Caste panchayat

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For other uses, see Panchayat (disambiguation).

Caste panchayats (khap panchayats) are caste specific juries of elders of that caste for a village or a higher level in India.[1] Traditionally, the panchayat was the body that adjudicated in open meetings on disputes involving the caste members. The issues brought before these bodies included disputes involving property, marital relations, breaches of eating, drinking and killing of certain animals (For example, cows) etc. The penalties levied by the panchayat included monetary fines or in kind, to offer a feast to the caste members or to Brahmins, and temporary or permanent excommunication from the caste. Pilgrimage and self-humiliation were also occasionally imposed. Physical punishment was on occasion levied. In recent times, these issues are heard before a civil or criminal court rather than by the caste panchayat.[2][3] Nevertheless, these bodies still exist and the panch (jury) do exert a leadership role within their respective groups.[4][5][6]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Mullick, Rohit and Raaj, Neelam (9 September 2007). "Panchayats turn into kangaroo courts". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. 
  2. ^ Panchayat: Indian caste government (article 9374468), Encyclopedia Britannica, about "caste panchayats"
  3. ^ Randeria, Shalini (2006). Civil society: Berlin perspectives, Chapter 9, "Entangled histories: Civil society, caste solidarities and legal pluralism in post-colonial India". Bergahn Books. pp. 213–226. ISBN 184545-064-7. 
  4. ^ Kumar, Vijay (1989). Scheduled caste panchayat pradhans in India: A study of western Uttar Pradesh. Ajanta. p. 183. ISBN 8120202627. 
  5. ^ Dube, SC (1955). India's Villages (PDF). 
  6. ^ Robert, Hayden (1984). "A Note on Caste Panchayats and Government Courts in India : Different Kinds of Stages for Different Kinds of Performances:" (PDF). The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law 16 (22): 43–52. doi:10.1080/07329113.1984.10756282. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 June 2015.