There are various similarities and differences between peasant actions in the Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India and Peasant Uprising in Japan. To begin with, various common and important elements are present in rebellion in rural India from 1783 to around 1900. Evidently, during these Indian colonial times, there were various peasants’ viewpoints that relate mainly to the dominance and subordination of the rural colonial Indians.
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In addition, peasants mainly rebelled against the British system of imperialist oppression, since, to some extent, they did not have enough resources and power to use. Moreover, peasants also rebelled against some local landlords due to the exploitation they faced from them.
On the other hand, the peasant uprising in Tokugawa Japan was full of crises and rebellion due to food riots and fears of famine and starvation. For example, due to frequent famine in these regions, peasants developed a moral economy in order to satisfy their basic subsistence needs. Furthermore, they chose various low-risk economic ways, mainly because they feared high risks. Therefore, all these peasant behaviors were associated with various low economic risks that enabled them to avoid high risks, thus providing a better understanding of their political behavior.
The peasant rebellion in Japan was about not only exploitation but also the hard economic status and living standards they were subjected to. In this case, therefore, the peasants were more likely to rebel and protest after the landlords, and even the government had taken away most of their subsistence resources in the form of rent and taxes to a level where they could not satisfy themselves. To be clear, this means that they were likely to protest and rebel when faced with starvation and hunger.
As a result, their action to rebel and protest was, therefore, mainly motivated by their need and desire to bring back the lost subsistence systems that were being tampered with by the market policies from outside their country. On the other hand, the rebellious nature of peasants in India was mainly due to the need for improvement of social class and mainly against the British, which was from outside their country.
Moreover, the peasant in Japan rebelled and protested in order to ensure that both their physical and social needs were met. They wanted to achieve the morally accepted standards of living, with the belief that traditional subsistence system policies were much better since they provided more security to them. Although they were rational in considering risky situations, it was clear that peasant farmers could make more profit when involved in commercial agricultural farming.
In addition, they demanded freedom of choice in terms of expected benefits, which meant that their movement’s political behavior relied heavily on the political mobilization system acquired for the aim of achieving power within a standard social and political environment.
The peasants’ uprising movements mainly occurred in areas where there were more subsistence ways of production, for example, the Shindatsu rebellion and uprising. Incidentally, in these communities, all the peasants depended on the market for the satisfaction of their basic needs, such as food. In addition, they resorted to rebellion and protests against hunger and starvation in order to convince the government to reduce prices of foodstuff, given that most of the rich and other merchants were hoarding rice and another basic foodstuff in order to take advantage of the subsequent rise in prices.
They also demanded equitable sharing of resources between the rich and the poor in the society. Therefore, they advocated for the destruction and abolition of individual rights to the property. They also advocated for political cultures that would ensure various policies and formalities were put in place to reduce hardships and food challenges in the society. That meant that they used clear ideologies that enabled the use of available resources to solve immediate problems. Therefore, their behavior towards political and moral economy did not support the traditional and ancient ways and modes of production.
Similarly, Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India also shaped the political system in India by providing theoretical consciousness and reality that promoted the insurgence launched by Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed, in both cases, landlords remained the dominant authorities in the ruling category and system. Besides, the Eurocentric British labeled the Indian Peasants as being rebellious, violent, and wild, hence required the use of power in order to control them. Furthermore, the protest in India insurgency led to looting of the British homes and stores due to various Subaltern class divisions.
However, this seemed to support the Marxist ideas of social class and included various western values and concepts. In that sense, the main cause of the peasant insurgency in India was the realization of the need for improvement of their social class and prestige. Therefore, in subjective opinion, the peasants were right, sincere, and committed to achieving their good purpose.
In conclusion, there were a lot of commonalities between the Peasant Uprising in Japan and the Elementary Aspects of Insurgency in India. For example, in both cases, the rebellion was mainly against powers from outside their countries. In addition, both cases involved protests against landlords and the government. Finally, both involved social and political experiences and improvements of individuals in society. This showed that similarities between them outweighed their differences.