Caste Panchayat of Jharkhand (Prelims Special), Download PDF Here

By Mayank Yadav|Updated : July 9th, 2021

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CASTE PANCHAYAT ADMINISTRATIVE SYSTEM

Asur Tribe’s Governance System

Asur society is governed by old traditional practice. There are Asur Panchayats in the village, whose officials are Mahto, Baiga, Pujar, Godait, etc. In Panchayat, senior citizens of at least five villages live as Panch. All adult males participate in the Panchayat.

The Panchayat resolves all kinds of disputes related to the village. It also punishes criminals and convicts and maintains unity in society. Provision of both corporal and economic punishment is seen here. Social exclusion is punished only under special circumstances. After the establishment of modern government panchayats, the active role of traditional panchayats is weakening, yet these panchayats appear to be performing most of the functions.

Banjara Tribe’s Governance System

Banjara is also a Ghumkad tribe, one of the 32 scheduled tribes of Jharkhand. They are seen in almost all areas of Jharkhand, but their main concentration sites are the Rajmahal and Dumka area of Santhal Pargana. They are run by the community council, which is governed by ‘Nayak’. The Nayak is elected by the Banjara tribes. At present, an organisation has also been formed by him with the name of Banjara Sevak Sangh. Their traditional panchayats have not been able to become strong due to their not having fixed accommodation. Therefore, to improve their condition and to develop their capabilities, relevant government policy and assistance is needed.

Bathudi Tribe’s Governance System

Singhbhum is their main area of dwelling in Jharkhand. Bathudi has a traditional panchayat, which is an ethnic organisation. Its head is called ‘Dehri’, who also performs the work of a priest. This position is hereditary. Senior person of every family is its member. All types of disputes are settled by the Panchayat. They have their own customary law. In the light of the property dispute, the cases are dealt with by the Panchayat. They also have an intergram panchayat, whose head is called ‘Pradhan’.

Bedia Tribe’s Governance System

The head of the Panchayat at the village level is called ‘Pradhan’. Sometimes he is also called ‘Mahto’ or ‘Ohdar’. The supreme person who decides on the social problems of the village is the Pradhan. His assistant is called ‘Godait’. The main task of Godait is to communicate the village concerns to the head and the decision or orders of the head to the villagers. A ‘government’ is elected by the Pradhan by combining several villages, which resolves inter village-conflict and disputes. • The oldest head is called ‘Parganait’. All positions are genetic.

Binjhia Tribe’s Governance System

The Binjhia are a minority tribe of Jharkhand. Binjhia tribe have a caste panchayat in village, which has two heads—Madi and Gaddi. Corporal punishment or fine is the usual punishment. Exclusion from caste is the only punishment for eating beef and it is impossible for people to re-enter society. The representative committee consists of representatives from every household, whose head is called ‘Kartaha’. His decision is valid for all.

Baiga Tribe’s Governance Systems

The Baiga tribe is a minority tribe in Jharkhand, which belongs to the proto-Austroloid species. They mainly reside in the districts of Palamu, Garhwa, Ranchi, Latehar, Hazaribagh, etc. In Baiga, society organisation is found at the gotra or village level. Their traditional ethnic Panchayat is at the village level. The head of the village organisation is called “Muqaddam”. This position is hereditary. The village also has a religious head or priest, but sometimes or somewhere, the authority of the priest is combined with the head. The chief’s assistant is ‘Sayana’ and ‘Sikhen’. Both of these positions are elected by the villagers. In case of an outbreak of epidemic in the village, due to the farmer's disease or sickness, the Panchayat role becomes clear.

Bhumij Tribe’s Governance System

The Bhumij is a tribe of the Proto-austroloid group of Jharkhand. It is a tribe that is called the Hindu version of the tribe. They mainly reside in Singhbhum, Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Chatra, Koderma, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Latehar, Palamu, Dumka, Jamtara, Deoghar districts. Living in dense forests, Bhumij was once nicknamed ‘Chuhad’. Bhumij has its own ethnic Panchayat. Its head is called ‘Pradhan’. This position is hereditary. Solitary marriage is forbidden and performing it is considered a crime. Adultery is considered a serious offence

Chero Tribe’s Governance System

The Chero is an ancient tribe in Jharkhand, which belongs to the proto-Austroloid species. They are also known as Barah Hazari and Terah Hazari. They mainly reside in Latehar, Palamu, Garhwa districts. The head of the Panchayat at the village and zonal level is called ‘Mukhiya’ and at the district level is called as ‘Chairman’. The decision of the Panchayat is final. Caste-boycott is also done for violating rules.

Kol Tribe’s Governance System

The Kol tribe was recognised as the 32nd tribe of Jharkhand in 2003. From the point of view of the species group, the Kol is placed under the protoAustraloid. Their language is said to be similar to Santhali. In Jharkhand, Kol is mainly found in the districts of Dumka, Deoghar, Giridih, etc. • The majority of them have ‘B’ blood group. They are a follower of Sarna Dharma and consider Singbonga as the almighty deity. There is a complete lack of political consciousness in Kols. Traditional panchayats are prevalent, headed by Manjhi. These panchayats resolve all their ethnic, social and mutual disputes. The decision of the Panchayat is often final and binding.

Governing System of Kora (Koda) Tribe

Kora has a traditional gram panchayat, whose head is called ‘Mahto’. All the family heads of the village are members of the Panchayat and Mahto is its president. To help Mahto in their work are Jogamanjhi. The decision of the Panchayat is final for all. There is no written law, but there are social controls, some traditions, rules, ideals and practices, which are recognised as laws. In this Panchayat, matters related to domestic quarrels, property disputes, adultery, wife-torture, witchcraft, witch hunt, setc., are settled.

Korwa Tribe’s Governance System

Almost every village has its own traditional caste panchayat for Korwa. In the caste panchayat, disputes related to property sharing, husband-wife quarrel, extramarital sex, consensual or inter-caste marriage, divorce, witchcraft, etc., are resolved. Disputes are settled on the basis of evidence. The veracity of witnesses is tested by taking an oath. When a person marries outside the caste, he is fined or sentenced to caste exclusion. The excluded person is included in the society after offering food. It is called BhaatBihtar. Apart from caste panchayat, there are gram panchayats that are governed by the Pradhan. The members of the village panchayats settle the intergovernmental disputes, the head of which is called the Mukhiya.He is known as the distinguished and eminent person of the community. His presence in all important festivals and celebrations is considered mandatory.

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Mayank YadavMayank YadavMember since Mar 2021
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