V1 mulberry

V1 mulberry
Kuppam, AP, 2010

Sunday, 31 March 2013

Reporting (2) from a reeling village, 1992

Indications of socio-economic change in industry and society
 Agricultural castes, SCs and Muslims, labour and finance[1]
The continuing story of Madappa and Manchaiah of Kannur is more complex. In 1962 they separated. Madappa was himself by this time Chairman of the Village Panchayat under the new Panchayati Raj of 1961, a position he retained until 1968. In 1991, discussing the separation, he put it down to business having been bad and difficulties arising from the partners being of different communities. He himself, however, went on to set up a new filature of his own. It had twelve basins, new but of the same type as before. He chose 'Gundal Valley Chapp' as the trade name for his silk and under it established a reputation for fine quality. This filature was again in the forefront of technology at the time: it had piped water from his well, and a steam system for heating the basins. (Before that he had already innovated with a large cask on a cart as an alternative to carriers for his water supply.) Twelve basins were the most, he said when interviewed in 1975, that could be run as a single business. A certain Shivamalladevaru, recorded as a Lingayat and in 1991 himself a reeler, was claimed at the earlier date to be his partner. Adding a twisting factory to his business was another of his aspirations, but he had been seriously ill with a duodenal ulcer requiring surgery at the time and the twisting plan was abandoned. Few reelers in this area did manage to add twisting, though in Kollegal town it subsequently took off.
Madappa’s own gradual withdrawal from any direct involvement with reeling had begun. The unit was taken over by Parshivappa, his  sister’s husband’s brother, probably sometime in the late 1970s. It was still running in 1991 but the piped water and steam system had had to be abandoned when the water in the well was exhausted. They had therefore gone back to dependence on water carried from one of the two large tanks belonging to the village. Even this did not last: the tanks were silted up and the retaining wall of one was broken through. Though it was repaired in 1992, the tank was then dry. Madappa had in fact been unusual in using ground water for reeling, most of it in the village being considered unsuitable and damaging to the colour of the silk produced. 
Water-carrying, a job normally still performed by Parivaras, had become an even larger and more highly visible source of employment in the village itself and for reeling at Mangala on the main road nearby. Water had now to be fetched long distances, mainly on bicycles adapted so as to have hooked onto them large numbers of small, round, plastic water jars. These were said to be used for their convenience in filling from limited sources such as pools and steams. The old technique of settling muddy water by the use of Kaamagere cilada nuts had regained its old importance as an essential resource for reeling.
Nagesh, Parshivappa's second son, had been adopted by Madappa; he had no children of his own. A young man with a BA and already a wife and son at the age of 22, he was said by Madappa to be managing the unit while his elder and physically handicapped brother, Nanjunda Murthy, supervised it. In practice it seemed that Nagesh was mainly involved in the family's farming and sericulture. They also ran a flour mill, and this was the responsibility of the third of the four brothers.
When Madappa and Manchaiah separated, the latter continued with the old basins. His unit was still there in 1975 but was by then not working. Eventually the basins were sold, Manchaiah himself having died in 1982, and the building was used as a dwelling house for his family.
At both dates when field studies were made, 1975 and 1992, 20 basin units were working more or less regularly in the village, but in neither were there any charkas in operation; a few had been tried from time to time though. In the early 1980s at least one SC man, a reeling labourer since his childhood, had starting reeling with just two 2 charkas, with a loan of Rs 4000 from the State Bank of Mysore in Kaamagere. He worked them for just one year and later went on to basins. 
                Kannur reeling: basins and units
                                                      Nos. approx.

          Total     Agric caste:          Muslim      SC/Christ.
Basins  194           157 (81%)            6            
Units      20             17                                    ½             1991
          Total      Agric caste:        Muslim       SC/Christ.
