Well-known intellectual and human rights activist from Karnataka, Shivasundar speaking at a webinar organised in the wake of ongoing farmers’ protest noted that, we find that Dr. Ambedkar’s thoughts on agriculture are spread across his seminal works. ‘His thoughts significantly evolved over time from 1918 when he authored The Problem of Small Land Holdings in India to his speech in the context of the Third Amendment to the Indian Constitution in 1955. Ambedkar’s thoughts on agriculture must be understood within his thoughts on the economy. Ambedkar had actually understood that Indian agriculture was burdened by small land-holders about 102 years ago.’
Farmers in the country have been protesting against the policies of the governments and currently three three farm laws of the BJP, farmers note are a direct attack on agriculture. Farmers protesting at Delhi borders marked Ambedkar Jayanti today.
At Singhu Border
At Ghazipur Border
At Tikri Border
Shivsunday also observed,
“Ambedkar in toto rejected the then-dominant agrarian theory which argued that productivity increases when land holdings are large. Later, he introduced the concept of ‘economic holding’ to understand and explain how do could a land-holding be made productive and profitable. According to this concept, a land-holding becomes an economic holding only when it is able to make profits even after providing for all the expenses incurred. Else, it is deemed to be an un-economic holding. It must be noted here that it’s not just the land that needs to be factored for but also the capital invested and labor-effort put-in. A holding can be productive only if capital and labor are also well-supplied. Thus, even when the holding is productive if more people depend on a smaller land-holding, it renders itself uneconomic.
Today, the dependence on farmland is so high that small land-holders are not able to make capital investments and/or arrange for labor and thereby are selling the small lands that they own. This does not generate capital. Hence, the development of the agricultural sector is impossible itself until there happen large-scale industrialization and urbanization in the country which is able to absorb within its fold the masses involved in agriculture from the rural areas. Only when people are able to earn by migrating to cities from rural areas will they able to make capital investments in agriculture”