered that the agricultural laborers they use for agricultural practices work for 9 hours in a day, which means that either the laborers were given a satisfactory amount of daily wages or they used to live near to their working place. This section of farmers was 181 of the total number of 300 respondents, contributing to 60.33% of the total sample size of respondents.
 

Table: 1.5
Required Labor Hours per Year

S. No

Hours

Frequency

Percentage

1

Less than 2000

09

3.00

2

2000-2300

01

0.33

3

2301-2600

23

7.66

4

2601-2900

56

18.66

5

2901-3200

10

3.33

6

3201-3500

32

10.66

7

3501-3800

14

4.66

8

3801-4100

31

10.33

9

4101-4400

40

13.33

10

4401-4700

05

1.66

11

4701-5000

11

3.66

12

5001-5300

01

0.33

13

5301-5600

36

12.00

14

5601-5900

06

2.00

15

More than 5900

25

8.33

 

Total

300

100


 
Going on with the other questions like number of laborers per year and number of labor hours per day, the researcher analyzed the previous available data and calculated the total number of labor hours required by the land owner in every year for agricultural proposes. The calculations made were being tabulated as shown above. In the above table, 3% of the farmers, which means 9 farmers of 300 respondents, were requiring less than 2,000 labor hours every year. It was found that just 0.33% farmers, which means 1 farmer, was using total number of labor hours from 2,000-2,300 for his agricultural practices. After that, 23 farmers were requiring from 2,301-2,600 labor hours in every year while working for agricultural production and marketing. These were 7.66% of the total number of all respondents. Here, 18.66% farmers were using total number of labor hours from 2,601-2,900 in every year to carry out their agricultural practices. These farmers were 56 in number. This was the largest group of respondents among the rest of the respondents. In other words, the largest group of the big farmers was requiring labor hours from 2,601-2,900 for their agricultural purposes. Here 10 farmers were having the need of labor hours from 2,901-3,200 in every agricultural season, who were contributing 3.33% to the total of 300 respondents. The data revealed that 10.66% farmers were requiring labor hours annually from 3,201-3,500, consisting in 32 respondents of the total of 300 respondents. This group was the third largest group of the farmers requiring such amount of labor hours for agricultural purposes. There were 14 farmers, who were 4.66% of all the respondents, requiring labor hours from 3,501-3,800 for carrying out agricultural practices per year. Another section of 31 farmers out of 300 selected farmers was using from 3,801-4,100 labor hours per year for agricultural practices. These farmers contribute 10.33% of the respondents and this was the fourth largest group of farmers as far as the requirements of labor hours are concerned. The second largest group of farmers was 40 in number, requiring labor hours from 4,101-4,400 for every year, consisting in 13.33% of the total number of 300 respondents. Only 5 farmers were requiring 4,401-4,700 labor hours for one year in carrying out the agricultural production. These 5 farmers were consisting only 1.66% of the all respondents. As per the data, 3.66% farmers reported that they were using 4,701-5,000 labor hours in every year for agricultural practices, consisting in 11 respondents. Remaining 0.33% farmers, which means that only respondent was using the labor hours for every year from 5,001-5,300. Another large group of the 36 respondents in number were requiring 5,301-5,600 labor hours in every agricultural season to complete the work. These farmers consisted in 12% of the total number of respondents. Only 2% of farmers reported that they were requiring 5,601-5,900 of the agricultural labor hours in every year, contributing with 6 respondents to the total of 300 respondents. Lastly, the remaining 25 farmers from 300 were having the need of more than 5,900 hours of agricultural laborers to perform the agricultural practices. The first three groups of the farmers were using least labor hours for agricultural purposes as compared to the other groups of farmers, since they were having the large number of family member and were living in joint family structure, which enable them to hire fewer laborers, resulting in fewer requirements of labor hours.
 

Table: 1.6
Labor Wage per Day (In Rupees)

S. No

Rupees

Frequency

Percentage

1

Less than 200

52

17.33

2

200-210

98

32.66

3

211-220

11

3.66

4

221-230

04

1.33

5

231-240

13

4.33

6

241-250

52

17.33

7

251-260

33

11.00

8

261-270

14

4.66

9

271-280

08

2.33

10

281-290

01

0.33

11

291-300

14

4.66

 

