Although the land reforms act was enunciated in 1955, the source was in the British era in the promulgation of NAT(non-agricultural tenancy) act 1885. The British rulers, having gained the power of revenue collection after the Battle of Plassey, in 1757 got the power to collect revenue in “Sube Bangla” from Farukh Siyar in 1764.
The actual collector of revenue was accorded to the East India company with huge amounts of revenue collected from the peasants of Bengal the British East India Company looted and amassed the prosperous Bengal and transferred the wealth into the coffers of the British emperor that led the prosperous and self-sufficient Bengali peasants into wretched conditions. The best example is the great Bengal famine of 1777 which was simply a man-made disaster.
The policy continued till the Britishers left India. and another massive famine broke out during world war 2 in 1943. The total plot was made by the Britishers on the plea of World War 2. Bengal was divided several times. just by the British in order to get control over the revenue earned from the prosperous Bengali cultivators.
Lastly, India was fragmented into three parts which resulted in the further division as East Bengal and West Bengal. In order to meet up with the situation, the Great chief minister Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy enacted the Estate Acquisition Act 1953 in order to retrieve the ceiling excess land. So, as many as 9 lakh acres of land were readily vested to the state.
This ceiling excess land was distributed among lAkhs of Pattadars who were the direct beneficiaries in Bengal. Furthermore, in 1955, a new West Bengal Land Reforms Act was enacted. Thus several thousands of acres of land were vested to the state and lakhs of agricultural laborers and cultivators were directly benefited. so the actual tillers became the landowners
Unlike other parts of the country, the Land management system was the best in West Bengal where the principle of equality was followed.
In Bengal due to the heavy influx of population who migrated from Bangladesh, the land was fragmented into very small divisions. But, the agricultural produce reached its Highest position with the implementation of the Green Revolution. But due to the indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizers and individualistic approach the rate of production was marred. West Bengal stands first in the production of paddy and is self-sufficient in food grain production.
At present, the land revenue for agricultural land has also been waived and the mutation of land is totally free.
Although it was primarily aimed at the benefit of common people, now the land is a commodity in the hands of land mafias who have grabbed it by force and are selling it at the highest rate. The total area of cultivation is shrinking. Thus productivity is decreasing and the benefits of land Reforms are in a dwindling state. what was an asset for common people has now become a liability for them.
The land has become a liability instead of a means of livelihood on which every single person exists. They are being ousted from their motherland, people from South Calcutta is going to Purulia to make their own house. The fertile lands of Bengal have become an expensive commodity of businessmen. Now land Reform has become a reality which is far from the dream that Bengal's forefathers had dreamt of.