India: On the March

A few carried spears, others led bullocks. Nearly all were shoeless and clad only in tattered rags. Last week, in the largest land grab in India's recent history, peasants by the hundreds of thousands marched out in ten of the nation's 17 states and seized land held by rich landlords and the government. From Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the north to Maharashtra and Gujarat on the west coast, they claim to have seized a total of 32,000 acres, at least temporarily.

The police generally dealt gently with the marchers. Despite the...

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