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This paper is an attempt to analyse the shifting trends in the character of ‘Semi-Urban and Rural’ Bourgeoisie. It tries to explore the extent of confrontation and collaboration of ‘Semi-Urban and Rural’ Bourgeoisie class with metropolitan capital. There has been a visible change in the Indian rural, Semi-urban setup after the process of economic liberalization started. These changes are necessarily a result of the Integration of rural- semi-urban economy with the world economy. This paper proposes to undertake a study of the role of the bourgeoisie1, which itself is undergoing transformations, in this transforming set up. For this purpose, we have chosen the region surrounding Pune city in Western Maharashtra. This region is peculiar in the sense that historically the Pune metropolis has been one of the prominent urban centers in Maharashtra but not without a significant presence of agriculture-based semi-urban semi-rural localities in its vicinity. Agriculture has played a dominant role in this region’s economy historically. However as a part of the process of green-revolution and promotion of commercial agriculture the economy of this region had been linked with the market forces, the process which received impetus in the last two decades. This region has also witnessed the process of industrialisation, albeit observed in a few restricted pockets; this process has also contributed to the development of the linkages between local bourgeoisie and market forces. Thus, provisionally it can be concluded that the local bourgeoisie in this region was well integrated with market forces at national level This paper attempts to study the transformation in the character of the said bourgeoisie, on interaction with ‘metropolitan capital in general and globalised finance capital in particular’. While understanding this inter- action, visible in last two decades, I t is important to place in the abovementioned historical context and specificity of this region. The telling feature of the interaction between Local Bourgeoisie in the semi-urban vicinities of Pune and metropolitan (finance) capital has been the ‘Shift from the ‘Agricultural sector to Non-Agricultural sector,
This collaboration is situated in the present stage of capitalism. The magar family had been a dominant political entity in the region as Mr. These causes can be enlisted as follows1.M. Overview of the Magarpatta City Project and Process of Change in Land Use Magarpatta city township project is situated in 400 acres of land which is owned by 122 farmers belonging to five major kunabi Maratha families magar. Use of Agricultural Land for Industrial ( secondary as well as tertiary) Purposes In our study we seek to analyse both these processes visible in the Semi-Urban Semi-Rural localities in Pune. Through this case study we also comment on the ‘nature and terms of collaboration of the said bourgeoisie with finance capital.e. more. Before the township was conceived these families were owner-cultivators of this land and major crop they produced was sugarcane. leading to the shift from agriculture to real estate business. i. where landed uppercaste farmers have diverted their land for building a township and IT park.D. In our study we propose to undertake a study of this ‘transformation in the principal means of production (land) and thus the transformation in the character of the ‘owners of this means of production. Since 1980s there has been an increase in real estate development in pune which can be accounted for the ‘liberalization of urban development policies and growth of IT driven service sector2 .In terms of land use as well as occupation structure. mane. with the help of definite case study of the ‘Magarpatta city township project.Annasaheb Magar (uncle of Mr. bhosale.Satish Magar. Use of land as a commodity in itself in ‘ real-estate’ sector 2. tupe. It is necessary to have a look at ‘case-specific causes in the case of magarpatta. The abovementioned shift is visible in two processes – 1. We have made an attempt to analyse this uniqueness in the historically over determined context of the region’s history and political economy. There has been an emphasis on the uniqueness of the case of bourgeoisie in the area under consideration.Magarpatta Township Development and construction company) was MLA for 25 years and later a member of parliament and was involved in the Town-planning of PimpriChinchwad municipal corporation area. local bourgeoisie.
