Eswaramma of Yetavakili colony.


J. Rangaswamy is interviewing in Sept. 2006.  The respondent is given the pseudonym here of “Eswaramma”.  She is denoted R for Respondent in the extract below.


…JR Q1:Is anyone doing regular unpaid work for the landlord?

       Please describe the situation.

R: Yes some times we both my husband and myself work for the landlord .

JR;- Please  say clearly what type of work do you do ?

R:- Bringing  grass for their cow, watering the animal, watching their fields, watering their  gardens. After the harvest we take the fodder. But the landlord asks us to provide fodder to his only cow then we oblige and give fodder to his cow .We have been tenant farmers for him for the last thirty years.  We do not do other house work at his house. Some times if son goes to his house, his wife asks him to cut coconuts from the tree and he obliges. We do not clean his house and wash dishes.

JR Q2: Why do you do this work?

R: Out of obligation and some kind of fear  we accept the  work and sometimes they give us money and the same money we use it for household purpose.

[JR says as a comment on this that the respondents like Eswaramma were afraid to admit of arguments and fears that tenants have with/about their landlords.  They do not want the researchers to visit the house of the landlord and pass on any gossip or complaints that arose – or could be claimed to have arisen – from the tenants.  JR says that the relationship of trust is very important to the tenant.  The quality of the relationship is being protected by numerous informants who did not want to state the name of the landlord.]

JR:- You said sometimes you do work for him our of fear. Please explain what kind fear do you have?

R:-If we refuse to do work he may not give out his land for koruku [sharecropping] for us. We are doing cultivation in his land and sharing half and half  harvest. So we do the work.

JR Q3: Does anyone  do irregular work just on festival days or otherwise for the landlord?

R: Yes our son and husband and other family members do certain small works for them at festival times.

JR Q4: Which landlord and why?

R: The present landlord.  [JR pointed out that avoiding using the name is also a traditional mark of respect.]

JR Q5 Do you also do this for other employers?

R: If we have leisure we do for others for payment only.



…JR: Please be explicit about the arrangements.

R: Some times two persons invite us for kuulie work [=casual day labouring]. Generally Rs. 30 [per person per day] is paid for women kuulie. But as there is dire necessity for the second person he offers Rs. 40 and invite me for kuulie work. If I have affection for the first person I bluntly refuse the second persons Rs. 40 and go for first person for Rs. 30. After completing the first person’s work then I go for the second person’s for Rs. 40 as kuulie.

JR:- Do you have any argument for kuulie money?

R: Generally at the weekend they give our payment. Some times they do not give on the exact date. Then we will adjust and be cooperative.

JR: Do you have any argument regarding  koru money or share? [ie cash or share rental[

R: No. We follow the previous conditions correctly. Even the harvest time yielding is high we ought to give his koru share according to the conditions not more and not less.

JR: What about water?

R: The land lord provides.

JR: Who manages water during the crop season? Do your family member or is there a separate person to look after water for the crops?

R:- Actually we do manage the water to our crops and we do not employee another person to manage water.


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