Recent Changes in Rural Structure 

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Recent Changes in Rural Structure 


Rural power structure in India is adopting a new environment by moving away from its traditional form. After independence, a new democratic Panchayat system was established in India by abolishing the Zamindari system. It is true that before independence, in 1920, the British government had also made arrangements to nominate some members in the village panchayats, but at that time, due to the influence of the landlords, the panchayats could not get a democratic form. Due to non-election of Panchayat officials on the basis of adult franchise, they did not get the support of ordinary villagers. In 1948, when the system of electing officers of Panchayats through adult franchise was introduced by law, the villagers got the opportunity for the first time to take an active part in the activities of Panchayats.

As a result of this, the power of Panchayats, which was determined on the basis of common status and caste, began to decline. In its place a new force emerged which was independent of the influence of heredity, caste, religion and economic status. With the abolition of Zamindari system, the process of rural democratization started in India. In the first phase of this process, many land reforms were implemented. As a result of this, the middle class was abolished in the context of land rights and the Ashaks got freedom from the exploitation of the landlords, numberdars and chieftains. At this time the ponds, pastures and public places located in the villages were declared collective property of the villages and handed over to the Panchayats elected by the villagers.

As a result of this, not only did the influence of the zamindars on the Panchayati rights come to an end, but the Panchayats themselves also got an opportunity to use their power in the interest of the common man. These changes arising in the social and economic power structure of the villages were certainly of great importance. Under the new system of governance, the castes of the village were transferred to the panchayats and the courts. This too had a great impact on the traditional rural power structure. Due to the process of democratization and the spread of education, now the importance of Ajit status started increasing in comparison to the status provided in the rural power structure. This is a change that changed the very basis of the rural power structure.

From the point of view of leadership, only two sources of power have been prominent in rural life – first birth and ritual superiority and secondly the numerical power of a particular group. In the present life, instead of the superiority of birth, the importance of number power in the power structure is increasing rapidly. In the village, the number of people who support a particular caste group is more, now that person or group gets an important place in the power structure. It is true that as a result of this change, the traditional form of leadership in the village has started to weaken, but the influence of the upper castes, directly or indirectly, is still present today. If the upper caste group is large in numbers, then naturally it also gets an influential position in the power structure, but when the number is small, this situation often gives rise to new conflicts and tensions. Several studies have shown that the role of political parties in the new rural power structure is becoming more and more influential. Each political party conducts its political activities keeping in mind the caste structure of the village, as a result of which, on the basis of its numbers, a particular caste-group gets a higher position in the power structure.


After independence in India, the new democratic, secular and egalitarian power structure that was tried to be developed, even after partially successful in it, no significant changes could take place in the traditional sources of power. Even today the rural power structure is internally present in its traditional form even after some external modifications. Earlier the rights of the upper castes were more on the basis of caste beliefs whereas today the upper castes are maintaining their influence through elections. The reality is that even today the basis of India’s politics and elections are factions formed on the basis of caste. Generally, the higher the number power of the caste in the village, the more that caste forces the other caste-group in a place or area to get their wishes done with the help of sticks. In the last two decades, the process of political polarization is becoming clear on the basis of caste. This process has given the impetus to strengthen its position in the power structure of a particular group on the basis of the numerical strength of its caste in each rural area today. In this situation, a hidden leadership has developed within the rural power structure, which sometimes increases the power of one class and sometimes that of another. As a result, instability has arisen in the power structure.



The reality is that the new patterns developed in the rural power structure today incorporate some traditional features along with many changes. The present characteristics existing in the new power structure of the villages, Dr. According to Yogendra Singh, they can be understood as follows.

(1) Even today the concentration of power in the villages is in the upper castes (Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Bhumihars) and classes (such as large landowners and Sahakars).

(2) Graz The lower castes and lower class groups are organizing and competing with the upper castes and classes for power. This tendency at the caste level has given rise to factionalism. Caste based factionalism has not only disintegrated the rural community but has also created social tensions and a sense of insecurity in rural life.

(3) The secular and democratic values ​​on which the new rural power system was tried to be developed, could not become more effective in the rural value power structure. The reason for this is that the units of social, cultural and political participation of villages are not individuals but groups formed on the basis of family or caste. Ta FOR (4) The rural power structure is still influenced by the economic prosperity of different castes and classes and the separation of economic rights. This means that the rural power system is composed of those groups. Which controls the economic needs of ordinary villagers. It is clear from this that the future changes in the rural power system will be affected by the fact that what will be the nature of the official changes taking place in the village. Emdr. It is clear from all these conclusions presented by Yogendra Singh that no matter how much change has taken place in the power structure of the village, but this change is only external, not internal. Upper castes, zamindars and moneylenders in villages also influence rural decisions and rural life. The only difference is that earlier these castes and classes directly influenced the rural power structure, while their role indirectly remained important. The villages where the lower castes have taken over the posts of village panchayats on the basis of their numerical power also face serious difficulties due to the power of the upper castes and upper classes. From this point of view, rural power conservation has not gone far from its original form.