illegal encroachment on agricultural land and gunthewari system3. But for this comprehension of this ‘economic fact the precondition is that of. To theorize this shift.2. . and prospect of much higher income from non-agricultural use of land’ is the basic reason for this shift. i. In the case of magarpatta the erstwhile farmers were mainly producing sugarcane . We attempt to arrive at these pre-conditions and analyze the developments in magarpatta in the framework confined by them.e. . according the development plan of 1987 the magarpatta region was designated as an agricultural zone ) considering the expanding limits of pune city it was most likely that this land could be acquired by PMC under Urban Land ceiling act for urban development Unviability of ‘isolated agriculture in urban surrounding. for real estate development the case of magarpatta needs to be analyzed as a case of ‘collaboration of landed class with finance capital. In this scenario the land owning 122 farmers pooled in their land to form ‘Magarpatta Township Development and Construction Company’ and decided to build a township without loosing the ownership of land. from agriculture to non-non-agricultural use of land. The process of Integration with market has two basic underlying factors which are-1 Market-Oriented agriculture in post green revolution era and 2. These are definitely the pressures of ‘expanding urban set up on peri-urban areas and it can be said that magarpatta case is an example of how the local bourgeoisie has come to terms with these forces of urbanization which are reminiscent of the present stage of capitalism. There were several cases of outright sale of the land by farmers.Vicinity to urban centers. (Although. While theorizing this collaboration it is necessary to understand certain pre-conditions for the shift from agricultural to non-agricultural use of land to occur. 4. integration and knowledge of market’. There was threat of illegal encroachment on agricultural land or the threat of farmers turning to illegal means of conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural land. As magarpatta area has been included in Pune Municipal Corporation since 1961. Magarpatta City township project was completed in the year 2000 on the 300 acres of land and later on the remaining 100 acres of land ‘Cyber City-An IT Park’ was developed. Process of conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural had already begun in the areas surrounding magarpatta thus the ‘isolated agriculture-(because of the shortage of labour supply) was getting economically unviable 3.
Acquisition of land by State for private players ( for S.’’ Patterns of conversion in the use of land & role of local landed class The interaction between finance capital and landed classes in SemiUrban Semi-Rural areas has taken forms of collaboration as well as confrontation. But before that a brief overview of the 1st 2 scenarios is necessary to establish the uniqueness of .tupe.with wage-labour being employed on the farms.e. The whole process of commercialization of agriculture in Maharashtra received impetus through ‘Co-Operative Movement’ The Co-Operative movement in Maharashtra has historically been dominated by ‘Maratha caste which is the land-owning hegemonic caste in Maharashtra the 400 acres of land in magarpatta is owned by 5 families-‘magar. Unique model of the Magarpatta where Farmers have not lost the ownership of land and turned private real estate developers themselves The third of the abovementioned scenario will be analyzed in detail later.mane. So it can be said that the process of their evolution as ‘landed-bourgeoisie ‘had started long back with the introduction of cash crops. This leads us to establishing a provisional thesis-(which would be dealt in depth later .) ‘Terms of collaboration of landed class with finance capital are determined by historically overdetermined4 context involving ‘economic and non-economic factors ’leading to the control over principle means of production i. Acquisition of land by private players-directly from farmers 3.E.more.bhosale’ with active involvement in local political processes.Industrial plants) 2. in the context of magarpatta.Z. 1. Three Broad patterns of this collaboration-confrontation can be sketched. land and maximum share in the benefits of capitalist development. . Along with the commercial agriculture the vicinity of magarpatta with pune city is also a major factors not only leading to the integration of the landed farmers with market but also creating an economic advantage for them in terms of ‘real-estate prices’ The situation of magarpatta in terms of ‘access and integration of market’ has another dimension that is of the ‘position of dominantclass-caste groups in the process of economic development’.
