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|Number of Pages||267 Pages|
The book is a perceptive study of the agrarian society in the Punjab, which saw immensely complex changes during the first fifty years of British rule.
It attempts to study the rural changes at two levels: to study and analyse some significant trends in the agrarian economy of the province during 1849-1901 and second, to explain the changes in the social framework of agriculture.
The author begins with a general description of agrarian society at the time of the annexation of the Punjab. He then goes on to focus attention on the impact of the new canal network on the production organization and peasant economy of the province, leading to a new form of colonial settlement in the bar lands. Chapter three deals with the growth of commercial agriculture with particular reference to the cultivation of wheat, cotton and sugarcane and the effect of this on the rural economy. British land revenue administration and the development of settlement policy are dealt with next. Then comes a close look at the rural credit relations and land alienation followed by a discussion of the landlord-tenant relations and the regional variations in them. The author concludes the volume with a study of the changing status and economic conditions of village servants or Kamins as they were called in relation to their masters, the peasant proprietors. There is a very useful glossary at the end.
The book fills an important gap left by the previous studies on the subject and constitutes a most valuable addition to scholarship in the field.