The Famine of 1896-1897 in Bengal: Availabilty Or Entitlement Crisis?

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Orient Blackswan, Jan 1, 2004 - Agriculture - 541 pages
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This book is a focussed treatment of a famine both as an 'event' and a 'process'. It is a close-up of a peasant economy in the throes of a crisis which temporarily eroded the value-system determining the normal pattern of entitlements. An investigation of the socio-economic, ecological and cultural determinants of the famine helps evolve a coherent framework. The emphasis is on the distinctive problems of the various economic regions, most notably the tribal belts. Chakrabarti applies Amartya Sen's theory of exchange entitlements to a nineteenth century famine situation in Bengal, and finds that a market-based entitlement failure precipitating severe famine conditions, even without receiving any impulse from food production , has little relevance here. Though teh book underlines the predicament of the subalterns, the famine is not seen from the viewpoint of any specific group or community. The focus is, rather, on the phenomenon of famine in its totality---on the agony and trauma of a peasant society thrown out of gear in an abnormal situation, and the crisis of identities that ensued.
  

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Contents

Percentage of crops to gross area cultivated
19
Percentage of food supply contributed by the main harvests Chotanagpur Division
24
Crop percentages in Puri
28
Percentage of net cropped area under aman rice in the Moribund Delta
29
Saran
32
Muzaffarpur
33
Purnea
34
Monghyr
35
Foodgrain outturn in Manbhum 189396
274
Foodgrain outturn in Presidency Division 189597
275
Crop outturn in affected areas Jessore
280
Food grain deficit in Presidency Division
282
Trade balance in Presidency Division
283
Crop deficit in Puri 189697
285
The First Signs of Scarcity and Entitlement Failure
293
Prices of common rice in the affected districts Oct 1896
297

Percentage of rice in the Santhal Parganas
36
Percentage of doublecropping in the Gangetic Delta
39
Acreage
40
Incidence of famine in the rice tracts of North Bihar 189697
42
Percentage of winter rice in the Chilka Tract Puri
43
Intensity of famine in the Chilka Tract Puri
44
Average annual rainfall in Bengal Presidency
46
Volume of rainfall in Puri 1865
48
Volume of rainfall in the affected districts of Bengal 1896
50
Distribution of rainfall in the affected districts of Bengal 1896
53
Transfers of occupancy holdings in North Bihar 188393 128
93
Institutional Framework of Peasant Agriculture
94
Fragmentation of estates in Bengal 185191
137
Rent rates in Thana Araria Purnea
162
Availability
202
Export of rice and paddy from Orissa 185565
207
Course of price during the period of greatest pressure in each district of Bengal 1866
209
Weekly returns in Orissa Oct 1865 Dec 1866
211
Nature and Impact of the Shortfall in Agricultural
245
Foodgrain deficit in Patna Division
259
Foodgrain outturn in Bhagalpur Division
260
Foodgrain deficit in famine zone Santhal Parganas
263
Foodgrain deficit in famine zone Chotanagpur Division
266
Foodgrain deficit in Hazaribagh 1896
267
Foodgrain outturn in Palamau 189396
269
Rice supplies in Palamau 1897
272
Increase in market rates for common rice 189697
299
Prices of rice in postharvest and lean periods
301
Famine zone Patna Division
316
Registrations of immovable property
323
Increase in land sales and mortgages in faminehit districts
324
Percentage increase in crime
327
Percentage increase in crime Patna Division
329
Emigrations 189597
334
Mortality statistics in the affected districts 189697
338
The Behavioural
341
Pull Failure and the Generation of Purchasing Power
364
Relief administration in the famine zones 37 I
371
Nature of relief works
372
Average relief wages per head
374
Women and children on gratuitous relief
376
Famine relief expenditure 189697
377
Average daily labour on relief works
388
Directions
396
Grain trade in Murshidabad 4 10
409
Net import or export of each district in maunds 4 I l
418
Epilogue
442
Volume of Rural Indebtedness
474
Bibliography
491
Index
507
Copyright

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