000 hectares of fertile agricultural land which belongs to farmers of Agari.E. But the tendency of the finance capital in third stage towards. Thus we can say that in this case there is scope for negotiations (to certain extent. Again in this case it can be speculated that the Agari involvement in the anti-SEZ struggle is to improve the terms of compensation. the price of land.Magarpatta Model.Z (. Unique case of Magarpatta City . 2. acquired land from farmers and developed IT Park and property were sold to IT companies to set up their offices. Although the demands of the farmers were centered on the issues of ‘livelihood and life-style’ being dependent on agriculture we opine that the basic demand was about the ‘compensation i.I. This SEZ is proposed to be situated on 30. Thus for majority of agaris agriculture is not the only employment option.An example of 2nd case in the vicinity of pune is the ‘Maha Mumbai S.in Raigad District) by Reliance Industries Ltd. There has been intense struggle against the landacquisition and recently a referendum was done by Zillah Parishad where in 80% of affected farmers have voted against the land acquisition.e. which uses the agency of State. what David Harvey refers as ‘Accumulation by Dispossession’ is in opposition to the prospect of collaboration. Perhaps ‘incomplete process of commercialization of agriculture’ has resulted in the stunted possibilities of development of capitalist relations of production.D. In case of acquisition of land for the extension of this park there was opposition from farmers. (Interestingly the examples of all of these three models are available in Pune and surrounding regions) 1.g. But this case also has certain complexities arising out of ‘difference in class profiles of the affected farming communities. Katkari communities. M. It is necessary to see the uniqueness of the Magarpatta case in the light of these two abovementioned cases. as the ‘neo-liberal state’ tries to maintain a populist face) to improve the terms of collaboration with finance capital.An example of 1st case in the vicinity of pune is that Rajiv Gandhi InfoTech Park which is developed by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation. Koli. reliance chemical plant in rasayani) and also through ‘quarry businesses and petty real state business. Agari is an OBC community which is the dominant caste-class in the region and the process of integration with market has already started through ‘employment in industries (e.C.
In the light of this we can revisit our earlier provisional thesis and attribute the ‘favourable terms of collaboration (as against skewed terms existing in earlier 2 cases) to the historically over determined pre-existing socio-economic condition. Together they must be paying Rs10-12 crore of taxes every year6. the principal means of production.they are able to have the benefit from appreciation in property prices as well as they have turned entrepreneurs by treating land as a ‘raw material’.e. the bourgeoisie has acquired a perpetual economic advantage and diversification of occupation and income sources has resulted in the increasing accumulation of wealth. Through this they have acquired distinct economic advantage as. (Initially the land was valued 400 crores now it is valued 4000 crores. • All farmers are share-holders in MTDCC.To test the provisional thesis we have stated earlier it is necessary to analyze the pattern of collaboration between landowning farmers in magarpatta and forces of finance capital. the greater is the embedded value of the sale. • 100 acres of land is being used to develop cyber city-an InfoTech park where major IT companies have set up their offices on rent. 200 are under tax audit. the farmers (i. proportionate to their land-holding thus they share the profit of the company. Of the 280 landholders who run some business or the other.e.5) Farmers get the rental dividend in accordance with the proportion of their landholding • Along with the MTDCC. i. The higher the selling price. That means they have a turnover of at least Rs40 lakh a year. landed bourgeoisie call is the region) pooled in their land and formed MTDCC. Thus it can be summed up that by not loosing the ownership of the land. for real estate development. farmers and their second generation are being absorbed in various ‘entrepreneurial activities’ which are mainly tertiary sector oriented and required for a township and its residents. Following are the salient features of this process• Instead of selling the land to private developer. Understanding the underlying logic of the transformation . The unique character of developments in magarpatta owes to the peculiar form in which the farmers have diverted their land from agriculture to non-agricultural use i.e. • 30% of the sale proceeds were treated as the land cost.