  Basi   155              83 (78%)           42               30
   Units   20               8                       7                4

    Even by 1975 therefore, the old order of the 1950s  and '60s in Kannur was already changing. There were then 12 large units with 10 basins or more, with the 15-basin unit already noted still in operation. This made 194 basins in all, probably including a few survivors but only one new unit that had started in the intervening period. Retreat was underway. By 1991 there were only five large reelers and a total of 155 basins. Of the big five, four were survivors and only one had been established in the intervening period. This, Shivaramegowda's unit, had been started by his father Haravegowda in 1973 with 5 basins. It had been expanded to 8 in 1976, and to 12 in 1980. It was an unusual and late development of the kind which had been far commoner in the two previous decades. Where did the 39 lost basins go? Amongst reelers interviewed in 1975 in Kamagere, the major local growth centre for reeling at the time, three were encountered who had, since 1968, set up with second-hand basins obtained from Kannur. The earliest were actually six surplus basins, very old, that had belonged to Madappa himself. This chance encounter suggests the direction in which Kannur's investment in reeling was already by that time beginning to drain away.
It was the agricultural caste reelers who had earlier dominated the village's reeling who were losing out. In 1975 several of the leading men of the village, including the Chairman of the Village Panchayat, had been reelers and they had still been operating in the old style, obtaining their cocoons from a set of more or less client silkworm rearers whom they might support with advance payments if required. Lingayats and Kuruba Gowdas had been running 17 of the units and owned 157 (81%) of the basins. They were the reelers; others worked for them, but by 1991 they had only 8 units and 83 basins. At the same time the establishment of local cocoon markets by the Department of Sericulture meant that their standing as cocoon-buying patrons – and financial advantages arising from this – were undermined.
Muslims now ran 7 units with 42 basins; when interviewed in 1975 they had had only one working unit, one perhaps temporarily stopped and there was one Muslim in partnership with a Scheduled Caste reeler. The partner had subsequently, it appeared, taken over the unit for himself. One of the newcomers, Ansar Ali Khan, in partnership with a relative who had put up some of the funds required, had started in 1989 with two basins only, adding another four a year later. On the SC side, whereas in 1975 there had been only the one man in partnership and the by then non-operational remains of the original filature, there were in 1991 4 SC units and one Christian working, with 30 basins. The reeler mentioned above as having started a 2-charka unit, in about 1985 managed to start a 5-basin unit without institutional support, and this time in the name of his mother. Of the six years since that time he had been out of action for three, having incurred losses. In addition a number of SCs and Kuruba Gowdas were applying for loans of Rs.50,000 each from the Karnataka State Finance Corporation (KSFC) in order each to set up a 6-basin unit. The one Parivara unit of the earlier period had disappeared. Though members of this community had become reelers elsewhere in the region, in this particular village they had not. Could the continuing importance of water-carrying have had anything to do with this?
In the event, two SCs and two Kurubas had been successful in their loan applications by the time of a research visit in September 1992. New units duly appeared; a new phase indeed of government support had begun. The account of the transaction offered by the two successful SC reelers is interesting. Rs 23,000 was provided for the machinery, with the condition that new equipment was bought. This cost Rs 18-20,000, not including the cement work for the boiler or 'oven' of a new standard pattern adapted for burning various combustible residues rather than scarce and costly firewood, and for a solid floor. This would cost another Rs 4,000. Then there was the shed to contain it all, which would cost a minimum of Rs 15,000. A further initial Rs 10,000 was provided for working capital, but this sum would be needed for advances to recruit labour. Once the reeling was underway – if this could be achieved – as attested by receipts for cocoons and silk, the remainder of the Rs 50,000 could be claimed. To obtain all this would cost Rs 5,000 in gifts along the way. Without these the application would not move along its required track.
