Who are farmers in India after all? A conceptual exercise and a policy question – Sejuti Das Gupta, Ishita Mehrotra, and Aparajita Bakshi

Spring 2022
Abstract
Definitional exercises are by nature political and nowhere does this come across more clearly than in attempts to define farmers in India. Any such effort is bound to be contentious but nonetheless necessary for understanding the nature of Indian state and its policies. This article is one attempt at understanding ‘farmers’ as informed by current debates on the topic and our combined field experiences. We identify three groups of farmers, each of whom control and contribute three different factors of production. This heterogeneity among farmers is crucial to understand the farm laws and which of these groups is best served by such a policy direction and more importantly, which group is not.

Keywords: farmer, agro-policy, farmers movement, proletarisation, “rurban”

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Who are farmers in India after all? A conceptual exercise and a policy question – Sejuti Das Gupta, Ishita Mehrotra, and Aparajita Bakshi
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Sejuti Das Gupta, Michigan State University
Ishita Mehrotra, Independent researcher
Aparajita Bakshi, RV University

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