Saharanpur Riots – Social change unfolding

Chapter 1 – Indian farming industry – An equation between “Landowners and Laborers”

India is looking at economic surge with 7% growth every year. It comes as boon to every Indian in some form which leads to economic self-dependence, hence freedom to take decisions for oneself and work for healthy and prosperous life. So far so good, but at the same time, it also questions the social hierarchy which has been deeply rooted in the Indian society especially “caste based hierarchical division”. Upper Caste vs Lower Caste, Jamidar vs Laborer, Kshatriyas and Brahmins vs Dalits.

2014, India’s general election, political parties across India know that by winning 80% of seats in Uttar Pradesh alone gives the party a mandate to appoint its own Prime minister or power to choose someone of their own choice. Politics is fought at various levels to get the support of each of these social groups. There are 2 ways to get the support of any social group – 1. By polarizing the society (on Religious, Economy, Social lines) to gain the support of majority to win the election, 2. By focusing on an agenda (Religious, Economy, Social) which is common to majority of social groups. Before going in detail of election, Let us briefly focus on the social and economical structure of the society.

Social Structure – 

Majority of population in Uttar Pradesh, depends on farming either as Farmer or Laborer. At one hand, big landowners are Kshatriyas and on other hand Dalits without any land. So the economy is very simple – Kshatriyas are the owners of small enterprises and they have the resources to provide jobs to Dalits. “But there is only one type of job exists in this large industry i.e Laborer.” 

Job description of a Laborer –  

  • Work in farms (Making fields for crop, cleaning up the fields, water supply to crops, cutting the crops, cleaning up the grains)
  • Obey every order passed by the landowner
  • Landowner has the right to abuse anytime whenever they choose to do so.
  • Lunch meal – you need to bring your plate or bring a banana leaf. (As you are not allowed to touch or use utensils from landowner’s house)
  • Stipend will be paid based on Landowners convenience. (Inconvenience caused to laborers are deeply regretted*)
  • Landowner has right to beat up the laborer in case of not obeying an order.

(“The job requirement is not available on any job portal. Please don’t search online.” If interested, please change your caste to Dalit.”)



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