Though therefore the sums available from this source were substantial and mostly quite realistic, they certainly required any new reeler to have substantial resources of his own. It was not, as these new reelers were very clear, the reeling labourer who would in the future get ahead in this way. Neither had ever been reeling workers themselves: though one had been a supervisor and cocoon buyer, the other had never previously had anything to do with reeling. The former had sold land for Rs 22,000 as well as borrowing money from relatives to supplement the KSFC loan; the latter belonged to a farming family, one brother now looking after the agriculture while a third brother was a Bank Manager in Mysore. Money seemed not to be a great problem. He was building a new brick house at the same time as he was establishing his reeling unit immediately behind it. In neither case would any of their family expect to do the manual work of the unit; it was labourers from their own community who would be employed.
As regards employment in the reeling units, even in 1975 it was not limited to people of Scheduled or other castes of low status. Poor people were to be found in every community and at least a few from most had found their way into reeling. This element of flexibility no doubt had its roots in the structure of this particular village. As has already been noted, the communities were not clearly segregated in their residential areas, and the village had the reputation of being, for its area, progressive and advanced. The presence of two SC teashop keepers, apparently not patronised exclusively by fellow caste members, struck my research assistant, himself of agricultural-caste origin, as extraordinary, even unheard of. By 1991 the implications of flexibility had probably enlarged somewhat further. A son of a Lingayat reeler was noted working on the basins himself in order to learn the job.By then Lingayats, Kuruba Gowdas, Agasas, Muslims, Parivaras and SCs were all represented amongst the current labourers.
Scheduled Caste members, who had often been known previously as ‘Untouchables’, remained by far the largest category in the village, and the main source of reeling labour. Both males and females might be employed in reeling from a young age. In a small sample taken in 1975, about one in ten of both boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 14 were already earning in the units and very rarely in any other capacity. Amongst young women between 15 and 24, over a third were working in reeling, compared with one in five in agriculture. In older age groups the proportion in reeling sank slowly whilst the agricultural proportion increased, reversing the balance. For the over 45s, only a fifth remained in reeling, no more than half of those still active in agriculture. Of adult SC workers, about two thirds were women. For males once past childhood, farm work was occupying about 40% of them at all ages, with reeling at no more than half this level. Their participation declined sharply after the age of about 45.
For Parivaras, the second largest supplier of reeling labour, evidence was not obtained from Kannur but from a somewhat comparable village it suggested that the distribution of their activity was probably considerably different. Amongst them, water-carrying was the men’s most frequent work, with women in reeling relatively fewer and children unusual. Indeed in surveying Kannur and neighbourhood there was a striking difference between areas of Parivara and SC residence. The congested housing of the former, as yet without any government support, would invariably be found full of women and children, the more spacious layouts and accommodation of SCs rather empty. Its women would mostly be away at work, the children either at work or at school. The systematic difference here seemed to be significantly related to different traditional orientations to earning livings and the presence and absence of government assistance work: whereas the SC tradition emphasised employment, and at the time this was not scarce in Kannur, the Parivara tradition was of self-employment, and primarily for males.
By 1991 it is unlikely that such patterns had been much changed. Despite some loosening of restrictions, caste status was still playing a definite part in allocating particular labourers to particular employers. Lingayats were the only ones to report having Lingayat employees and these may well have been confined to supervisory and rewinding tasks, the most highly paid. Their employees were otherwise a mixture of all the other available communities, with SCs normally the most numerous. Kuruba Gowda reelers reported workers from their own community, as well as SCs and Parivaras. SCs reported only members of their own community as employees, their own relatives amongst them. Muslims similarly might use their own family and relatives, but also SCs, while one reeler claimed to employ everyone else except for Lingayats.
Though the evidence from 1975 on wage rates paid is slight, at both periods it seemed that they were less standardised than expected. Employers even varied as to whether they paid the same rate for men and for women. Where these were specified separately, women working on the basins might in 1991 expect between Rs.14 and Rs.16 for an approximately eight-hour day, whilst men doing the same work might receive between Rs.17 and Rs.20. (In 1975 it had been Rs.2/50 or Rs.3/00.) In addition workers might expect, according to the reelers, substantial advance payments of between Rs.1000 and 3000. It was not clear whether or how such considerable sums would be repaid.