Total

300

100


 
Just after the collection of data on labor hour’s requirement by land owners, the researcher proceeded towards gathering information about the wages given to agricultural laborers per day by land owners. At this point of the discussion, it is more necessary to throw the light on one important aspect about the wages of the laborers. When laborers performing their agricultural work receive all daily meals from the land owner, they are being paid less wages in spite of those agricultural laborers who do not receive daily meals from their land owners but use to consume their own meals during the working hours. The data collected from the field area by the help of big farmers as respondents revealed that 17.33% of them were paying wages per day to their agricultural labors less than Rs. 200 per day and also, in addition to this amount of rupees, they also offer them all the daily meals during agricultural practices. These farmers were 52 in number out of the total 300 respondents. There has been always a little difference between the wages given to the agricultural labors by their land owners. The largest section of land owners who were 8 in number said that they were paying Rs. 200-210 to the agricultural laborers per day and in addition to that they also used to give them daily meals. These farmers contributed 32.66% to the total size of respondents. During the study, 11 farmers reported that they use to pay daily wages from Rs. 211-220 to the agricultural laborers, contributed with 3.66% to all selected respondents. Sometimes these farmers also offer daily meals to the laborers. Only 1.33% farmers said that they pay wages to the agricultural laborers from Rs. 221-230, consisting in 4 respondents to the total size of the respondents. Out of all respondents, 4.33% farmers used to provide wages in between Rs. 231-240 to their agricultural laborers; these farmers were 13 in number from the total number. Another largest number of the farmers were hiring the agricultural laborers by paying Rs. 241-250 daily, contributing with 17.33% to the total size of respondents. These farmers were 52 in number. Next group of the 11.00% farmers used to pay Rs. 251-260 to the agricultural laborers per day, which consisted in 33 respondents. Other 4.66% of the farmers reported that they pay Rs. 261-270 daily to the laborers for the agricultural work in their farm fields. These farmers were 14 in number. Only 2.33% of the farmers said that they hire the laborers by paying Rs. 271-280 and constituted 8 respondents. Only 1 farmer reported that he pays Rs. 281-290 to his agricultural laborers for work and contributed with only 0.33% to the total size of the respondents. Out of the 300 respondents, 4.66% farmers responded that they hire the agricultural laborers by paying them Rs. 291-300. These farmers were 14 in number out of 300 farmers. Last four numbers of the farmers, as mentioned in the table, were not giving any assistance like daily meals to the agricultural laborers, because their wages per day were higher than the normal payment.
 

Table: 1.7
Labor Wage per Hour (In Rupees)

S. No

Rupees

Frequency

Percentage

1

Less than 20

02

0.66

2

20-23

96

32.00

3

24-26

63

21.00

4

27-30

70

23.33

5

31-33

57

19.00

6

34-36

04

1.33

7

37-39

07

2.33

8

40-42

01
 

0.33
 

 

Total

300

100


 
After the field work and the collection of the data on daily wages and total number of required labor hours per day, the researcher constructed the above table to refer to the issue of the wages of laborers per hour. Here 0.66% farmers, which means only 2 farmers out of total of 300 respondents, were giving less than Rs. 20 to their agricultural laborers for every hour. A major number of the 96 big farmers answered that they were paying Rs. 20-23 to their agricultural laborers per hour, who were consisting in almost 32% respondents to the total respondents. Another largest number of big farmers, 63 in number, were paying Rs. 24-26 per hour to the agricultural laborers. These farmers were 21% of the total respondents. Another number of 70 farmers were giving Rs. 27-30 per hour to the agricultural laborers, who were 23.33% of the total size of selected respondents. Next 57 farmers were giving Rs. 31-33 to their agricultural laborers for one hour to perform the agricultural labor. These farmers contributed with 19% to the total size of respondents. Only 1.33% farmers were giving the wages per hour from Rs. 34-36 to their laborers, constituting 4 respondents. Other 2.33% farmers, who were only 7 in number, were paying wages from Rs. 37-39 to their agricultural laborers for performing their work in agricultural fields/farms. Remaining 0.33% farmers, which means that only 1, was giving the wages to his agricultural laborers for the agricultural work between Rs. 40-42 per hour. The lastly mentioned four groups of the respondents were paying the highest wages per hour to the agricultural laborers, since they were not providing other benefits to their agricultural laborers, like daily meals.
 

