[Answered]Why are land reforms still not complete in India? What are obstacles in its way? Elaborate.

Demand of the question

Introduction. Contextual introduction.

Body. Discuss various causes for incomplete land reforms and obstacles.

Conclusion. Way forward.

Land reforms refers to a wide variety of specific programmes and measures to bring about more effective control and use of land for the benefit of the community as a whole. The main objective of the land reforms is to do away with the existing inequalities in the system of landholding and to increase the agricultural productivity. This objective is hindered by the slow pace of implementation of land reform measures.

Various causes for incomplete land reforms and obstacles:

  1. Unclear Legislation: The legislation enacted for land reforms in India is having certain built-in faults. These include unsatisfactory definition of personal cultivation, inadequate definition of etc.
  2. Lack of Political Will: Strong political will determination and courage are very much important for the implementation of land reform measures. But unfortunately, this is very much absent in Indian context. The lack of political will is amply demonstrated by the large gaps between policy and legislation and between law and its implementation.
  3. Bureaucratic Obstacles: Bureaucratic obstacles are also another impediment in the path of implementation of land reform measures in India. The bureaucracy always tried to play safe by following a lukewarm attitude. In some cases, even administrators have joined hands with the politician to grab the surplus land.
  4. Lack of coordination: The land reform policy in India is being implemented at a slow pace and also in an uncoordinated manner leading to a total delay in implementing the reforms.
  5. Differences in the Laws related to Land Reforms: The laws related to land reforms have differences in different states. This has resulted in a slow pace of implementation in land reforms and also made it discriminatory. Moreover, these laws could not be implemented simultaneously at the national level in a smooth manner.
  6. Litigation: The faults and defects in laws related to land reforms has resulted in growing number of litigations which has dampen the spirit of reforms and has also delayed its implementation.
  7. Incomplete Land Records: Land records collected by the state Governments are incomplete. This has been creating difficulties in determining the ownership of land, leading to implementation of land reforms difficult.
  8. Non-Participation in Government Programmes: The land reforms in India could not make much headway as a result of non-participation of the people in the Government programmes. In India, marginal and small farmers, tenants and landless agricultural labourers are showing very little interest in the implementation of land reforms as a result of their ignorance and poverty. All these have resulted in the implementation of the programme at a very slow pace.

Way forward:

  1. Effective Implementation: In order to attain success in land reform measures, steps be taken by the Government for implementing these measures efficiently and also in most effective manner. For this purpose, a time bound programme should be formulated.
  2. Efficient Administrative Machinery: For implementing the land reforms at a quicker pace, the administrative machinery of the Government should become efficient up to local level. The officials engaged in the department must acquire adequate knowledge on the laws related to land reforms for their smooth and speedy implementation.
  3. Updated Records: For successful implementation of land reforms, up-to-date land records should be prepared and steps also be taken to up-date the land records continually through computerisation.
  4. Simplifying Legal Methods: For speedy and smooth implementation of land reform measures the legal provisions relating to it should be simplified. Special courts may need to be set up for speedy disposal of cases in a most economic manner.
  5. Land Reform Laws: Land reform laws should be made unchallengeable. Raj Krishna Committee has suggested, in this connection that the laws relating to land reforms should be incorporated in the 9th schedule of the constitution so as to make it more firm and unchallengeable.
  6. Popularising Laws: In order to popularise the laws relating to land reforms there should be comprehensive publicity of such laws among the rural people. These laws should be published in different languages and be distributed through Block Development officials. This sort of publicity would arouse the consciousness of the poor farmers about their rights and duties related to implementation of land reform measures.
  7. Reducing political Interference: Political interference prevailing in the implementation of land Reforms should be reduced to the minimum level so that land reform laws can serve for the best interest of the country.

Land Reforms have been recognised to constitute a vital element both in terms of the anti-poverty strategy and for modernisation and increased productivity in agriculture. The main challenge before the land reform programme is to dislodge the vested interests on land and legal support offered by the judicial system to those vested interest groups in the guise of sanctity of private property.

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