They were also ready to bemoan workers' unreliability and unpunctuality, particularly at times of high demand for labour. They clearly felt themselves to be considerably dependent on their workers. This was not new: in 1975 similar feelings were being expressed. Madappa himself was at the time keeping highly detailed records of individual workers' production but he commented that he could not use these to reward the good or penalise the less so. Any such attempt  would mean added difficulty in getting the workers he needed to run his basins. Already shortage of labour at times limited the number of basins he could operate, e.g. only ten of his twelve basins. Between basins and charkas where the latter were still being used, it might vary between basins and charkas too. In 1991, a reason cited for not running charkas was that the work on them was disliked in the village and that their own people would therefore not come and it would be costly, in large advances required, to bring charka labour from elsewhere. Kannur workers did indeed feel that basin work was preferable, both as to the job itself and as to its payment on an hourly basis rather than by the amount reeled. As Uma Shankar, an experienced Research Assistant put it, on basins they felt they could 'reel in a relaxed manner'.
Migration to reeling work in neighbouring Tamil Nadu was another often cited reason for shortage of labour, though it was claimed also to be a way in which a pattern of regularly maintained reeling only at favourable seasons became viable. A unit's workers might migrate temporarily but be ready, with outstanding advances perhaps playing a part, to be summoned back home when the reeler again needed them. In 1975 Kannur had also still been drawing in labour from Mangala, a main-road village three-quarters of a mile away. By 1991 it was apparent that the flow had largely reversed. It was not now drawing in labour but was, like the area more generally, supplying experienced labour to other places with more pressing need for it, expressed in higher wages offered.
Madappa in 1991 considered that the workers then were not what they had been in his day. It was not the Karnataka State Marketing Board (KSMB) which should be blamed for the rather poor reputation that Kannur’s silk by then suffered as compared with other major reeling centres around. Nor was the quality of the reeled silk, as often thought, to do with some special character of the water used: any sweet water would do. It was a matter of the workers showing sufficient interest, since it was on them that quality mostly depended.

[1] For further and rather later analysis of reeling and the village context, see Simon Charsley & G.K. Karanth 1998. Challenging Untouchability, Chapter 8, “Increasing autonomy: The Harijans of Rateyur”.

Reporting (1) from a reeling village, 1992

Indications of socio-economic change in industry and society
In contrast to its urban focus elsewhere, reeling in Mysore district has always been scattered through the villages of the sericultural region. The area to the east of Kollegal town centred on Kamagere has been prominent in sericulture since the nineteenth century. Within it are such noted reeling villages as Singanallur and Doddinduvadi, Kamagere itself, with Kongarahalli, Mangala and Kannur. Up to the 1930s, reeling was the business mainly of Muslims, people of the depressed classes, afterwards Scheduled Castes, and other small, middle castes. They are described in a source from the period as 'special men with machines of a primitive kind, which does not give sufficient twist or uniformity to the silk thread'. These were the age-old charkas. The same source claims that reeling was then carried on in only five villages of the entire Kollegal taluk, against thirty-two in which there was silkworm rearing. (Supplement to Kamagere, Madras District Gazeteers. Coimbatore District, Government Press, Madras, 1933:155) The reelers were not particularly rich or particularly poor people. They might have land and farm on a small scale as well as reeling; in this area, no caste or religious group was barred from owning land, and some members even of the most depressed castes always did so. The silkworm rearers were, however, mainly members of the dominant agricultural castes, Lingayat, Vokkaliga and Kuruba. It was therefore these predominantly who supplied cocoons to the reelers in their own or nearby villages. They would not expect to be paid until the reeler had prepared and sold his silk, perhaps eight or ten days later. Reelers needed a reputation for reliability in paying; what they did not yet need was any large capital in order to reel. Their machines, traditional charkas, they could make themselves with a little assistance from potter and blacksmith, and their suppliers in effect took care of working capital for them.
