Friday, November 04, 2011

Land status of Dalits in Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is the most populous State in India with an estimated population of 16.6 crores as per Census 2001. The number of females is 7.86 crores and that of males is 8.75 crores. The male-female ratio is 1000:898. The urban population is 3.45 crores while 13.15 crore population lives in the rural areas. The State has one sixth of the total population and one tenth of the land area of the country. It is the fourth largest State in terms of geographical area covering 2.40 lakh sq. kms. and comprising 70 districts, 17 divisions, 298 tehsils, 823 development blocks, approximately 720 urban local bodies, 8814 Nayaya Panchayats, 51826 Gram Sabhas and 97134 revenue villages. The density of the population in the State is 689 persons per sq. km. in 2001 against 324 for India as a whole. The State has a preponderance of small villages, which implies that a large spread of social & economic infrastructure requiring more resources. Uttar Pradesh ranks very low even in terms of basic household amenities. Only 20 percent of households in Uttar Pradesh have electricity connection, 15 percent have access to safe drinking water; 11 percent have toilet facility; and the public distribution system for food grains reaches only 5 percent of households.
According to the 2001 Census, 80.6 per cent of the State population was Hindu. Muslims formed 18.5 percent of the population. The remaining 0.9 per cent of population consisted of other religious minorities like Sikhs, Boudhs, Jains and Christians. Scheduled castes formed 21.15 per cent of the State’s population.
state income having 73 percent of the total working force. This shows the continued pressure of working population in the primary sector. The share of secondary sector, on the other hand, has gone up to 20 percent of the total state income which now employ 9 percent of the total workers in the state. This percentage is the lowest among all the major Indian states except Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa6. The share of tertiary sector has been more impressive from 25 percent in 1970-71 to 37 percent in 1994-95 and 45.9 percent in 2007-08. The percentage share of workers employed by this sector has risen from 15 percent to 18 percent in 1991. It thus shows that the U.P.'s growth has been more capital intensive than labour intensive, more urban based than rural based and the shift income from primary to other sectors is not accompanied by corresponding change in employment pattern.
Almost all social indicators of the state show that the state stands in very lower ranks among the sixteen major States. Bihar and in some cases Orissa, are the only two states which lag behind U.P. in terms of social development indicators like medical facilities, teacher-pupil ratio in primary schools, birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate, literacy, per capita income, electrification of villages, per capita power consumption etc. Uttar Pradesh is often seen as a case study of development in a region of India that currently lag behind other parts of the country in terms of a number of important aspects of well being and social progress.
The proportion of Scheduled tribes residing in the State is negligible at 0.06 per cent. The basic population status and indicators, according to Census 2001, are mentioned in the Table -1 below: -









Sharp differences in the level of human development prevail among the different social and religious groups in the State. The socio-economic status of scheduled castes, other backward classes and schedule tribes is much lower as compared to that of the higher castes. The high proportion of the population belonging to the socially and economically depressed sections has profound implications for the policy and the status of human development in the State.

SC and ST in Uttar Pradesh- Population - Size & Distribution::
The Scheduled castes and Scheduled tribes still belong to poor sections of the society because they have, for historical reasons, remained socially and economically backward for a long period and hence, deprived from even the basic amenities of the life which are deemed to be essential for a civilized living. In view of it, due priority has been assigned to their upliftment in planned efforts by providing more and more funds under the schemes which were specially designed and formulated by Central as well as State Governments in various Five Year and Annual Plans.
The Scheduled Caste (SC) population of Uttar Pradesh is 35,148,377 at 2001 census, constituting 21.1 percent of the total population (166,197,921) of the State. Uttar Pradesh holds 1st rank and 4th rank in terms of absolute number of SC population and its proportion to total population respectively among all the States and UTs. The decennial growth of SC population has been 25.3 per cent, which is comparable with the growth of total population (25.8 per cent) of the State. The State has a total of sixty six (66) SCs; all of them have been enumerated at 2001 Census. The Scheduled Castes are predominantly rural as 87.7 per cent of them live in villages. District - wise distribution of SC population shows that they have the highest concentration in percentage term in Sonbhadra district (41.9 per cent), followed by Kaushambi (36.1 per cent) and Sitapur (31.9 per cent) districts. Baghpat has the lowest proportion of SC population (11per cent).

