This book raises some compelling questions that scholars working on the issue of land grab need to grapple with. For far too long, the land grab literature has used varied definitions of the term land grab and presented empirical estimates without specifying a consistent methodological framework for assessment of the extent of land grab. Do all land transactions – irrespective of whether domestic or transnational, irrespective of the class position of the sellers and buyers, irrespective of the role of state in facilitating the transactions, and irrespective of the land use before and after land transaction – constitute land grab? Brautigam has used data compiled through painstaking fieldwork to show that some of the widely used estimates of Chinese investments in land acquisition in Africa are misleading. Does this problem go beyond the estimates of Chinese land acquisitions and extend to global estimates of land grab?
The Jagirdari system originated in Rajputana in the medieval period as a system of military control and administration of the Rajput states. By the early twentieth century, the Jagirdari system of Jaipur state, of which Shekhawati was a part, had evolved into an extremely complex system of land administration.
India’s livestock economy is among the biggest in the world. Restrictions being sought to be imposed on cattle trade and slaughter, and the terror unleashed by the cow vigilantes, would deal a serious blow to the agrarian economy that is already reeling under a crisis precipitated by two years of drought, falling farm harvest prices and the demand deflation caused by demonetisation. While Supreme Court’s recent order staying the implementation of the recently-imposed restrictions on cattle sales is a welcome relief, the killer gau-rakshak gangs continue to roam the streets unrestrained.
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