BA LLB sociology first semester sample question answer about Village Panchayat: In this post you will read about VILLAGE PANCHAYAT, function of village panchayat, importance of gram panchayat,
Q. 1. Discuss the forms and consequences of interaction of the old Social system with the new in the Village Panchayats. Ans.
The Village Panchayats The organisation, administration and all kinds of progress of the rural communities in India, is based on village panchayats. The village panchayats are the pillars which support the Indian rural social system. Village Panchayats of Ancient India
In India in the Vedic age there were panchayats in every village. According to K.M. Pannikkar, this is the sole permanent basis of ancient history on each dynasty of India has prospered. On this subject Dr. Altekar has pointed out that these gram-panchayats worked for the defence of the village and collected the revenue of the State. They imposed new laws, arbitrated in the disputes of the villager and implemented the projects for public welfare. Through public loans these panchayats made arrangements for alleviating the distress caused by famines and oilier calamities. They also organised and established schools, orphanages and colleges and did much cultural and religious work through the temples. With the exception of declaring war and entering into treaty these panchayats were vested with all the remaining rights and authorities of the State.
According to a 10th century text, Shukra-Neeti Sar, the ancient village panchayats had the following characteristics :
1. The members of the village panchayats were elected. 2. The members had the rights of the Executive as well as the Judiciary. 3. The members were held in due respect. 4.the panchayats collected the tax on the land and controlled its distribution. 5. The pastures of the village and other forested land were treated as the property of the panchayats. 6. The panchayats also undertook such activities like maintenance of peace, security, health, education and public constructions. 7. The panchayats also negotiated between warring factions of the villages.
h ese Electoral Procedure
In the village in ancient India the entire population elected the members of the Panchayats. Certain manuscripts discovered in South India provide some knowledge of their electoral procedure and functions,
The manuscripts found in (he village of North maroor of Chingalpatt
district in South India show that the members of the village executive were elected by casting vote. In these wards the names of many people were proposed for the membership of the executive. Then the name of cach candidate was written upon a piece of paper and the names of all the candidates in any ward were put in some vessel. Then some innocent child was asked to pick up any one piece of paper. The piece of paper which the child selected carried the name of the representative of that ward. This kind of election did not give any opportunity for propaganda, party politics or bias.) . Village Republics
The name of village republics was given by the English to these ancient panchayats of India. These panchayats had the right to nullify any excessive, improper or new taxes imposed by the king. They collected the revenue from the public and thus the king too did not interfere in their working but rather listened to them. Sir Charles Metcalf has written that these panchayats had all the characteristics of a republic. Every village was a small independent country. It was completely free from external control. These things which have not been defined anywhere else have been protected in the village. The organisation of the panchayats of the village was such that every village was like a small independent nation. Considering the high standard of their independence, self dependence and prosperity, we can well understand the importance of the panchayats. Panchayats under British rule
Although the English men had great praise for the panchayats during the British Government the rural panchayats of India started vanishing for a number of reasons. In the British States the State revenue was collected from the individuals and not from the village as a whole. The work of collecting revenue was taken away from the panchayats and handed over to Government officials. The disturbances of the village came under the authority of the police. This served to reduce further the responsibility and the rights of the official courts. As a result the panchayats were deprived of their judicial rights. As a result of industrialization and urbanization the rural community disintegrated; the consequence of this was the disintegration of the panchayat
organisation. The influence of Western civilization resulted in the strengthening of the individualistic tendency and the weakening of community feeling. The panchayats were no longer respected.
Disintegration of Village Panchayats San A long time before India became independent some allem was given to the reconstruction of rural communities. The Nova Commission of Decentralisation of 1909, laid particular emphasis upon the fact that the panchayats should be organised and developed in order to establish local self-government in the villages. In 1915 a bill was passed and the instructions were issued to provincial government that full efforts should be made to initiate panchayats in the villages, through cooperation. In the Act of 1919. special emphasis was laid on the same policy. Following this Village Panchayat Acts were passed in different provinces, in U.P. after this the Government of Baroda and Indore followed suit and passed Village Panchayat Acts.
Panchayat in Free India
But while the British Rule lasted, these Acts did not succeed in reorganising village communities. When India became independent the native Government paid special attention to this aspect. Mahatma Gandhi used to say that freedom should start from the ground. Every village should be a small republic in whom should be vested every right. Provision has been made in the Indian Constituent that the Government will organise the village panchayats and given them all the rights so that they may be in a position to function as units of Swarajya. After the independence of the country the gram sabhas, independent village panchayats and panchayat adalats (Courts) were formed in the villages of India. Gram Sabha and Village PanchayatA Gram Sabha has been established in those villages whose population exceeds 1000. Where the population of the village falls short of this number several ncighbouring villages have been combined to constitute Gram Sahbas. In case of villages more than three miles apart, they have the right to form individual sabhas even though their population may be less than 1000. All individuals who have the capability of being members and who are also the permanent residents of the area of the Gram Sabha will be its members. In order to be eligible for membership both males and females should have attained the age of 21 years. But lepers, insane people, bankrupt, those who have served a sentence and those who are Government officials cannot be members of the village sabha. If the person does not suffer from any of these disabilities and continues to reside within the are of the sabha, he can be its member as long as he lives. The gram sabha meets twice in the year once at
the Rabi crop and again at the Kharif crop. From among the members of sabha one Chairman and one Vice Chairman are elected. Their term of office is three years. The gram sabha plans all the programmes for development. Members of the gram sabha can oust the Chairman and the Vice Chairman by a two-thirds majority. The gram panchayat actively wilds the power of the gram sabha. It imposes taxes and incurs. expenditure only if approved by the gram sabha.
