ABSTRACT

This chapter investigates the idiosyncracies of the United Front period in Udaynala and Gopinathpur and the surrounding areas. It investigates the socio-cultural background and rationale of one group that participated in the mobilization and the land occupations and investigates the background and rationale of a group that did not participate. A breakdown of landownership by jati in these two villages, suggests a strong correlation between ritual status and landowning status around 1960; the higher jatis owned in general sufficient amounts of land to pass as owner-cultivators, while the lower jatis tended to be landless. Among some of the low castes one found a few owner-cultivator and rich peasant families, but in general they were close to or entirely landless. Dacoity or robbery was an old phenomenon in Bengal and was quite widespread during the UF perio as well, with some cases taking place even the late 1970s.