Agrarian change and social transformation among the Mizo (the tribal State in North-East India)
Reports the upheavals occurring in Mizo society as it moves from being agrarian based to being a monetised, capitalist economy. Claims that a great deal of poverty has been caused by the change from the tradition of communal ownership of relatively abundant land to the individual right to land ownership, brought about by the 1955 Agricultural Land Act. As a consequence, title rights to much of the easily accessible, fertile land has come under the permanent possession of an élite, so forcing the tribal communities into villages and towns. Despite the massive efforts of the government to develop the rural areas, a centrally controlled, unresponsive and inflexible administration that is preoccupied with status, has wasted much of its energy and effort on bureaucratic procedures rather than development. Concludes that the present trend of social change indicates that the tribal communities are heading towards acute social stratification and that the society requires an institutional hierarchy which is responsive to its needs if it is to be safeguarded.