An important figure in the development of reeling in Kannur, a village near Kamagere, was Madappa.  He was born in 1914, a Lingayat, the only son in a well-to-do agricultural and sericultural family. He went to school in the village and, despite disruptions to his schooling from plague and other vicissitudes, he attained Std. 5 in 1929, one of only two pupils in the village to do so. The family were unusual in the scale of their mulberry-growing: they had as many as seventeen acres. The scale certainly meant that they could not rear the silkworms with family labour; they took on others to rear for them, supplying their labour in return for a third of the proceeds. The cocoons were sold to reelers either in the village or in Doddinduvadi. There were no brokers buying cocoons in those days. Madappa recalls how difficult it sometimes was to get the reelers to pay; you might need to go there twenty-five times in pursuit of your money.
Reeling in the village, he thought, had begun about 1918. In his childhood it was Muslims who were the reelers here. There were perhaps twenty charkas in the entire village. About 1925 some Lingayats had started too, but it is likely that in the Depression of the early 1930s reeling died out again. During the 1939/45 War it was in any case for a time banned, in order to reserve the supply of cocoons for the new filatures which were intended to supply silk to the war effort.
The new order in reeling
It was after the War that reeling acquired a new aspect. Some old reelers doubtless re-started, but at the same time numbers of substantial agricultural caste men set up units on a larger scale than had ever been attempted before. These established a new style of reeling in which the workers were entirely separate from the management and the families of owners did not involve themselves in reeling, let alone actually working on the charkas. A common pattern was for one brother in a family to take charge of reeling, whilst others managed the family's agricultural, sericultural and sometimes other kinds of business, and, increasingly as time went by, were educated and in government or other kinds of employment at qualified and officer levels.
Reeling workers were mainly people from the Scheduled Castes from which field labourers had been drawn previously. Employment came therefore to be modelled on the relationships between agricultural castes and their labourers, a quasi-traditional relationship with a strong patron and client element involved. In some cases at least, there was a basis of experience here since such people had already been reeling in the pre-war period.  At the same time, however, these units introduced a new discipline. They commonly aspired to higher quality production, to silk with a reliability and reputation for which they could be proud and widely known. For this, work on the machines had to be more controlled, attentive and the number of cocoons or ‘ends’ being reeled together more regular and correct. Standards using the factory-constructed machinery for basin reeling might be substantially improved on anything that could be achieved  even with considerable skill and dexterity on the part of the workers.
The new-style reelers also enjoyed a different position to the old when it came to the supply of cocoons.  The old had depended on rearers to provide them with the necessary cocoons on credit.  The new reelers could take advantage of this tradition too, but, as leading men in the agricultural community, they could also exploit a relationship of patronage. Running large units, they needed to assemble far more cocoons and with more regularity than had ever been done before. They might therefore use their superior position in the community and their relative wealth to mobilise and organise their suppliers. They would need, like the ‘silk merchants’ they were often called, to manipulate available funds, taking cocoons on credit from some suppliers, providing advances to others, in the interests of ensuring their supply of raw material and at as advantageous a price as possible.
Madappa, the focus of much of what is reported here, was a member of this new class of reeler, but his way into it was unusual. It was via an association with one of his hereditary labourers, Manchaiah, an enterprising man of Scheduled Caste origin and Christian leanings. In 1941, Manchaiah had received Rs 300 through the good offices of the local Catholic priest in order to buy bullocks and a cart, to set himself up as a carrier of foodgrains. Perhaps this was an opportunity created by wartime requistioning of grain, but not finding it very profitable, he took up buying cocoons from rearers for supply to reelers, i.e. cocoon brokering. This must either have been collecting cocoons for the filature – in which case it is possible to see how this is a next stage from carting foodgrains – or after the War when reeling started up again.