Table: 1.8
Amount Paid to Laborers per Year (In Rupees)

S. No

Rupees

Frequency

Percentage

1

Less than 50000

06

2.00

2

50001-70000

42

14.00

3

70001-90000

70

23.33

4

90001-110000

72

24.00

5

110001-130000

45

15.00

6

130001-150000

16

5.33

7

150001-170000

11

3.66

8

170001-190000

14

4.66

9

190001-210000

06

2.00

10

More than 210000

18

6.00

 

Total

300

100


 
Next the researcher analyzed the data and made calculations about the total amount paid by the land owners to the agricultural laborers per year. The calculations made as presented in the above table shows that 2% of the respondents, who were 6 in number, were paying less than Rs. 50,000 to the agricultural laborers in a year. These farmers were hiring the least number of laborers for agricultural practices. Next 14% of the respondents, who were 42 in number, were giving Rs. 50,001-70,000 to their agricultural laborers per year. This group was the least consuming labor force group of the land owners. Also, 23.33% of the respondents were having the expenditure of Rs. 70,001-9,000 annually on the agricultural laborers. These farmers were second bulky group of the selected respondents,70 of the rest of selected farmers. The largest group of the respondents, who were 72 in number, was having the expenditure of Rs. 90,001-110,000 on agricultural laborers, contributing with 24% to the 300 respondents. Another 15% of farmers were paying annually Rs. 110,001-130,000 on their agricultural laborers. These farmers were 45 in number from the all respondents. Rs. 130,001-150,000 were being paid by 16 land owners on agricultural laborers for every year. The percentage of these 16 farmers related to the overall respondents was 5.33%. Other 11 farmers were paying Rs. 150,001-170,000 annually to their agricultural laborers for performing their work in agricultural farms. These farmers were contributing with 3.66% to all respondents. It was found that 4.66% farmers were having the expenditure of Rs. 170,001-190,000 annually on the laborer, contributing with 14 respondents to the total. Only 2.% of the farmers were giving their agricultural laborers an amount of Rs. 190,001-210,000 for every year. These farmers were adding 6 respondents to all the 300 respondents. Remaining 6% of farmers were having their total expenditure of more than 210,000 on their hired agricultural laborers every year. These were 18 respondents from all selected respondents. However, the amount mentioned above in the table might vary slightly, depending on the conditions. So, the expenditure of the land owners might also change to some extent depending upon the situation each year.
 

Table: 1.9
Other Benefits to Laborers

S. No

Benefits

Frequency

Percentage

1

No other benefits

157

52.33

2

Daily meals

143

47.66

 

Total

300

100


 
In addition of paying wages to the laborers by the land owners, almost half of the selected land owners were also giving daily meals to the agricultural laborers. Those farmers who were not offering daily meals, were giving extra wages to the laborers as compared to others. This method of providing daily meals by land owners was also shaping a type of cultural system between the land owner’s family members and the agricultural laborers, because apart from the working of laborers, they were sparing some part of their time with the land owner and his family members during the time of meals. Here 143 families were found who were providing daily meals to their agricultural laborers. These farmers contributed with 47.66% to the total size of 300 respondents. This practice of providing meals was somehow benefiting the land owners, as they have to pay less wages per day to the laborers than those land owners who do not provide any additional assistance to the agricultural laborers other than paying them wages. Moreover, the families with this practice were generally living under the joint family structure, which enables them to prepare meals for the agricultural laborers and provides transport facilities to the agricultural fields for laborers. Now remaining 157 families of the big farmers were not providing any additional assistance to the agricultural laborers, other than paying them wages for their work. This section of the respondents was forming 52.33% of the total size of respondents. These families could not develop any cultural-system between themselves and agricultural laborers. Furthermore, these big farmers need to pay extra wages to the laborers, since laborers carry on their own food/meals with themselves. This section of family was mostly living under nuclear family structure. This nuclear family structure of the big farmers did not allow them to take part in their agricultural practices.
 

Table: 1.10
Group Labor Pattern

S. No

Response

Frequency

Percentage

1

Yes

143

47.66

2

No

157

52.33

 

 Total

300

100


 
Another research question was to enquire whether these laborers arrived in groups or they used to come individually at the agricultural work places. The data collected showed that 143 farmers informed that the laborers who arrive to their agricultural fields for work arrive in groups. In other words, the answer was that all the laborers working under a particular land owner used to arrive collectively or jointly to the working place. The big farmers with the same answer constituted 47.66% respondents of all 300 respondents. There we found that arriving in groups at work places was due to that the laborers were all residing at nearby places to each other. This living in neighborhood of the laborers enables them to get assembled in the morning easily and then they reach to the destination collectively. Another group of the farmers, who were 157 in number from 300, said that, at the agricultural fields, the agricultural laborers did not come in groups. These were contributing with 52.33% to all the respondents. When asked to them about the cause, they replied that sometimes the laborers were living at different places, so they always arrive individually. Elaborately the laborers did not know each other and also do not live at same places, which results in arriving of laborers separately to their agricultural work places.
 

