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Dr.C.S.RANGARAJAN The theme of this paper is developed in a way that identifies the relevancy of the need to exploit the more potential human resources in the rural unorganised economic sector to mutual advantage. In the process of more energetic exploitation of the raw material resources, some of which are non-renewable, the more potential human element, which is capable of giving more output than its own input, remains at a discount. Anantharaman in his work on ‘A Human Relations in Industry’ (Chand and Co Ltd, New Delhi, 1980) quotes Elton Mayo and his colleagues, who while toeing the Durkhemian line of thinking, have emphasised on an individdual’s longing for belonging. They have underscored that recognition,security and a sense of belonging are the crucial determinants of workers morale and productivity. The hidden injuries of class, coupled with the desire for belonging, which subsumed other needs, have resulted in the emergence of the ‘collective worker’, thereby brining about a semblance of parity in power relations.Walzer (1966)
considers that the question of 'how were men to be organised, bound together in social groups, united for cooperative activity' proves to be one of the main social problems in ushering in a modern society. The backwardness of any economy is traced to its 'failure to use the full human resources of the country' (Hill 1964). While McGregor (1966), Argyris (1964) and Likert (1961) talk of harnessing human resources capsuled in energies and competencies that human beings can offer, organisation of human resources actively will be the open sesame to finding solutions to social problems. Herein lies the possibility of crowning our efforts directed toward development with success through participation. As Homans (1954) prescribes participatory outlets, speaking for Karl Marx, Vernon Venable (1959) observes that ' human essence in reality is the ensemble of the social relations. Human essence is, therefore, the bringing together, coming together, of a variety of social relations.' By way of acknowledgment of Marxian thinking, Cooley (1962) considers that 'self assertion through voluntary association is of the essence of democracy'. The 'conscience' of the Constitution of India lies hidden in the Fundamental Rights and the
Directive Principles of State Policy (Saksena 1961). Insofar as the status of the labour is concerned, it lays down two fundamental rights. The first one spells out that the State shall not deny to any person equality before law or the equal protection of the laws. The second one says that the traffic in human beings and begging and other forms of forced labour are prohibited. The Constitution of India lays down three Directive Principles of State Policy, namely, the State shall, within the limits of its economic capacity and development, make effective provisions for securing the Right to Work .... that the State shall make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief....... and that the State shall endeavour to secure, by suitable legislation or economic organisation or in any other way, to all workers, agricultural, industrial or otherwise, work, a living wage, conditions of work ensuring a decent standard of life and full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities and, in particular, the State shall endeavour to promote cottage industries on an individual or cooperative basis in rural areas. It is anybody's guess as to what extent the Constitutional obligations have been faithfully
discharged insofar as the rurl unorganised labour is concerned. It is no wonder that the rural labour, despite years rolling around after India's Independence, finds itself caught in a double bind.
It is a truism to say that the combination of land and capital by itself cannot produce anything. It is either the combination of land and labour or capital and labour that would lead to the creation of something wholly new. There can therefore be no second opinion when a stand is taken that labour is the sole creative factor in production. The continued neglect of such a precious human resource will not only take us several distances away from our cherished objective of establishment of human equality, but will also end up in the derailment of our efforts directed towards national development. The existence of a homology between rural and other categories of unorganised labour on the one hand, and national development on the other needs to be appreciated and requires serious and renewed consideration in the context of the dynamic
role it can play in promoting industrialisation through the capital it generates in the domestic and export markets. Agriculture Agriculture takes in its embrace cultivation of lands,rearing of livestock, forest operations and fishing and hunting. We may rest assured that these categories are unskilled, unorganised, ignorant and illiterate, and their work is of scattered nature. These categories of workers are in fair preponderance and contribute in no small measure to the production of goods and services. While the percentage of workers dependent upon the organised industrial sector for employment is relatively minimal, agriculture continues to remain as the mainstay of the occupational career of a majority segment of our population. There is no gainsaying the fact that in terms of national income, contribution from agriculture is a little over fifty percent. The wheels of a host of other industrial undertakings cannot hum with activity unless the unorganised rural sector ceases to remain inactive and thus provides the feedstock. The 'Green Revolution' with its emphasis on maximisation of food production has made the land to work 'overtime'. This means that there is negative correlation between what is taken
