Skip to content
Related Articles
Open in App
Not now

Related Articles

What do you understand by “Bhoodan” and “Gramdan”?

Improve Article
Save Article
  • Last Updated : 23 May, 2022
Improve Article
Save Article

Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan and Gramdan campaigns attempted a “non-violent revolution” in India’s land reform programme. These integrated groups aimed to enact land reforms by encouraging the landed classes to voluntarily give up a portion of their land to the landless. Acharya Vinoba Bhave, an Indian religious icon, founded the Bhoodan movement. While studying Sanskrit in Varanasi, he became a fan of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Bhave broke British Wartime regulations in 1940, at Gandhiji’s request, and spent nearly five years in prison.

Following Gandhi’s death, Bhave was widely regarded as his heir. In 1951, he founded the Bhoodan Movement, or land-gift activism, since he was more interested in voluntary land reform than politics. He travelled hundreds of kilometres in order to collect land donations for redistribution to the landless. By 1969, it had gathered over 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of land for distribution.

Philosophical Principal

Bhoodan Yajna is an all-encompassing reform movement that addresses all elements of life. Nowadays, everyone is only concerned with themselves. However, Bhoodan causes people to think and act in the exact opposite way that they do now; it drives them to glance around and shout, “I shall first think of my neighbour, and if he has no land, I must consider it my obligation to supply him with.” Land distribution is not the only concern in Bhoodan. Its true goal is to ethically restore the entire nation. This movement sought to better a lot of the countryside’s most marginalised and disadvantaged population: the landless.

Given the fact that India has 50 million landless farmers. Vinobaji set himself the goal of collecting land contributions totalling 50 million acres, with the goal of distributing one acre to each landless farmer household of five members. Each such household was supposed to end up with 5 acres. In Gandhian terms, he asked landowners to sympathise with the plight of the landless and to show solidarity by donating one-sixth of their estates to it. Given that India has over 300 million acres under cultivation, such donations, if given across the country, would total the required 50 million acres.

“Historically, the Bhoodan movement began with the dissolution of primitive communist society and the creation of class society, when exploitation and economic injustices occurred in the social world as a result of private ownership of the social means of production.” – Dr C. G. Shah

At every stage of human history, the ideology-like distribution of rich and poor has been discovered. This notion has captured the attention of a few good-hearted humanists. In a number of ways, they have attempted to reach the emotions of society’s wealthy folks. Gandhiji gave the goal a new shape in contemporary Indian history by incorporating it into sociopolitical and moral philosophy.

Objectives and Goals

  • The Gramdan attempted to persuade landowners and renters in each village to abandon their rights to their land, with all properties becoming the property of a local association for equal redistribution and cooperative cultivation. Gramdan is declared when at least 75% of its population with 51% of the land show their support in writing for Gramdan. The first hamlet to be included in Gramdan was Magroth in Haripur, Uttar Pradesh.
  • It had widespread political backing. Several state governments passed laws against Gramdan and Bhoodan. The movement reached its pinnacle in 1969. Gramdan and Bhoodan fell out of favour after 1969 as a result of the transition from a fully voluntary movement to a government-sponsored programme. After Vinoba Bhave dropped out of the campaign in 1967, it lost popular support. Landlords afterwards typically gave property that was in the dispute or unfit for cultivation. Instead of integrating with existing institutional structures, the entire campaign was considered as separate from the larger development effort. This departure from the mainstream plan has a substantial impact on the policy’s capacity to continue.

Evaluation of the Movement

While exploring the Telangana regions around Hyderabad in 1951, environmentalist Vinoba Bhave was inspired to write Bhoodan. This was the region where communists had just called off a “active” agricultural campaign that had resulted in both land and life losses. Vinobaji felt that by using Bhoodan, he could show the peasants that there was a viable alternative to the communist goal. It had a great start from 1952 to 1954. More than 3 million acres of land were granted as Bhoodan during this time period. However, due to a number of problems, the movement was unable to sustain its momentum and success. Its fundamental fault was that it targeted the wealthy and landowners rather than the poor and landless. When the protestors marched into the wealthy neighbourhood, they made a huge show of distributing a few parcels of property.

