Tebhaga Movement

The Tebhaga movement was led by the share croppers of the Bengal region against the oppressive jotedars in 1946-47. The uprising was due to the share cropping system that prevailed in the Bengal. During the early nineteen century a new class of rich peasants known as jotedars emerged in the Bengal region. The jotedars collected huge tracts of land in rural areas. They also controlled the local markets, money lending activities, exercised control over the poor cultivators. In rural villages these jotedars exercised more control than the Zamindars, who often lived in urban areas. The large agricultural areas under the jotedars were cultivated through sharecroppers (also known as bhagadars), who handed over half of the crop after the harvest to the jotedars. The jotedars were mainly concentrated in the North Bengal, whereas in other parts of the Bengal they are known as haoladars, gantidars, or mandals.

In late 1946, the bhagadars challenged the prevailed system of share cropping. They asserted that they would not pay half of the produce but only one-third of the produce and also before the share of the produce, it should be stored in their godowns (also called as khamars) and not that of jotedars. The sharecroppers were encouraged by the Floud Commision which had already recommended their demand to the government. The movement was led by the All India Kisan Sabha, the peasant wing of CPI. Initially only few peasants were participated but in January 1947, the Bengal Bargadars Temporary Regulation Bill incorporated the demand of the Sharecroppers. This encouraged the movement and  led to the increased participation of the peasants from rural areas. At the request of the jotedars, the police suppressed the sharecroppers. By March 1947, the movement slowly disappeared due to government promises. But the government failed to pass the bill immediately and it was only in 1950, the bill was passed.

Tags: , ,