land was primarily utilised for agricultural or industrial production wherein its character as a means of production could clearly be made out.e. This is because they have become real estate developers. farmers and cultivators. it will be useful to have a theoretical framework for the transformation of land as a means of production in this stage of capitalism in place so as to grasp the realities and specificities of this phenomenon of ‘shifts in use of land by landed bourgeoisie’ in a better manner. This is because it essentially involves a threestage speculation i. Peculiarities of land as a means of production as well as commodity in itself thereby forming part of fictional capital embodying surplus value can be better presented in the form of diagram . However with development of land and real estate market. Also since the land is given on lease terms. However.So far. This has happened not merely in case of relations of production to land but rather such change in relations is coterminous with transformation in the usage of land as means of production as well. semi-urban bourgeoisie with finance capital. The whole speculation is based on assumption of ‘appreciation of land price and thereby the surplus value inherent in it’ over a period of time. We can of course observe the same thing taking place in case of Magarpatta which has led to tremendous appreciation in the surplus accumulation by the land-owners. we have had an overview of economic setup of the said region surrounding Pune. Land forms a critical part of means of production and has undergone changes with every historical transition in mode of production. (In transition from feudalism to capitalism in Europe. appreciation in rental income along with capital appreciation in the value of land makes this process continuous and hence leading to more and more capitalisation of their activities. In the earlier stages of production. the specific factors leading to its integration with market forces and the confrontation and possible collaboration of the rural. as well as under colonialism in India and later on with green revolution etc. land acquires a unique place in the whole structure of mode of production. We have tried to place the said developments in a broader framework of change in stages of capitalist mode of production. the real estate developers and the retail investors as well as sheer speculators. the owners of land i.e. Hence they do not have to share the overall surplus generated by speculation in land by other real estate developers.—) Development of land as a commodity in itself under the stage of finance capital is an interesting development. It is here in this context where we have drawn on the work of David Harvey regarding the accumulation process and circuits of capital7.
This is of course indicative of over accumulation as well (wherein land is acquired not for the purpose of built environment of direct use but as a means of speculation wherein the rate of return is greater than the industry in which the individual firm itself operates). In this stage. speculation definitely forms a major factor in this market. thereby leading to conversion of surplus into means of production.Fixed capital fund Producers’ durables durables Built environment consumption consumers’ Built environment Land Capital market (financial and state intermediaries the above diagram is useful to understand how land forms a part of ‘built environment’ which is integral for any production or consumption process. it is not the case. Here it is important to understand the increasing role that land has come to play as an underlying asset as well as a derivative one simultaneously in this stage of capitalism. It would be pertinent to note the nature of this demand for land in the finance capital stage. however such conversion doesn’t limit the ability of land to further generate the surplus value and this generation is not only limited to the employment of land in production process unlike other means of production like machinery. But that does not explain the ties of finance capital with land market in entirety. Hence its valuation is the key to . Of course. land and capital markets. But for land. The above diagram tries to represent the ties between the Production process in general. Finance capital is sourced to industry and for consumption for land acquisition as well as for other purposes of production wherein the land itself at times forms the underlying security. as mentioned earlier land has become a commodity and hence the surplus realised from agriculture as well as industry is parked in land in various forms. This is because other assets require a constant investment of surplus in order to maintain their present worth (either to replace old machines or in new technologies). This is because of the specific nature of demand-supply relation that exists regarding land. The peculiar nature of land can be put in short as ‘holding to gain profit’ whereas investment in other productive assets means ‘investing to reap profit’. Virtually inelastic supply coupled with rising demand brings about appreciation in land prices.