Table: 1.11
Role of Families of Big Farmers in Agricultural Practices

S. No

Role

Frequency

Percentage

1

No role

038

12.66

2

To some extent

109

36.33

3

Full support

153

51.00

 

 Total

300

100


 
Another question related with the agricultural system of big farmers was studied during research field work. The data were collected from the respondents on the role of their respective family members in their agricultural practices. After the completion of the data gathering on the said topic, the data showed that 12.66% farmers, who were 38 in number, have answered that there is no role played by their family members in their agricultural practices. These families neither provide daily meals nor help the laborers in carrying out the agricultural work. These families were having very low number of family members and were engaged in some other kinds of work like education, employment etc. The heads of these families also did not take part in their agricultural practices. Instead of helping the laborers, they only maintain all the statistical data of their agricultural related business or agro-business and make thorough supervision on the hired agricultural laborers. But these land owners carried out all their agricultural production, transportation and marketing with the sole help of their agricultural laborers. A group of 109 families to some extent performed their role in agricultural practices. These families consisted in 36.33% to all families of the respondents. These families hardly provided daily meals and light agricultural equipment to them, which were to be used by the agricultural laborers. Additionally, the land owners sometimes worked with agricultural laborers in carrying out agricultural practices and that too for short periods of time. In this way, the above mentioned 36.33% families participated in their agricultural production and marketing. Remaining 153 respondents reported that their family members participated fully in the agricultural practices. These families, along with the laborers, participated throughout the year in agricultural production and marketing. These families were consisting in 51% of the total sample size of respondents’ families. These families, in addition of providing daily meals to their laborers, used to work in their paddy and apple farms for whole day when need arises. Heads of these families, in spite of maintaining all accounts of their agricultural system, consumed their maximum time with laborers at agricultural work places. These families mainly lived under the joint family structure, which enabled them to have more spare time for the participation in agricultural practices.
 

Table: 1.12
Labor System

S. No

System

Frequency

Percentage

1

Daily

269

89 .66

2

Daily and contractual

031

10.33

 

 Total

300

100


 
Another issue was discussed with the respondents during the field work, where the information was gathered about the labor system used by the land owners for their agricultural purposes. The collected data showed that either the land owners were using daily labor system or they were using both daily and contractual system of labor. No land owner was found using only contractual or any other type of labor system. Under the daily labor system, the laborers were hired on a daily wage basis, while as under the contractual labor system the laborers were being employed for the whole agricultural season or at least for more than one month. In this type of labor system, the laborers were being paid monthly by land owners. A very low number of big farmers were being found using both daily and contractual system of laborers. In contractual labor system, generally, the laborers were given the contractual obligation of taking care of agricultural farms till the packing and marketing of apples. Here 269 farmers were using only daily labor system throughout the season for the agricultural purposes. These farmers contributed 89.66% to the total number of 300 respondents. Rest of the respondents, who were 31 in number, replied that they use both daily and contractual system of labor force for their agricultural practices. Under this system, the daily laborers were given wages and that wage amount might vary from time to time, but the payment given to the contractual laborers remaining same throughout the period of contract. The available data revealed that in Kashmir Valley, especially in our research area, the most prominent and frequently used labor system is daily labor system.
 

Table: 1.13
Native Place of Laborers

S. No

Place

Frequency

Percentage

1

J&K state

260

86.66

2

J&K and other states/countries

40

13.33

 

 Total

300

100


 
While discussing on the subject of the agrarian relations with the respondents, the researcher touched another issue related with the laborers, and we collected data in relation to the native places of the laborers who were being employed by land owners in agricultural practices. At this stage of the discussion, we analyzed that land owners used to employ/hire the laborers of their own state alone or of the other states and countries. The data collected from the 300 respondents revealed that 260 farmers were employing the laborers of their own state, especially of the Kashmir Valley. These land owners answered that they do not use laborers of other states or countries. These farmers consisted in 86.66% of the total of 300 respondents. Remaining 40 farmers replied that sometimes they use laborers of other states and countries along with the laborers of their own areas from Kashmir Valley. This employing of laborers of other states and countries was reported only due to the lack of intra-state labor force. The lack of laborers of Jammu and Kashmir State was only found in the peak seasons of agriculture, which ultimately resulted into the hiring of out-state labor forces by big land-owners to complete the agricultural practices within the required time period. These 40 farmers who were using both kinds of labor force for their agricultural purposes were consisting in 13.33% of the total size of 300 selected respondents. In this way, it became clear that a majority of labor force came from Kashmir region for agricultural purposes, especially on those times when the season of fruit cultivation was is going on.
 

