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The economic situation began to undergo very fundamental changes since mid 1991. It started rapidly transforming from the pretence at socialism to a competitive market economy. We do realise that it is a wrong simplification to pretend that modern capitalism (globalisation, liberalisation, et al ) gained an entry into Indian villages and began to effect the rural poor only at this time. Yet we will proceed as if this were the case, dubbing the previous political economy as feudocapitalism of sorts — where landlordism and feudal oppression had an upper hand over industrial bourgeois considerations.
Small and poor peasants (who we refer to as Coolies) had to adjust to the new reality without merely crying against the wind. We believe that this was possible because, unlike the earlier social structure, there was no more a Manu Shastra to put every one in their places.