apart from land. However such valuation itself is derived from a call on the speculated direction of economy. It works like a spiral interlocking and furthering the ties of various sectors of economy. the real estate also undergoes a slump and many a times is propellant of general depression because of abovementioned factors. Hence corrected prices by themselves cannot generate demand in such scenario provided there is some revival of economic activity in other sectors. However such slump resulting in a sharp correction in prices fails to generate demand by itself as the depression hampers the purchasing power of people to a great extent. Now it would be worth to postulate the peculiarities of service sector as against manufacturing industries. Hence as there’s urbanisation of a particular region. for production proper) as well as the surplus locked in the land arising out of speculation deriving its value from several larger economic variables. in times of crises it becomes particularly difficult to ascertain the ‘fair’ value of this particular asset. Whereas in manufacturing industries. For service sector. Also the very fact that magarpatta farmers through their collective entity MTDCC chose to hold their lands through the period of slump is very much indicative of their understanding of the logic of market i. Both sectors differ in capital intensivity. the cost of plants and machineries are significantly high. Since it is difficult to distinguish between the surplus value created by land as a means of production(i. the cost of land represents perhaps the only substantial fixed cost. When we consider the . Hence though there always is potential demand for consumption (housing) and other production activities. the pricing plays a major role in determining the ‘effective demand’. Thus this process involves more and more complex interactions of accumulated surplus value being switched to land market and vice versa. the manufacturing sector is fast replaced by service sector at least in terms of built environment of that region. ‘holding to profit’ i.overall economic processes.e. This is a crucial consideration to understand the confrontation and the possible collaboration of this class with finance capital as it helps to understand the terms of collaboration better.e.e. The whole complex process of changing land use also brings about a transformation in the pattern of income of the land-owning class. their integration with market as much as the several other specific socio-economic factors and ownership profile of the region. During the period of general economic depression. the other infrastructural costs amounting to much less outflow-at times this infrastructure is provided by state.
In the case of magarpatta the landed bourgeoisie is transforming into entrepreneurial class in the tertiary sector . which is visible in the changes in occupations.e.case of magarpatta. this corporate structure has some crucial significance in the sense that it goes to show that the erstwhile landed bourgeois in this case is now so well-integrated with the finance capital as it now has the ability to accumulate more and more surplus from various sources. Whatever is the pattern of the collaboration (or confrontation) with finance capital. However the patterns of transformation are manifested in varied form. We have also seen that how this process is reminiscent of the ‘third stage of capitalism’8. Although it can be observed that there is an effort on part of the landed bourgeoisie in general to collaborate with finance capital the terms of this collaboration are determined by the larger social relations that exist. This has the obvious advantage of getting better terms for negotiation. Further. Conclusion Thus far we have examined the character and trajectory of the process of transformation in the land as a principal means of production. Considering this uniqueness we can not study this in isolation and an overview of the cases involving similar transformation in the land is necessary. land. and the role of Peri-Urban bourgeoisie in this process. However it has become entrepreneurial in the sense that it has moved on to develop a similar area nearby wherein it doesn’t have owned land holdings. What is not so obvious is the fact that such pooling enables the investors to invest the investible surplus in a much productive manner. But pace-trajectory of these changes is seen to be dependent upon the pattern of collaboration with finance capital. The case of magarpatta city which we have studied is definitely a unique case owing to the class-caste position of the landed class. geographical location of the region.The forms . we immediately observe the peculiarity of its shift of land use as it involves pooling large tracts of land together in order to build a mega-project. depending upon the socio-political-economical conditions that exist. there has been a marked change in the character of the peri-urban bourgeoisie. Also the corporate form of continuing ownership of land by existing owners of land and availability of various entrepreneurial opportunities in the project itself offered by MTDCC mean that now the erstwhile farmers-land owners have 3 sources of income generation. and the entrepreneurial development within the landed class. changes in the income patterns and control over the principal means of production i.
