Patil (title)

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Patil (meaning "head" or "chief") is an Indian last name and a title or surname native to the states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.Under Deccan sultanates, and the Maratha empire, the Patil was the village headman and the most important Vatandar of the village.[1] His main duties were to be the collector of revenue, as well as being the head of police and justice.[2]

Patil settled villages and collected revenues from the villagers, thus a Patil family typically owned 30-40 percent of village land. Colonizing multiple villages promoted a Patil to a Deshmukh. The Patil was entitled to several free services from village peasants and artisans. The Patil presided over all village festivals like Dasara, Diwali and Holi.[3] Patil watan was dominated by the Maratha caste, but there were also some Brahmins who held this office. This watan was either purchased or granted by the king.[4]

The ancestors of some of the important personalities of the Maratha empire held hereditary Patilki rights for villages in Maharashtra.Shivaji's family had Patilki rights in the present day Pune district.[5] The ancestors of Shinde rulers of Gwalior held similar rights in the village of Kanherkhed in Satara district.[6] Similarly Sardar Vithal Sadashiv Vinchurkar (Dani) held Patilki of Vinchur village in Chandwad pargana. [7]

Majority of Patils were illiterate, with exception of Deshastha Brahmin families like the famous Vinchurkar (Dani), Purandare and Tulshibagwale families.[8][9][10][11][12][13]Hence the correspondence would be carried in the name of Patil and Kulkarni and they would jointly sign all government documents. The Patil would typically put his thumb print or other mark on the document. The Kulkarni would sometimes take advantage of illiteracy of the Patil and "use him as a tool". Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur, a social reformer, decided to end the dependency of the Patil on the Kulkarni. On may 15th, 1912, he started a school called the "Patil School" to train future Patils in their duties as village officers. This school was in operation for seven years. The Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics commented that in 1955, it was made mandatory for the Police Patil to be educated up to at least the 4th grade although he was not usually a literate person before.[11][12][13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rachel Sturman (29 June 2012). The Government of Social Life in Colonial India: Liberalism, Religious Law, and Women's Rights. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-01037-6. 
  2. ^ Deshpande, Arvind M. (1987). John Briggs in Maharashtra: A Study of District Administration Under Early British Rule. Mittal Publications. p. 118. 
  3. ^ Gordon, Stewart. The Marathas 1600-1818, Volume 2. Cambridge University Press. p. 23. ISBN 0521033160. 
  4. ^ Kulkarni, R.A (1969). Maharashtra in the Age of Shivaji. R.J. Deshmukh. p. 32. Retrieved 2 April 2018. We come across some Brahmin Patil as well. It was mainly due to the purchase of a Patilki watan or grant of such a watan by the king. 
  5. ^ Prof. A. R. Kulkarni (1 July 2008). The Marathas. Diamond Publications. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-81-8483-073-6. 
  6. ^ N. G. Rathod (1994). The Great Maratha Mahadaji Scindia. Sarup & Sons. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-81-85431-52-9. 
  7. ^ Vinchoorkar, S. R. A brief History of the Vinchoorkar Family. Arya Bhusltana Press, Pune. p. 42. When he had occasion to stay in the Deccan, Holkar fixed his residence at Chandwnd; for before he was Holkar. he had been the Deshmnkh of Chandwad. As Vinchoor fOrmed a part of Chandwad, the honour of being a Patil thereof was claimed by Vithal Shivdev. 
  8. ^ Vinchurkar, S.R. A Brief Story of the Vinchurkar family. Arya Bhushana Press, Pune. p. 1. They were originally Danis of Saswada doing duty as recorders of grain and accepting a portion of the same as their Kulkarni Vatan. 
  9. ^ Hatekar, Neeraj. "'Economic Backwardness' in History Deviation from a Eurocentric Theme" (PDF). IRIS Knowledge Foundation. Department of Economics, University of Mumbai, Mumbai: 15, 16. Retrieved 2 April 2018. The Patilki of Kokamthan was held by four co-sharers. One of them wished to sell it, probably because he could not pay the govt. revenue due to him. Abaji Purandare agreed to buy it for Rs.5000, assuming it to be free of other encumbrances......The villagers approached Naro Appaji Tulshibagwale, who agreed to buy the Patilki for Rs.5000.00 and pay the villagers Rs.2960. Note that Naro Appaji Tulshibagwale and Abaji Purandare were Deshastha Brahmins. 
  10. ^ Vinchoorkar, S. R. A brief History of the Vinchoorkar Family. Arya Bhusltana Press, Pune. p. 42. When he had occasion to stay in the Deccan, Holkar fixed his residence at Chandwnd; for before he was Holkar. he had been the Deshmnkh of Chandwad. As Vinchoor fOrmed a part of Chandwad, the honour of being a Patil thereof was claimed by Vithal Shivdev. 
  11. ^ a b Trimbaka Nārāyaṇa Ātre (2000). The village cart: translation of T.N. Atre's Gaav gada. p. 78. As most patils are illiterate the entire correspondence of a village is conducted in the joint name of the patil-kulkarni and both these officials are required to sign all government papers ( an illiterate patil puts down his thumb impression or other mark). 
  12. ^ a b N. V. Sovani; Kumudini Dandekar (1955). Fertility Survey of Nasik, Kolaba and Satara (North) Districts. Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. p. 62. The Police Patil, a village officer, is responsible for the vital registration. Though at present there is a regulation that the Police Patil should be educated up to at least the 4th vernacular standard, he was not always a literate person before. 
  13. ^ a b Dhananjay Keer (1976). Shahu Chhatrapati: A Royal Revolutionary. p. 216. He declared on February 2,1912 that he would start in commemoration at the Imperial Coronation Darbar at Delhi, a special school called the Delhi Darbar Memorial Patil School, to train the Patil's sons for the duties of village officers and improve the quality of their work. The names of the candidates were called till may 15, 1912, on which date the school was started. The students were not charged fees for the first year. The school was sometimes mentioned as the Patil school or the Delhi Durbar Patil School. The Patils formed an important class of hereditary village officers. They were mostly illiterate, ignorant and unable to do their duties properly. To make the Patil independent of the Kulkarni, who always took advantage of his illiteracy and used the Patil as a tool, special subjects were taught in the school (1)revenue (2)criminal work (3)village accounts (4)sanitation. The school seems to have run for about seven years