Out of sixty six (66) SCs, Chamar has the highest number (19, 803,106) constituting 56.3 per cent of the total SC population. Pasi is the second largest SC having a population of 5,597,002, forming 15.9 per cent of the SC population. Three other SCs in the descending order are Dhobi, Kori and Balmiki. Alongwith Chamar and Pasi, these five SCs constitute 87.5 per cent of the total SC population. Gond, Dhanuk and Khatik have population in the range of 443,457 to 764,765 and together form another 5 per cent. Nine SCs, viz. Rawat, Baheliya, Kharwar…. up to Kol with the population ranging from 109,557 to 331,374, constitute 4.5 per cent; the remaining forty nine (49) SCs along with the generic castes constitute the balance 3 per cent of the State’s SC population. As many as seventeen (17) SCs have population below 5000. Of them, four SCs, namely, Gharami, Lalbegi, Bajgi and Khorot are very small, each having population less than 1000.
At the level of the individual caste, Chamar are primarily concentrated in Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Agra, Bijnor, Saharanpur, Gorakhpur and Ghazipur districts. Pasi have the highest number in Sitapur district, followed by Rae Bareli, Hardoi and Allahabad districts. Other three major groups, namely, Dhobi, Kori and Balmiki have maximum population in Bareilly, Sultalpur and Ghaziabad districts respectively.
The sex ratio in the age group 0-6 years (930) is slightly lower than that of the SCs at the national level (938). Among the larger groups, Pasi have the highest and Balmiki have the lowest child sex ratio. Except Pasi, four other major SCs have returned lower child sex ratio lower if compared with that of the national average. The overall sex ratio of the SC population in Uttar Pradesh is 900 females per 1000 males which is lower than the national average of 936 for all SCs. 7. Among numerically larger SCs, Chamar and Kori have registered overall sex ratio below 900, whereas Pasi and Dhobi have sex ratio above 900.
Table 3: Cast of Surveyed Family Dist:























Figure 1: Social Profile of Survey Family



Literacy & Educational Level and Marital Status:
The overall literacy rate of the SCs has increased from 26.2 per cent at 1991 census to 46.3 per cent at 2001 census. Despite improvement, the literacy rate has been considerably lower than the national average (54.7 per cent) aggregated for all SCs. Male and female literacy rates (60.3 per cent and 30.5 per cent respectively) among the SCs are also lower than those recorded for all SCs at the national level (66.6 per cent & 41.9 per cent respectively).
Among the major SCs, Chamar and Dhobi have shown the highest literacy rate (49 per cent), while Pasi have recorded the lowest literacy rate. Similar trend has been registered for these castes in respect of female literacy also.
Figure 2: Literacy Rate among Dalit (to be inserted)

Among the SC literates, 38 per cent are either without any educational level or have attained education below primary level. The proportions of literates who have attained education up to primary and middle levels are 27.1 per cent and 18.5 per cent respectively. Literates who are educated upto matric/higher secondary constitute13.3 per cent. Graduates & above are 3 per cent. The nontechnical & technical diploma holders constitute a meagre 0.1 per cent only.
Figure 3: Level of Education among Major Schedule Castr

There is a sharp decline in the percentage of literates from the secondary level onwards. The percentage of matriculate is almost half of the middle level literates. The proportion of matriculates (8.5 per cent) decline to one third in graduation level and above.
Out of the total 133 lakh SC children in the age group 5 -14 years, 58.3 lakh have been attending school constituting 56.4 per cent. As many as 45.1 lakh children in the corresponding age group have not been going to school. Among the major SCs, Chamar and Dhobi have 60 per cent school going children. This proportion is 51 – 57 per cent among Pasi, Balmiki and Kori.
The data on marital status show that more than half (53.3 per cent) of the SC population is ‘never married’. ‘Married’ persons constitute 42.7 per cent. ‘Widowed’ persons form 3.9 per cent while negligible per cent (0.2 per cent) is of ‘divorced & separated’ persons.
The proportions of married girls below 18 years (3.1 per cent) and boys below 21 years (4.4 per cent) are higher than those at the national level (2.8 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively). Among the numerically larger castes, Pasi, Kori and Dhobi have registered the proportions of married girls and boys below the legal age for each, higher than those of the state as well as national averages. below the legal age for each, higher than those of the state as well as national averages. The mean number of children ever born per ever married SC woman (45-49 yrs.) is 5, which is higher than that registered by all SCs at the national level
Figure 4:Source of School Education