.‘sharecroppers’.e. This process of ‘Accumulation by Dispossession’9 is characteristic of the third stage of capitalism dominated by finance capital. the unorganised sector in the economy. In other cases (where the conditions existing in magarpatta do not exist) this process is not possible. Thus in this ‘historically over determined context the collaboration with finance capital has transformed the character of the already emerging landed-bourgeoisie.e. which they have retained by pooling in the land to form MTDCC. the possibilities of the emergence of national bourgeoisie through the collaboration with finance capital. But the replication of this model does not seem possible universally considering the logic of uneven economic-geographical development. Here again we can not bypass the issue of caste which is a important determinant of the process in the Indian context. As we have seen earlier. unless there exists a strong ‘co-operative movement in its entirety’. Thus with the terms of collaboration being heavily skewed in favor of globalised finance capital (as evident in the case of SEZs11). In case of magarpatta the process of the bourgeoisie-fication had started well before the prospect of the collaboration came in the fray. are ‘dispossessed of their land and faced with the only option to join the ‘reserve army of the labour’-i. The landed farmers who have achieved a certain level of integration with the market (and not surprisingly these farmers belong to the dominant caste-class of the respective region) acquire the role of ‘junior partner’ to the finance capital and the marginalunder developed farmers belonging to backward castes or scheduled tribes. Hence the general pattern of the collaboration of the landed bourgeoisie and the finance capital is on uneven terms. ‘marginal farmers’ . This was possible because of the peculiar socio-political conditions existing in the region. ‘tenants’ was either non-existent on was not a severe issue. In the particular case of magarpatta ‘the maratha-kunabi caste’ is the dominant caste which has historically controlled the means of production in the region and has also been penetrated by the ‘modernising movements of social reforms’10. i. The existence of such a movement is not consistent with the hegemonic neo-liberal ideology of or times.of accumulation and investment of surplus in the case of magarpatta have undergone significant changes and the ‘development of fully grown capitalist class in the third stage of capitalism can be foreseen. In this light we can comment on the possibilities of replication of the magarpatta model. More over the problem of ‘land less labourers’. the single most important economic advantage in the case of magarpatta farmers is their control over the land. the process of the emergence of the national bourgeoisie from the landed bourgeoisie seems un-achievable.
Notes and References: .
Rotledge. we can’t ignore the continuity between the two brought about by the caste system. 2 See appendix-1 See appendix-2 3 4 for the detailed discussion of the concept of ‘Over-Determination’ see ‘Contradiction and Over determination’ by Louis Althusser.org . We would like to use the very word ‘bourgeoisie’ not as one which is peculiar to a particular stage of capitalism.B. For a lucid discussion of this process see ‘ Prabodhan Yugachi Kahani ( A Tale of Renaissance Age) by Prof. 1st stage of capitalism is the stage of capitalism associated with ‘Industrial Revolution’ and National Capitalism. but rather as for ‘a dominant class owning the means of production in capitalist mode in general’.Deshpande. October 31st .Babasaheb Ambedkar Academy.London 5 An Interview with Mr. 2nd stage of Capitalism is the stage of Monopoly Capitalism-Imperialism’ 3rd stage of the capitalism or Late Capitalism is the IT abetted present stage.in The Urban Geography Reader. ‘New Imperialism’ by David Harvey for the elaborate discussion of this concept 10 ‘In the late-nineteenth and early century ‘Anti-Brahmin’ Movement. semi-urban bourgeoisie’.Chavan.P.Satish Magar published in Money Life Magazine.Satish Magar by the authors Interview of Mr.Chandrasekar.B. 9 See ‘A Brief History of Neo-Liberalism’ . For Marx.(inspired by Sayashodhak Movement although not adhering to the sayashodhak principles in entirety) dominated by ‘Progressive Maratha Leaders’ was influential in Maharashtra and a faction of this movement later gained ascendance in Maharashtra Congress. dominated by globalised finance capital.The Co-Operative Movement (especially Sugar Cooperatives) was an effective tool in realizing this dominance along with the ‘politics of the summations of interests’ led by Y.Chavan. and further discussed by Fredric Jameson. in ‘ Badalata Maharashtra ( Changing Maharashtra) published by Dr. Verso .Y.Macroscan. This dominance was continued after Independence under the Leadership of Lt.P. October 2006 Urban Process under Capitalism-David Harvey . Satara 11 see-Primitive Accumulation by another name-C.1 We would like to clarify the crucial term ‘rural.G. And hence one should not confuse this particular category with feudal landlords for these two concepts relate to two distinct modes of production although while stressing the break between the two.2007 6 7 8 We owe this concept to Ernest Mandel as discussed in his book Late Capitalism.
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