The New Pattern of Power


India gained independence in 1947. The most important step taken by the Indian government after independence was that it abolished the Zamindari system. In its place the new Panchayat system was implemented. This Panchayat system gave birth to a new power structure in the villages. In 1920, the British government also made a law to nominate officers in the village panchayats, but even that system did not eliminate the influence of landlords. Even at that time there was no system of adult suffrage for the election of panchayat officers, so these panchayats also did not have the support of the public. The 1948 law started many revolutionary ideas and practices. Through this law every young person was given the right to vote and elections were held by raising their hands. For the first time women were given the right to take an active part in village activities. The written records of the proceedings of the Gram Panchayat were kept and their relation was linked with the entire judicial system and revenue administration of the state. In this way, for the first time, the relationship of the village officials with economic status and caste was broken in principle and legally. The law of abolition of zamindari system gave a rapid impetus to Gramiga democracy. The abolition of intermediary officers in the land liberated the families of the old tenants from the rights of the landlords in the economic and social sphere. The posts of Numbardar and Mukhiya were abolished, which were in the possession of the zamindars of garden, pond, pasture land, they were declared collective property of the village and authority and administration were handed over to the newly elected Panchayat. The village watchman was now made responsible to the elected officials of the panchayat instead of the zamindar. TER Thus sociologically important democratic changes were made in the social, economic and power structure of the rural community. It was a step towards national socialist democracy. From the legal point of view also, instead of the ancient system of collective relations in the village, the individual was made a participant in the power system. The importance of caste was also abolished. in place of the posts so assigned. Importance was given to Ajit posts, which from the sociological point of view can be called an attempt to change the traditional rural world view.


New development Panchayats and Nyaya Panchayats gave birth to a new power-system whose aim was to base the sources of rural power on public cooperation and democracy. Now the rural leaders were elected on the basis of their merits instead of class and caste. Although many studies related to Panchayat elections confirm that even now the importance of caste and class has not diminished in the selection of Panch and Sarpanch in many villages. of economic inequality



. Yogendra Singh has mentioned the characteristics of the power structure of the present Indian villages in this way.

(1) In the villages, even today, power is concentrated in the hymns of the upper castes (such as Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Bhumihars) and classes (such as Swamis and Sahakars).

(2) Lower castes and classes are organized and competing for power from higher castes and classes. This tendency is more true for caste groups rather than class groups. This participation at the caste level has given rise to factionalism. The factionalism has not only divided the village but has also created tension and insecurity in the rural life. radhaswam

(3) The secular and democratic value systems that were expected in the new power system in the village have not been able to enter the value system and social structure of the villages. The unit of social, cultural and political participation in villages is not an individual but a group or group of households.

(4) The politics of the village is still influenced by the patterns of economic prosperity and deprivation of different castes and classes. The power system in the village is inclined towards those groups which control the primary ambitions of the rural people. The direction of mobility of rural power system in future will depend on the economic changes and economic growth taking place in the villages.


Pro . Beznath Varma believes that “Power is exercised in the hands of individuals, groups and communities. Power can be exercised by an individual by virtue of holding formal and informal positions. By primary and secondary groups or by society.” Power is also used. Similarly, power is also used by any region, socio-cultural area. Underdeveloped world, etc. Prof. Baijnath is of the opinion that there are seven main forms of power co-operation in India, which are in this way. types are

(i) Flow of Power from Individual to Individual

( ii ) From Individual to Group ( From Individual to Group )

(i) From Group to Individuals

(iv) From Group to Group

(v) From Community to Community

(vi) From Community to Individual

(vii) More from Community to Group ( From Collectivity to Group )





(i) Person-to-person Dawn Co-operation –

In the traditional rural social system, the centralization of power was in the hands of the individual. In the family, the husband had power over the wife, the elderly had power over the young people, the elder brothers and sisters had power over the younger brothers and sisters. The principle of equality was not followed in the determination of roles and positions in the traditional system. The share of the elder brother in the succession was higher than that of the other brothers. At present, the feeling of equality has entered in the relations of husband-wife, father-son and brother-brother and there has been a change in the nature of power.


(ii) Individual to group transmission –

In the traditional joint family, the head of the family or the karta had dominion over the whole family. Similarly, the guru and the priest had dominion over their jajmans, the moneylender over the whole village, the village panch over the quarreling parties. The village leaders and leaders dominated the factions, the Bhatridals, castes and other organizations dominated the groups they represented. If a new group was formed, it had to gain social acceptance. For example, it was necessary to obtain social consent before establishing a branch or ashram of a political party in a village. At present, the centralization of power in Indian villages is in the hands of those people who can help the villagers in providing economic facilities, removing their difficulties and completing development works.


(iii) Group to Individual –

In rural areas, the dominance of the group over the individual has been found. There power has been concentrated with certain specific groups. Political parties and social reform movements prepared the villagers against caste panchayats and village panchayats. A person could gain power by joining a political party or a reform movement. Thus the transmission of power in the village has also been from group to individual.


(iv) Dawn from group to group –

In this way power relations with power are arranged in co-operation of power. For example, the relationship between the Supreme Court and the subordinate courts and the relationship between the Center and the states reveal the power co-operation of the group to the group. Which group will be high and which will be low? It is decided on the basis of validity.


(v to vii) Co-operation of power from community to community, group and individual –

A pargana, mohalla, linguistic area and state compete for power with similar units, groups and individuals. The Community Development Planning Division has also joined this competition. The different types of power co-operation reveal the importance of traditional power system in the power structure in villages even today. In the family it rests on the basis of Prayu. In the village, the upper castes still exercise their dominance over the lower castes. In villages, Panchayats are still playing an important role in the rural sector. Although at present a wave of change is visible in all these areas. If any member in the family is more educated, intelligent and has economic ability than the Karta, then he takes away the power of the Karta. On the other hand, educated, prosperous, land-owning persons in the lower castes are challenging the power of the upper caste people on the basis of voting in the new panchayat system, a mixed form of power system can be seen in the village panchayat. The people of the lower castes are trying to take the power system in their hands by taking place in the panchayats because of the number and secure places, on the other hand, due to land ownership and economic prosperity, the landowners, moneylenders and the people of the upper castes are in the villages in the formal and informal form. Still playing an important role in power management.


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