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Land reforms brought about by successive Congress governments after independence were aimed at creating a new class of rich farmers whereas the Green Revolution was a capitalist strategy that denuded the Dalits, thinker and ideologue Anand Teltumbde said on Monday.
"Through land reforms they created a class of rich farmers in rural areas, because the Congress was not confident. They were somewhat of a metropolitan party. Their rural presence was very tenuous. So, they wanted to create a class of rich farmers who would be allied to the Congress," Teltumbde said at at a function organised by Dakshinayan Abhiyan in South Goa's Margao town.
"... thereafter, they brought in the Green Revolution, which enriched a handful and displaced the erstwhile landlords who typically belonged to the Brahmin caste," he added.
He said that the battle of Bhima-Koregaon in early 19th century went largely unnoticed and became popular only after Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar started visiting the obelisk erected by the British in memory of soldiers who fell in the battlefield, including those from the Mahar clan.
The Green Revolution ushered in bumper agricultural yield but was a capitalist ploy from which the Dalits did not benefit, he claimed.
"They (Brahmin landlords) were replaced by these people... all kinds of markets were created because of the Green Revolution that was basically a capitalists strategy... Dalits got denuded just as rural proletariat, utterly dependent on farm wages given by rich farmers," the Dalit activist said.
Speaking on the legacy of the Bhima Koregaon battle, Teltumbde said: "When Ambedkar came on the scene, recruitment of Mahars in the British military was stopped, though there was rising demand for the same. In that context, Bhima-Koregaon battle came in handy for the Mahars to claim that they too belonged to a martial race."
"Ambedkar's father was part of this movement... Ambedkar picked up this issue. He used to go there (obelisk) and pay his respects. Before that, it was not noticed by anyone...."
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)