Figure 5: Migration Trend



Work Participation Profile of SC:
The total Scheduled Caste main workers in the State according to 2001 census, is 79.49 lakh which is about 20 % of the total main workers (393.38 lakh) in the State. The work participation rate (WPR) of the SC population is 34.7 per cent which is lower than that of all SCs at the national level (40.4 per cent). There has been a slight decline of 0.3 per cent in the WPR of the SCs during 1991- 2001. Both the male and female WPR (46.9 per cent and 21.2 per cent respectively) are lower than those recorded for all SCs at the national level (50.7 per cent & 29.4 per cent respectively). Among the total workers, 65.2 per cent are main workers, which is lower than that recorded for all SCs at the national level (73 per cent). 15.At the level of individual caste, all the major SCs have registered overall as well as female WPR lower than those at the national level, with Kori having the highest male WPR (50.1per cent) which is comparable with that of the national average.
‘Agricultural Labourers’ constitute the highest proportion (42.5 per cent) among the total SCs workers. This is lower than the national average 45.6 per cent recorded by all SCs in this category. ‘Cultivators’ constitute 30.9 per cent which is significantly higher than the national average (20 per cent). ‘Other Workers’ account for 22.2 per cent, against the national average of 30.5 per cent. Workers engaged in ‘Household Industry’ (HHI) constitute 4.3 per cent, which is slightly higher than the national average (3.9 per cent).
At the level of individual caste, Chamars have the highest proportion of ‘Agricultural Labourers’. Pasi have the highest proportion of ‘Cultivators’ whereas Dhobi have registered the highest percentage of ‘HHI’ workers among the five major SCs. Balmiki have more than half of the total workers are ‘Other Workers’, constituting the highest proportion in this category. The occupational classification of Scheduled Caste workers is given in Table 3:
Table 4: Percentage of Scheduled Caste’s main workers (2001 census)








The above table reveals that as compared to general and total workers, workers of Scheduled Castes are more dependent on agriculture. However, the size of main workers primarily sustains the socio-economic structure of any class. The trend with regard to the number of workers to total population in percentage terms is given in Table 8.
Table 5: Number of Workers in Percentage to total population











(Percentage)

From the above table, it is evident that the increase in Scheduled Caste workers in percentage term, is somewhat higher as compared to general workers and they are engaged mostly in low income generating activities such as wage earners in agriculture which can be further seen in table 9 given below:




Table 6: Occupational Pattern (Census 2001)

(Workers in Lakh)







Note : Figures in brackets denote percentage.
Total Scheduled Tribes main workers in the state were 0.86 lakh in 1981, which increased to 1.03 lakh in 1991 registering a compound annual growth rate of 1.9 percent. According to 1991 Census, the occupational classification of Scheduled Tribe workers in primary, secondary and tertiary sectors is given below in Table 6:
Table 7: Percentage of Scheduled Tribes Main Workers in various sectors

(Percentage)







The above table reveals that as compared to general and total workers, workers relating to Scheduled Tribes are most dependent on agriculture. The trend of number of workers in percentage to total population is given in Table 7 below:
Table 8: Percentage ST workers to Total Population

(Percentage)







Occupational Category-wise Classification of Scheduled Tribes as per 1991 Census is given in Table 8 below:
Table 9: Occupational Pattern of ST workers

(Numbers in Lakh)







Note: Figures in brackets denote percentage.

As the basis of all economic activity, land can either serve as an essential asset for a country to achieve economic growth and social equity, or it can be used as a tool in the hands of a few to hijack a country’s economic independence and subvert its social processes1. During the two centuries of British colonization, India experienced the latter reality. During colonialism, India’s traditional land-use and landownership patterns were changed to ease the acquisition of land at low prices by British entrepreneurs for mines, plantations, and other enterprises. The introduction of the institution of private property delegitimized the community ownership systems of tribal societies. Moreover, with the introduction of the land tax under the Permanent Settlement Act 1793, the British popularized the zamindari system at the cost of the jajmani relationship that the landless shared with the landowning class. By no means a just system, the latter was an example of what has been described by Scott (1976) as a moral economy, and at the least it ensured the material security of those without land.
Owing to these developments in a changing social and economic landscape, India at independence inherited a semifeudal agrarian system. The ownership and control of land was highly concentrated in the hands of a small group of landlords and intermediaries, whose main intention was to extract maximum rent, either in cash or in kind, from tenants. Under this arrangement, the sharecropper or the tenant farmer had little economic motivation to develop farmland for increased production; with no security of tenure and a high rent, a tenant farmer was naturally less likely to invest in land improvements, or use high-yielding crop varieties or other expensive investments that might yield higher returns. At the same time, the landlord was not particularly concerned about improving the economic condition of the cultivators. Consequently, agricultural productivity suffered, and the oppression of tenants resulted in a progressive deterioration of their well-being.
In the years immediately following India’s independence, a conscious process of nation building considered the problems of land with a pressing urgency. In fact, the national objective of poverty abolition envisaged simultaneous progress on two fronts; high productivity and equitable distribution.
Accordingly, land reforms were visualized as an important pillar of a strong and prosperous country. India’s first several five-year plans allocated substantial budgetary amounts for the implementation of land reforms. A degree of success was even registered in certain regions and states, especially with regard to issues such as the abolition of intermediaries, protection to tenants, rationalization of different tenure systems, and the imposition of ceilings on landholdings. Fifty-four years down the line, however, a number of problems remain far from resolved.
Most studies indicate that inequalities have increased, rather than decreased. The number of landless laborers has risen, while the wealthiest 10 percent of the population monopolizes more land now than in 1951. Moreover, the discussion of land reforms since World War II and up through the most recent decade either faded from the public mind or was deliberately glossed over by both the national government of India and a majority of international development agencies. Vested interests of the landed elite and their powerful connection with the political-bureaucratic system have blocked meaningful land reforms and/or their earnest implementation. The oppressed have either been co-opted with some benefits, or further subjugated as the new focus on liberalization, privatization, and globalization (LPG) has altered government priorities and public perceptions. As a result, we are today at a juncture where land—mostly for the urban, educated elite, who are also the powerful decision makers—has become more a matter of housing, investment, and infrastructure building; land as a basis of livelihood—for subsistence, survival, social justice, and human dignity—has largely been lost.