Gramdan Movement

The Gramdan movement is the most recent phase of the Bhoodan movement. It is the most important advance in the Bhoodan movement. This movement began spontaneously in 1952 in the village of Mangroth in Uttar Pradesh. The residents of this town banded together to dedicate their entire community to society and live a cooperative existence. Only during and after Vinobaji’s foot march through Orissa did it become a mass movement.

On January 30, 1953, the first Gramdan in Orissa was gained in Manpur, Cuttack district. Soon after, the movement gained traction in the Koraput area, where 26 Gramdans had been received by the time Vinobaji arrived in Orissa on January 26, 1955. In the districts of Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Ganjam, and Sambalpur, a few gramdans had also been received. The Gramdan movement involves the donation of an entire town to society as a whole. Private ownership of land is no longer possible. All of the villagers work together to the best of their abilities and receive anything they require. The surplus is used to benefit the community as a whole. The ideology of collective ownership and communism underpins this movement. The movement is not limited to Orissa. However, it has continued to spread in the other states as well.

Another recent trend in Tamil Nadu is “Gram Sankalpa,” in which villagers make four pledges:

  • To provide land to all landless people.
  • The abolition of untouchability and casteism.
  • To enter the Khadi and Village industries within a certain time frame.
  • Providing basic education in the village

Objectives

  • Reconstruction of society
  • Economic advancement
  • The establishment of a new social order based on equality and cooperation.
  • Founded in the spirit of abolition of private ownership
  • Based on the principles of collective ownership and communism.

The success of the Gramdan movement is based on the following lines

  • It can aid in the abolition of illiteracy and interpersonal conflict.
  • Litigation can be resolved, and people can mutually help and assist one another.
  • The rural indebtedness problem is solvable.
  • The rural economy and agriculture have the potential to improve.
  • The moral level of the population will rise.
  • The initiative has had greater success among the Adivasis, who have a long tradition of social cohesion.

Issues

  • The villagers have showed no strong interest in donating the entire community.
  • Because India is a caste-based society, people from different castes are unwilling to work together.
  • Local politics has its own set of rules.
  • People are illiterate and uneducated. They do not recognise the significance of this initiative. It was quite tough for them to abruptly shift their way of life and thinking.
  • Gradually, the Gramdan movement failed to gain the support of the villagers. The rural elites have decided to avoid it. The movement came to a standstill after Vinobaji’s death.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Who had began the bhoodan and gramdan movement,  on what basis it was started?

Answer:

Vinoba Bhave’s Bhoodan and Gramdan campaigns attempted a “non-violent revolution” in India’s land reform programme. These integrated groups aimed to enact land reforms by encouraging the landed classes to voluntarily give up a portion of their land to the landless. 

Question 2: Write the Vinoba Bhave role in the movement?

Answer:

Acharya Vinoba Bhave, an Indian religious icon, founded the Bhoodan movement. While studying Sanskrit in Varanasi, he became a fan of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Bhave broke British Wartime regulations in 1940, at Gandhiji’s request, and spent nearly five years in prison.

Following Gandhi’s death, Bhave was widely regarded as his heir. In 1951, he founded the Bhoodan Movement, or land-gift activism, since he was more interested in voluntary land reform than politics. He travelled hundreds of kilometres in order to collect land donations for redistribution to the landless. By 1969, it had gathered over 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of land for distribution.

Question 3: Write down the evaluation of the bhoodan movement?

Answer:

While exploring the Telangana regions around Hyderabad in 1951, environmentalist Vinoba Bhave was inspired to write Bhoodan. This was the region where communists had just called off a “active” agricultural campaign that had resulted in both land and life losses. Vinobaji felt that by using Bhoodan, he could show the peasants that there was a viable alternative to the communist goal.

It had a great start from 1952 to 1954. More than 3 million acres of land were granted as Bhoodan during this time period. However, due to a number of problems, the movement was unable to sustain its momentum and success. Its fundamental fault was that it targeted the wealthy and landowners rather than the poor and landless. When the protestors marched into the wealthy neighbourhood, they made a huge show of distributing a few parcels of property.


My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Related Articles

Start Your Coding Journey Now!