out from the soil and what is offered to it by way of replenishment. It is obvious that the 'law of diminishing returns' begins to operate. While India accounts for more than fifteen percent of the world population, its possession of the land surface of the world is stated to be 2.4 percent. Within a total available geographical area of about 330 million hectares, only about fifty percent comes under area sown, and another twenty percent falls within the forest category. While the per capita land in India is around 0.3 hectare compared to around 1 hectare in U.S.A, over 1 hectare in U.S.S.R, over 2 hectares in Canada and over 4 hectares in Australia, surveys conducted have highlighted the futility of expending efforts towards bringing fallow and waste lands under the plough in India, having due regard to the rainfall as well as other economic constraints. This therefore makes it abundantly clear the inevitability of taking recourse to intensification of agriculture with an emphasis on increasing productivity. With the possibility of double cropping, food production has increased. Notwithstanding the fact that the volume of rice production has risen from 34.57 million tonnes in 1960-1961 to 67.9 million tonnes in 1988-1989, the percentage share of rice to total food
production is stated to have been stagnating. (From 42.2 percent in 1960-1961 to 40.9 percent in 1988-1989.) The contribution of wheat to total food production has moved from 13.4 percent in 1960-1961 to 31.4 percent in 1988-1989. Cereals' contribution to total food production has made a nose dive from 28.9 percent in 1960-1961 to 19.0 percent in 1988-1989 as compared to pulses from 15.5 percent in 1960-1961 to 6.7 percent in 19881989. Between 1975-1976 and 1988-1989, rice production ranges between 50 to 68 million tonnes, whereas during the corresponding period wheat production has gone up from 29 million tonnes to 53 million tonnes. Whereas Cereals have been making marginal ups and downs. It was 30.4 million tonnes in 19751976 and 32.66 million tonnes in 1988-1989. The yield of rice rose by 15 percent as against 28.8 percent of wheat. In terms of productivity, rice shows a decrease as compared to a substantial increase in wheat productivity as viewed against the background of areas brought under the plough.
The increasing pressure on land, triggered off
by growing population, has resulted in the breakdown of the traditional rainfed cropping system engendered by the monsoon playing truant. A marked increase in population with absolute dependency on agriculture with no corresponding increase in the land becoming available for cultivation has created 'disguised' unemployed in agriculture. The siphoning off of the 'disguised' or 'concealed' unemployed is unlikely to affect agricultural productivity as the marginal productivity of this surplus is zero. The surplus labour constrained to remain 'locked in' is a consequence of a marked decrease in demand in the wider labour market for labour bereft of skills. A surplus labour veering around agriculture and therefore accounting for low productivity will have to content itself with low income. The confusion becomes confounded with the lack of alternative avenues of employment within the rural sector. This calls for efforts to relieve the land itself from providing direct living to these surplus labour by creating agro-based employment. The removal of the surplus agricultural labour and diversion of these labour to more productive and profitable will become possible as Parkinson's (1960) Second Law begins to operate in the case of those clinging to agriculture. Their expenditure, with
the purging of the surplus labour, will rise to meet income. Handsome increase in income may have latent functions in that they may raise the opportunities for employment which the spending of the agricultural labour may create. Parkinson’s second law uniformly applies to all whose income comes within the definition of ‘salary’. Before actual income accrues, in anticipation of such income, expenditure in excess of income takes place in advance. In this context, the role of ‘credit card’ system needs an in-depth study. Forest Insofar as the forest resource is concerned, its importance needs no elaboration. Apart from its influence on rainfall and against floods, it affords protection against soil erosion. It also proves to be a source of raw material for paper, rayon, construction and match industries. Though the forest resource is renewable,raising of the forest wealth takes longer time. It is estimated that 9.9 million hectares of woodland are cleared each year in the world. If the paper industry in India, among others, is singled out, out of 305 paper mills today, which account for a total installed capacity of 30.14 lakh tonnes, 25 percent with a capacity of 6.25 lakh tonnes are closed and several other units are in doledrums. The