Table 10: Source of Alternative Livelihood





Status of Women:

The U.P. Zamindari Abolition and Land Reforms Act, 1950, was passed with the express motive of abolishing the ‘Zamindari System’ in the province and according to its provisions the entire land in the province, barring certain exceptions, has come to be vested in the State since then. Further, three types of tenure holdings have been created by the Act, but the inheritance of the tenure holding has been restricted to men. The discrimination is based purely on gender and nothing else. Section 171 of the Act clearly lays down that in case a male tenure holder dies then his son or his male descendants will come to inherit his rights in the holding of land. His own daughter and son’s daughter and the descendants of daughters have been excluded for this purpose.

While restricting the right of inheritance to the male only, the legislature has not only deprived a daughter or any other female descendant from inheritance but also the widowed wife. The law has thus expressly and deliberately maintained male hegemony in production relations and has incorporated a clear bias in favour of male descendants as opposed to the females. The existence of daughters and widows has been totally ignored and they have been excluded for all purposes in the matter of inheritance.

Poverty Ratio
The poverty ratio in Scheduled Castes population with respect to total population at National and State level is given in Table 9.


Table 11: Population below poverty line







The Rural Development Department of State Government has conducted a survey in the year 2002-03 on the basis of 13 parameters relating to economic and social indicators, which has revealed that the population below poverty line in Scheduled Caste constituted about 60%.Thus, higher incidence of poverty among Scheduled Castes is a cause of concern and needs to be arrested on priority basis. It is evident from foregoing data that though significant improvement has been achieved over the years in the socio-economic status of Scheduled Castes, a lot more remains to be done.
Figure 6: Bank Account (Hardoi not reported)







