Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tebhaga Movement

One of the great post war peasant agitation was the Tebhaga movement. It was the most extensive of all the post war agrarian agitations. The uprising originated in the share cropping system that prevailed in Bengal. By this time a new class of rural exploiters, the Jotedars, emerged. They rented out land to landless peasants on the basis of sharing the crops in equal halves. The Jotedars exacted illegally many other privileges. The condition of peasants worsened further by inflactionary war time situation and famine. T Therefore they responded to the call of Bengal Provincial Kisan Sabha, in September 1946 demanding 3\4 of the produce for the tillers. The slogan, “Tebhaga chai” [we want three-fourth share] rent the sky. They started taking harvested crops to their own yards. They offered only 1\3 crop share to Jatedars. This led to innumerable clashes and subsequent arrests, lathi charges and firings. Muslim peasants and peasant women actively took part in the movement. The renewed communal riots in Calcutta in March 1947 and its repercussions finally led to the suspension of the movement.

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