increasing scarcity of raw materials shows the writings on the walls for this industry which makes writing material available. The gap in the availability and requirement of forest based raw material, by the turn of the century is estimated to be 43.21 lakh tonnes. Notwithstanding the fact that the national forest policy stipulates that maintenance of one third of the land for forest shold be our aim, there appears to be a fast depletion of the forest stock, as the number of claimants for the forest produce is on the increase. The dwindling forest resources is not only an open invitation to desertification, but may also put in jeopardy the interest of a significant proportion of workers for whom forestry and logging are the primary source of income. While afforestation is intended to progressively narrow the gap between availability and consumption, conversion of irrigated agricultural land to eucalyptus cultivation in order to aid pulp and rayon production and thereby get-rich-quick is fraught with serious consequences. The Gujarat farmers, oblivious of the impact, have taken to the cultivation of the 'ecological terrorist' eucalyptus (1982). Large scale plantation causes displacement of workers as it does not call for more labour. In agroforestry lies the answer to such a
blatant conversion, since it takes into account the farmers' own definition of the situations in which they are engaged. Since afforestation is presenting itself as a race against time, apart from launching village based schemes and enlisting the active support and participation of the localites, creation of forest cooperatives will help impart proper training and skill to the forest labour force. As they get organised, their participation through their organisation will result in the "dehumanisation of anomie and alienation". In addition, they will see the dawn of the day wherein they will experience economic compatibility and power parity with their employers Operation Floods The emphasis on 'operation floods' means the increase in the rearing of herds which means that there is a wide gap between the size of the herd population and the pasture lands which can support them. Operation Flood III from 1985-1990 envisaged to bring another 6.4 million families and thus achieve a target of 10 million families within the list of the beneficiaries. While such of those reliant upon rearing of herds cannot be said to be economically better off, growth of arid land for cultivation at the cost of grazing lands results
in overgrazing. The economic viability of rearing of herds has to be seen against the background of increasing herd size and decreasing availability of pasture lands .The importance of ensuring that development aids really go to the livestock needs no emphasis. Nothing will give rise to optimum level of optimism unless efforts are made to encourage keeping of diverse herds of animals and acceptability among consumers of different milk, milk products and meat. Apart from being an insurance against drought, such an endeavour will vouchsafe for continued availability of products in the midst of growing population and ensure a fair return to the supporters of herds. Fishery Resources Global experiences tell us that our contribution, in spite of vash fishery resources we can lay our hands upon, is no where near comparison. The dismal picture it presents portrays that the exploitation of the fishery resources leaves much to be desired, and this resource, as a substitute to land, can be as effectual as Aladdin's lamp, when fully exploited. The untapped human resource in fisheries, along with the mechanisation of this field of fruitful activity, needs to be
channelised so as to improve the nutritional level of the public at large as well as the economic well being of those who pursue fishing as a specialised field of activities.
Conclusion Labour power remains without being transformed into labour, as Karl Marx (1955) puts it, since no intervention have appears to have taken place to offset the weak bargaining power of the rural unorganised labour. The instrumental as well as the terminal value of thse unorganised rural labour could be fruitfully realised when conditions are created for them to rally round and emerge into a collectivity. As Fox (1971) holds, 'the appetite for self-enhancement is influenced by the opportunities for pursuing it, and men who are strategically placed for collective action may not only be driven on by the goad of discontent from behind, but also drawn on by the beckoning fruits that lie ahead'. The emergence of a 'collective worker' will not only remove their unequal bargaining predicament, but will also contribute to the growth of
feelings of fellowship and selfdevelopment'(Cooley 1962). The abundance of both raw material as well as human resources provides scope for exuberent exploitation. Lopsided exploitation of one resource at the expense of the other will continue to haunt us with the question 'what is wrong with the system?'. A responsibility is cast on the society to ensure that these men who constitute the 'unorganised rural labour', but who otherwise help others in industrial sector to organise themselves do not 'go unwept, unhonoured and unsung to the vile dust whence they sprung.(Walter Scott). ************** Note: The data relating to agricultural production are old. With dwindling production, the cost of essential commodities is on the increase which results in the erosion of the purchasing power of the common man. **************
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