Table 12: Resources and Assets









N.R = Not Reported

Table 13:Agricultural Assets








Table 14: Other Assets











Land Holdings:
As the basis of all economic activity, land can either serve as an essential asset for a country to achieve economic growth and social equity, or it can be used as a tool in the hands of a few to hijack a country’s economic independence and subvert its social processes2. During the two centuries of British colonization, India experienced the latter reality. During colonialism, India’s traditional land-use and landownership patterns were changed to ease the acquisition of land at low prices by British entrepreneurs for mines, plantations, and other enterprises. The introduction of the institution of private property delegitimized the community ownership systems of tribal societies. Moreover, with the introduction of the land tax under the Permanent Settlement Act 1793, the British popularized the zamindari system at the cost of the jajmani relationship that the landless shared with the landowning class. By no means a just system, the latter was an example of what has been described by Scott (1976) as a moral economy, and at the least it ensured the material security of those without land.
Owing to these developments in a changing social and economic landscape, India at independence inherited a semifeudal agrarian system. The ownership and control of land was highly concentrated in the hands of a small group of landlords and intermediaries, whose main intention was to extract maximum rent, either in cash or in kind, from tenants. Under this arrangement, the sharecropper or the tenant farmer had little economic motivation to develop farmland for increased production; with no security of tenure and a high rent, a tenant farmer was naturally less likely to invest in land improvements, or use high-yielding crop varieties or other expensive investments that might yield higher returns. At the same time, the landlord was not particularly concerned about improving the economic condition of the cultivators. Consequently, agricultural productivity suffered, and the oppression of tenants resulted in a progressive deterioration of their well-being.
In the years immediately following India’s independence, a conscious process of nation building considered the problems of land with a pressing urgency. In fact, the national objective of poverty abolition envisaged simultaneous progress on two fronts; high productivity and equitable distribution.
Accordingly, land reforms were visualized as an important pillar of a strong and prosperous country. India’s first several five-year plans allocated substantial budgetary amounts for the implementation of land reforms. A degree of success was even registered in certain regions and states, especially with regard to issues such as the abolition of intermediaries, protection to tenants, rationalization of different tenure systems, and the imposition of ceilings on landholdings. Fifty-four years down the line, however, a number of problems remain far from resolved.
Most studies indicate that inequalities have increased, rather than decreased. The number of landless laborers has risen, while the wealthiest 10 percent of the population monopolizes more land now than in 1951. Moreover, the discussion of land reforms since World War II and up through the most recent decade either faded from the public mind or was deliberately glossed over by both the national government of India and a majority of international development agencies. Vested interests of the landed elite and their powerful connection with the political-bureaucratic system have blocked meaningful land reforms and/or their earnest implementation. The oppressed have either been co-opted with some benefits, or further subjugated as the new focus on liberalization, privatization, and globalization (LPG) has altered government priorities and public perceptions. As a result, we are today at a juncture where land—mostly for the urban, educated elite, who are also the powerful decision makers—has become more a matter of housing, investment, and infrastructure building; land as a basis of livelihood—for subsistence, survival, social justice, and human dignity—has largely been lost.
Land is at the centre of rural lives in India. Land has inherent value, and it creates value. A plot of land can provide a household with physical, financial, and nutritional security, and provide a labourer with a source of wages. Land is a basis for identity and status within a family and community. Land can also be the foundation for political power3. The ownership of land by this section of society vis-a-vis total and general section is shown below in Table 7:
Table 15: Operational Holdings of Scheduled Castes in Uttar Pradesh

(No. in ‘000 ha.)










The above table reveals that the share of Scheduled Castes holdings in total holdings of the State in 2001 was 17.01% where as in terms of area, it accounts for 10.91% only. However, the share of Scheduled Castes in area as well as in number of holdings has slightly increased over the years, which is a positive indication.
Table 16: Status of Relation with Land:








Table 17: Status of Irrigation:









Table 18Bhoomdhari ya Ptta:











Table 19: Who’s Name on Land:












Table 20: Is Land is Agricultural Land










Table 21: Residential land:













Table 22: Is any other holding your Patta land:





Table 23: Is there any dispute on Patta Land:




Table 24: Is there any debt on Patta Land










Representation in Government Services
It is evident from the above table that against a reservation of 2 percent in Government Services, the representation of Scheduled Tribes in the State is abysmally low even after fifty years of independence. Due to low literacy level, the Scheduled Caste candidates could not avail the opportunity of employment even on reserved vacancies. The representation of Scheduled Caste persons in Government services is given below in Table 5.
Table 5: Representation of SC/ST in Uttar Pradesh Government Services (2004)









Source: Economics & Statistics division, S.P.I., U.P.
Figure 7: POLITICAL Representation in of Dalit Families








Atrocities
The Scheduled Caste population is vulnerable and socially a deprived lot. Hence, any improvement in their social status causes disequilibrium and consequently resentment in other sections of society. It leads to committing atrocities against them. Atrocities against Scheduled Castes still occurs causing huge loss to their lives, property and self esteem. Such atrocities are by way of murder, serious injuries, rape, fire and other crimes. The available data of atrocities registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 is given in the table below:-
Atrocities against Scheduled Castes in Uttar Pradesh








Source: Social Welfare Dept. ,U.P.

Trend of the data in the above table reveals that incidents of atrocities against Scheduled Castes are still prevailing. Due to this phenomenon, whatever development flows from planned efforts, is neutralized by the regressive forces.




(Results from Field Survey is still to be elaborated)



1 Manpreet Sethi (2009) The Land Question in India: A Brief Historical Review in Land Reform in India: Issues and Challenges (http://www.landaction.org).
2 Manpreet Sethi (2009) The Land Question in India: A Brief Historical Review in Land Reform in India: Issues and Challenges (http://www.landaction.org).
3 World Bank (Klaus Deininger), 2003. Land Policies for Growth and Poverty Reduction, WORLD BANK POLICY RESEARCH REPORT (Washington D.C.: World Bank), at 1-3; Robin Mearns, 1999. Access to Land in Rural India: Policy Issues and Options, WORLD BANK POLICY WORKING PAPER (Washington D.C.: World Bank), at 19.
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