Agrarian Unrest and Peasant Movements Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Agrarian Unrest and Peasant Movements

“The root of peasant unrest, therefore, lies in the social structure of the peasantry, its history, and processes of agricultural modernisation.” - S. L. Desai, P. C. Jain


  • Not a new phenomenon
  • Part of National Movement – Bipin Chandra
  • State Government handles
  • Issues of land, agriculture
  • Other names – struggle for peasantry, peasant struggle, peasant uprising, peasant revolution, class struggle, class war, etc.


  • Farmer՚s agitation or revolt
  • Aim to bring about changes
  • Pre and post independent era


  • Exploitation
  • Debts
  • Increasing number of landless, uneducated and unemployed
  • Relative deprivation
  • Farmers organization and political awareness
  • Eviction of tenants
  • Anti-farmers policies by Government
  • Modern Technology

Types of Peasant Struggles

  • On the basis of:
    • Ideology
    • Purpose
    • Way of working
    • Organisational base
  • According to Kathleen Gough, five categories or types of peasant struggles
    • Restorative rebellion – Santal insurrection
    • Religious rebellion – Mopla Muslims of Malabar
    • Social banditry – snatch from wealthy and distribute to poor
    • Terrorist vengeance – People՚s war group - Naxalites
    • Mass insurrections – mass explosions – leader is absent- spontaneous start and end

Another category added by, Dr. Dhanagare – Liberal Reformist Movements – no violence – Champaran Satyagraha

Movements in Pre-Independent India

  • Integrated with National struggle
  • Violent
  • Victims of famine, high debts, struggle for National freedom
  • Targets – Zamindars, money lenders, Government
  • Some examples:
    • Champaran movement, 1917
    • Kheda Peasant Struggle, 1918
    • Bardoli Satyagraha, 1920
    • Moplah Rebellion, 1921

Movements in Post-Independent India

  • Telangana Peasant Movement, 1947
  • Naxalbari Peasant Movement, 1967

Existing Peasant Struggles

  • Tamilnadu Farmers Sangh
  • Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangh
  • Shetkari Organisation
  • Bhartiya Kisan Union


Q. 1. Which peasant struggle was known as the “beacon light for the revolutionary struggle in India” ?

1. Champaran Movement

2. Naxalbari struggle

3. Bardoli Satyagraha

4. Kheda Satyagraha

Answer: 2

Q. 2. Which of these were the causes of Naxalbari agitation?

a. Economic dissatisfaction

b. Judicial partiality

c. Role of Marxists

d. Indigo grower՚s agitation


1. d only

2. a, b and c

3. b and d

4. c only

Answer: 2

#Rural Sociology

#Social Issues and Strategies for Rural Development

#Agrarian unrest and Peasant movements



0: 00 Agrarian unrest and Peasant movements

0: 35 Introduction of Peasant movements

2: 10 Concept of Peasant movements

2: 57 Causes of Peasant movements

6: 43 Types of Peasant Struggles

10: 22 Movements in pre-independent India

10: 59 Movements in post-independent India

11: 09 Existing peasant struggles

11: 27 MCQ about Agrarian unrest and Peasant movements

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