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Every artisan or craftsman family was given share in the agricultural produce
This ensured no artisan family went without food throughout the year
ADILABAD: The food grain ‘khallas' or ‘kallams' no longer remains intertwined with the social fabric thanks to rapid spread of commercial crops in recent times. It was at the paddy or jowar khallas that the Indian system of equitable and judicious distribution was practiced.
Under the old system of co-existence, every artisan or craftsman family in a given village was considered a shareholder in the agricultural produce. Though none of such families had a direct role in agriculture, they got some quantity of grain from each of the farmers as their share.
A khalla was organised for about 10 days close to an agriculture field to cull the grain after harvesting the crop. Members of the Madiga community had the exclusive right to fan the produce, called ‘chata kottudu' in local lingo, to separate grain from chaff.
“The Madigas used to enjoy prominence during the sifting of grain. They not only received all the grain that is swept along with the chaff but were given additional quantity as their share,” narrates Guruji Ravinder Sharma of Adilabad's Kala Ashram, recalling the old practices of cohesive existence.
“Individual farmers also handed over a ‘share' of grain to families of potters, carpenters, blacksmiths, washermen etc. This ensured no artisan family went without food throughout the year,” he adds. The arrival of commercial crops like cotton and soyabean ended the system of distribution of grain. The shareholders including agriculture labourers became paid servants and the artisan families came to be looked down upon as unnecessary burden.
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