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Explained: Bhoodan Movement and how Bihar is working to distribute 1.6 lakh acre to the landless

Explained: Bhoodan Movement and how Bihar is working to distribute 1.6 lakh acre to the landless

Explained: Bhoodan Movement and how Bihar is working to distribute 1.6 lakh acre to the landless
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By CNBCTV18.com Oct 21, 2022 5:13:17 PM IST (Published)

The Bihar government has been conducting a survey of all the landless individuals across 38 districts with plans to start land distribution of at least 1.6 lakh acre of land from December.

The Bihar government recently revealed that more than 1.6 lakh acre of land in the state is up for distribution among landless farmers as part of the Bhoodan Movement, news agency PTI reported.

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The revelation comes nearly six decades after the Bhoodan Movement was started by Gandhian activist Vinoba Bhave. While a significant amount of land was donated as part of the movement, legal and logistical issues meant that it is yet to be redistributed to the landless.
What is the Bhoodan movement?
The Bhoodan Andolan was the brainchild of Bhave who wanted to redistribute land from landlords and wealthy zamindars to landless agricultural labourers. Bhave hoped that these labourers would be able to use this new land to practice subsistence cultivation and empower themselves.
The movement was started in 1951 and just a few years later, huge tracts of land were donated.
Why was the land not distributed earlier?
While many had signed up for the movement, giving up large tracts of land, improper legal procedure meant that they would still legally own the lands they just donated. Other issues with documentation meant that there were further delays in the distribution of the land. Finally, some portions of land were not suitable for cultivation and thus the government had to verify the donations. This was usually done by the various State Bhoodan Committees that had been set up by various state governments.
“These plots which were found fit will be equally distributed among the landless once the process starts. The department is also waiting for the final report of a commission formed to probe irregularities in the management and distribution of around 6.48 lakh acre of land received under the Bhoodan Andolan in the state,” a government official told PTI.
What is the government doing now?
The Bihar government had set up a three-member commission in 2017 to investigate the irregularities around the distribution of the land donated under the Bhoodan movement. The commission is expected to present its report to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar soon.
“These plots which were found fit will be equally distributed among the landless once the process starts. The department is also waiting for the final report of a commission formed to probe irregularities in the management and distribution of around 6.48 lakh acre of land received under the Bhoodan Andolan in the state,” an official told the news agency.
Apart from the report, the government has also been undertaking a survey of all the landless individuals across 38 districts with plans to start land distribution of at least 1.6 lakh acre of land from December.
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