Certainly it was after the War when he took the next step. By then he was supplying to private reelers. Finding on one occasion that he was not being paid for a previous lot supplied to a reeler from a nearby village, the situation he faced was urgent: he had another lot to supply which he could not hold back because the emergence of the moths from its cocoons was imminent. He decided therefore to get them reeled on his own account. This he did in the unit of one Honnappa, a Lingayat. Thereafter he was for a time working in partnership with this unit, supplying its cocoons. By this time Madappa had become interested in getting into the reeling business himself. He saw an opportunity in himself teaming up with Manchaiah, and in 1950 they starting a joint unit. The investment in fourteen charkas and in labour for them –  the workers needed to be paid advances in order to come to work –  was Madappa's and he attended to the financial side of the operation, while Manchaiah managed the running of the unit.
The charka unit ran successfully but without much profit. This is not surprising since it was a difficult time in the industry at large: high prices in 1950 fell away badly in the following two years. Undeterred, the partners decided to try the new ‘basin reeling’ which others were taking up instead. In 1953 they built the Viswanathan Silk Filature in Kannur’s Harijan Street and started reeling there. They began with five five-end basins supplied by the manufacturer, Sitaramiah & Co. of 130 Cottonpet, Bangalore, and sometime after they had actually begun work there was a ceremonial opening on 10th February 1953.
This seems to have been a time of expansion in the village and more widely too. In the same year a particularly splendid Kamagere chavadi or meeting hall – 'none other to match it in Kollegal' – was built in the SC section of the village for the Nirmala Yuvaka Sangha. Adult classes were held there and it was a centre of musical activity. It was also the period at which the government in the form of the Sericulture Department of Madras State, since Kollegal had not yet been transferred to Karnataka under the boundary revision of 1956, was campaigning for the new style of reeling.
The event was arranged around the visit of M.T. Raju, ICS, Barrister-at-Law, the Madras Government's Director of Industries and Commerce. A photographer was called in from Kollegal and his photograph survives as a witness to the occasion. In its centre, the Director stands, a large, youngish man in a baggy suit – ‘Oxford bags’ – with open-necked shirt and formal leather shoes. On his left stands Madappa, in a dark jacket over collared shirt and untucked dhoti, on his head a village-style turban and on his feet nothing. On the other side of the Director, to his right, is the resplendent figure of M.K. Malaraja Urs, the Manegara, head of the village. He wears an Indian-style coat over tucked dhoti, a magnificent tailored turban on his head, his face emboldened with a prominent white moustache, and sandals on his feet. Three Sericultural staff are also present, distinguished by their ties and jackets, and, for the two older men, their spectacles. On the right of the picture stands, A.T. Janakiraman, the Madras Silk Expert, a large man in a pale suit, who would later be the Secretary of the Central Silk Board. On the other side stands Subramaniam, the second in command, who had been in Kollegal since the 1930s. He is smaller, wears a light jacket over dark trousers. He holds a garland over his left arm, either retrieved from the Director or about to be applied to him, and in his right hand there is what looks like a speech of welcome. Tucked in behind him and the Manegara is his assistant, V.R. Uttaman, who would also go far in the Mysore Department, retiring as its Director . Behind them cluster another twenty or thirty villagers, young and old; all are male. Manchaiah is not there though; he was away making arrangements at the time. On the ground is the shadow in the bright afternoon sun of the strung mango-leaf decorations put up for the event.
Ambitious 'filatures', basin-reeling workshops, were therefore being set up at this time. In Kannur there was another too, established in the same year, the Sri Brahmalingeshwara Silk Filature. This was a Kuruba Gowda establishment. The Department was to provide a 50% subsidy on the cost. Instructors came from the Government filature to train the workers for six months; in 1975 the man who had come to Kannur was still there, though now retired and suffering from asthma. The Department took samples for testing the silk produced and reported back on them; and there was help with marketing the silk. The Madappa/Manchaiah partnership was, like others, put in touch with Chenai, a Bombay firm with a branch in Bangalore, reputedly the leading silk merchants of the time. Their representative came to inspect and gave them a certificate of quality too.
