India has not been able to implement land reforms in an efficient manner even after many decades. Enumerate the key hurdles in accomplishing land reforms in India. Also, discuss the advantages which can be reaped by accomplishing them in contemporary times.

Land Reforms refer to the redistribution of land resources in an equitable manner. At the time of independence, Aacharya Vinod Bhave and JP Narayan had led the Gramdan and Bhoodan movement with these noble ideas.

  • Even our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, was devoted to this cause. He enacted first Constitutional Amendment Act in 1951 to create the ninth schedule, to protect the Land Reforms Act from judicial review.
  • Successive governments have found the land reform issue to be more challenging, as the initial enthusiasm of the formation of new nation has reduced and personal ambitions and status-quoism has set in.

Challenges:

  • Land consolidation is a very difficult process, as our manufacturing sector is not well developed.
  • We shifted from agricultural sector to service sector industries, which resulted into growth but with the issue of joblessness. Hence, there is a lack of jobs for farmers, to move into other sectors. E.g. Agriculture contributes to a small share in our GDP, but it employees 40% of workforce in India.
  • Land records are not maintained and heavy fudging is present, so disputes of ownership stalls the reforms.
  • Many farmer organisations and caste-based pressure groups have resisted the efforts.
  • Huge and unreasonable demand for land compensation, which adversely affects fiscal deficit of the state.
  • Vested interest and politico-industrial Nexus.
  • Laws on ceiling limit have been regularly flouted. In addition, there are many exemptions.

Advantages of Land Reforms:

  • Farmers land size would increase, which would result into farm mechanization and better methods.
  • Load on agriculture will reduce and reduction in disguised unemployment. E.g 86% of farmers own less than 2 hectares of land.
  • People will shift to manufacturing and service sector, which will help achieve the goal of dollar 5 trillion economy by 2025.
  • The pooled land can be used for Noble purposes such as cold storage, food parks, defence SEZ, etc.
  • Ease of doing business will improve, hence make in India initiative will get a boost.

Therefore, Land Reforms in a pragmatic and people centric manner must be implemented to achieve the goal of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”.

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