Table: 1.14
Other States/Countries of Laborers

S. No

States/Countries

Frequency

Percentage

1

J&K State only

260

86.66

2

J&K and Bihar

39

13.00

3

J&K and Nepal

1

0.33

 

 Total

300

100


 
Just after the researcher gathered data concerning the native places of the laborers, we proceeded towards its next part of discussion, where we tried to know about the countries from where these agricultural laborers used to come to Kashmir Valley for seeking labor work. The laborers of the other states were not been hired discretely by the land owners, along with the laborers of Jammu and Kashmir state. The available data showed that 260 farmers, which were 86.66% respondents, were employing only the labor force from their own state. It showed that preference is given to the local laborers rather than to the laborers of other states. Out of the remaining 40 respondents, 39 respondents reported that along with the used of local laborers they often use the laborers having their native places in Bihar. This indicated that except Jammu and Kashmir State, largest group of farmers are using labor force of Bihar state. These farmers were consisting in 13% of the total size of 300 respondents. This shows that Bihar state supplies large labor force to the Kashmir Valley for agricultural practices than other states of the country. Remaining 0.33% farmers answered that, along with the laborers of their own state, they often hire the laborers from the neighboring country of Nepal. There was found only 1 respondent with this answer. The state of Bihar and the country of Nepal are the only two places from where the laborers came to the Kashmir valley for the purpose of agricultural work.
 
 

Table: 1.15
Developing Cultural-System

S. No

Response

Frequency

Percentage

1

Yes

131

43.66

2

Can’t say

134

44.66

3

No

35

11.66

 

 Total

300

100


 
The information was also collected from every selected big farmer on the development of cultural system between them and the agricultural laborers during agricultural practices of production and marketing. This question was fundamentally related with the development of cultural system between laborers, big land owners and the family members of land owner. Generally, those families who were providing daily meals to the laborers and were participating along with laborers in their agricultural fields, resulted into the development of a cultural system, because they were working jointly with the laborers and also were spending time with them. In this way, a friendly environment was built between all the participants. While those families who were not supporting laborers or were not themselves engaged in agricultural practices of their own used to perform all their agricultural related work by the help of hired laborers and were not giving rise to any sort of cultural system between themselves and the laborers. In the central point of these families, who were in contrast to each other, there was another group of families, who were participating moderately into their agricultural field for all practices. These families of land owners were developing a cultural system to some extent. In this connection, responses were collected from the respondents and results accessible showed that 43.66% of the farmers assumed that there was the presence of a cultural system between them and their agricultural laborers. These farmers were 131 in number of respondents. Second category of the farmers, who were 134 in number out of total 300 respondents, replied that they cannot articulate anything about the enlargement of a cultural system between them and their agricultural laborers. These farmers were contributing 44.66% to the total size of the respondents. These were the families who make available only daily meals to their agricultural laborers and were playing their role to some extent in their agricultural practices. Only 35 farmers said that there was not the existence of any cultural system between them and their hired agricultural laborers. These families were only paying the wages to the laborers and they do not have any other relation or participation with them. These farmers were contributing only 11.66% to the total respondents.

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Cite this paper

APA

Shah, W. M., & Chauhan, A. (2013). A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley. Open Science Repository Sociology, Online(open-access), e70081935. doi:10.7392/Sociology.70081935

MLA

Shah, Waseem Majeed, and Arvind Chauhan. “A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley.” Open Science Repository Sociology Online.open-access (2013): e70081935.

Chicago

Shah, Waseem Majeed, and Arvind Chauhan. “A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley.” Open Science Repository Sociology Online, no. open-access (February 28, 2013): e70081935. http://www.open-science-repository.com/a-sociological-study-of-agrarian-relations-in-bandipora-of-kashmir-valley.html.

Harvard

Shah, W.M. & Chauhan, A., 2013. A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley. Open Science Repository Sociology, Online(open-access), p.e70081935. Available at: http://www.open-science-repository.com/a-sociological-study-of-agrarian-relations-in-bandipora-of-kashmir-valley.html.

Science

1. W. M. Shah, A. Chauhan, A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley, Open Science Repository Sociology Online, e70081935 (2013).

Nature

1. Shah, W. M. & Chauhan, A. A Sociological Study of Agrarian Relations in Bandipora of Kashmir Valley. Open Science Repository Sociology Online, e70081935 (2013).


doi

Research registered in the DOI resolution system as: 10.7392/Sociology.70081935.


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