The table shows the build-up in the numbers of basins in the Kamagere area from this time: the source was a chart still in the Sericulture Office there in 1975.
     Nos of domestic basins recorded in Kamagere
  1952/53    35       1955/56   140       1958/59   356
   1953/54    77       1956/57   245       1959/60   419
   1954/55   119       1957/58   257       1960/61   506
Madappa and Manchaiah continued to be part of this expansion. They first added another seven basins, to make twelve, and then another six. In the course of this build-up, the five-end machines originally being worked had been increased to six-end, allowing more cocoons to be reeled simultaneously as long as their quality and the skill of the reeler were adequate. 
All these machines came in two parts: in front of the reeler was the basin and the mechanism for the tavelette croissure, behind the reeler a stand to which small, hexagonal reels were attached. These small reels had been introduced by Chinese technicians in Mysore during the War, there to set up a private filature unit.
In these village units the reels were driven manually, turned with a handle. The silk thread was drawn back over the reeler's head. When the thread broke, as it would inevitably do from time to time, the reeler would have to turn round and knot it, before starting to reel again. There were however advantages in the greater distance the silk had to travel: it would dry in passage and there was little problem of gum spots building up on the reel. Their silk was in any case to be re-reeled. It was in that respect that the small reels had their own advantage, being much more convenient and easier to handle for that purpose than the large reels on the Italian and French machines which had preceded them. These distinctive machines with a reputation for producing superior silk, were to survive in some places, though not in Kannur itself nor in Kollegal.
The ownership of the two filatures that have been named represented the two leading communities in the village, Kuruba Gowdas and Lingayats. Kannur is typical of the area in having a set of substantial caste communities within it, living in more or less separate but not physically separated blocks of housing. As the seat of a Lingayat mutt or matha the village had a special status for that community, but they and the Kuruba Gowdas were otherwise balanced in their standing in the village, both a step behind a small but wealthy set of Arasu households belonging to the caste of the rulers of Mysore. Together these made up the main land-owning section of the population, most undertaking sericulture as well as general agriculture. The other main communities were Scheduled Castes and Parivaras. Neither of these were landless but they had far less than the main agricultural castes, led in that respect by the Gowdas. In addition, there were about a dozen Muslim families in the village, with a small mosque, and also a Catholic church with a small number of Christian converts of SC origin.
Landowners were in 1975 living in expectation of irrigation for their lands from a channel being dug from the new Gundal reservoir locally and there was already rumour that a channel from the far larger Kabini scheme would eventually reach the village's lands. Nevertheless – or in perhaps realistic distrust of the work ever being completed – the number of pumpsets for irrigation about doubled between 1975 and 1991, with members of each of the main communities owning at least a few.
Over the following years basin-reeling replaced charkas entirely in this village, except that one charka would usually be retained by each reeler, in order to use up cocoons and parts of cocoons not reelable on the basins. This would produce a small quantity of rough 'dupion' silk which would be disposed of separately, as were the various kinds of silk waste. Of the two major filatures of 1953, the second continued operation over the next twenty years and more. It was owned by B. Mallegowda in 1975, and was still operating with 15 basins, by then the largest in the village and probably anywhere in the vicinity.  Not long after, however, it seems to have closed, having perhaps served its purpose. Of Mallegowda's sons, Shivaramegowda was, in 1991, employed as a purchasing officer at Kumbakonam, presumably in the Marketing Board (KSMB), and K.M. Shivarajappa was a member of the Zilla Parishad.
Continues as Part 2

[1] For further and rather later analysis of reeling and the village context, see Simon Charsley & G.K. Karanth 1998. Challenging Untouchability, Chapter 8, “Increasing autonomy: The Harijans of Rateyur”.