. The executive constituted by the Gram Sabha for the management of the village is called the gram panchayat. The Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Gram Sabha are also the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the village panchayat. The election of the members of the village panchayat and the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Gram Sabha is carried out by the direct vote system on the basis of the cumulative vote system. The polling officer appointed by the District Magistrate counts the votes through the hands. .
Functions of Panchayat v It will be the duty of every Gram Panchayat to arrange for the following things within the area of its authority as far as įts funds allow:
1. Public roads. Constructing public roads, repairing them maintaining them in good condition and arranging for their lighting cleaning.
2. Arrangement for water. To contrast public wells, tanks and wells for providing water for drinking, bathing, and washing clothes; to improve and to maintain them in good condition and to keep control over the means of obtaining drinking water. To maintain the water drains and places for drinking water in good condition and to look after them.
3. Medical Treatment and Health. To arrange for the care of pregnant women and their delivery to provide medical aid and to enforce medical measures to prevent infectious diseases and to maintain sanitary conditions.
4. Education. To open schools for the primary education of boys and girls and to maintain them.
5. Statistics. To maintain a register of vital statistics and marriages to acquire detailed information about such other items as animal population census, as are required by law.
6. Progress of agriculture and cottage industries. To assist in the progress of agriculture, business and cottage industries and to determine the place for collecting manure. To look after the Kaiser-e-Hind forests:
and class two the mountain ranges of Kumaun division. To provide public pastures, to maintain them and look after and arrange for them. Without infringing the 1938 U.P. Act to control these exhibitions, markets and fairs which are in their areas, and which do not include the exhibitions, markets and fairs, organised by the Government.
7. Control of buildings. To protect, to maintain in good condition and to look after these buildings placed under the protection of the Gram Panchayat and other such property and the building of the Gram Sabha. To lay down rules for the construction of new buildings and the transformation or extension of the existing buildings.
8. Sanitation and Security. To maintain security in the villages. To make proper arrangement for the disposal of the dead bodies of human beings, animals as well as other foul-smelling things. In the event of fire, to help in putting out fire and saving the lives and property of the people.
9. Administration. To prevent the placing, constructing or throwing of any improper object on public roads, public places and the property of the gram Sabha. To make arrangement for criminal and civil judicial procedure. To elect the Panchas for Panchayati Courts.
10. Other activities. Besides these activities the panchayat .can carry out the following activities for the benefit of the village; planning trees, improving the breed of animals, closing dirty ditches, organising volunteer groups, establishing cooperative societies, arranging for public radios, lectures and exhibitions etc. Panchayati Adalat (Rural Court),
Commonly there is one Panchayati Adalat for four or five representatives from each Gram Sabha. In very Panchayati adalat there are few representatives from each Gram Sabha. These representatives are elected by direct votes system. In this way there are twenty or twenty five panchas. One Sarpancha is elected from among these panchas. His period of office lasts three years. For every case, a committee of five is selected, of which the Sarpancha is the Chairman. Of these five panchas one pancha necessarily belongs to that place from which the case comes. The judgement on the case is decided by majority. The decisions of the panchayat court are final and no appeal can usually be made against them but in special cases one can appeal to the Munsif or the Hakim Pargana.
Control of the Government
According to the U.P. Panchayati Raj Act the State Government
have a right to intervene in and control the activities of the panchayat. Panchayat Inspector, Panchayat officers and Panchayat Director as well as other government officers attend 10 the panchayats on behalf of the state. The compliance of the Panchayat Inspector with regard to the budgets of the Gram Sabha, panchayat and court is essential. The Government can dissolve them, check their activities and stop any activity harmful to the public interest or likely to disturb peace. Ideal Panchayat
In every Tehsil of the State the U.P. Government has established an ideal panchayat. The members of this ideal panchayat are members of the District board, District development board and District Health Officer and Engineer, Commander of the P.R.D., Inspector of Schools and officials of the Insormation and Cooperative Department. The District panchayat officer is ils secretary. These panchayats make such arrangement for health, education, progress of agriculture etc., as may be imitated by other panchayats of the Tehils and from which these later oncs may draw inspiration and guidance. Similarities in ancient and modern Panchayats
The following similarities between ancient and modern panchayats become evident from a comparative study of them :
1. Election of members. Both in ancient and modern panchayats the members are elected.
2. Many similar duties. The duties for making arrangements for, education, security, health, public construction, peace, protection of pastures, public roads and water etc., are found equally in ancient and modern panchayats.
3. Many similar rights. In the same way the ancient and modern panchayats, also have parallel rights, e.g., right over the pastures of the village and other public lands, right to decide cases of civil and criminal conflict, the right to spend money in the activities of public welfare etc.
4. Similar objectives. The objectives of both the modern and the ancient panchayats are similar. Both have been desirous of achieving pcace, security, prosperity, happiness and self-dependence in the village.
5. Similar basis. The basis of modern panchayats is community feeling, which was also the basis of the ancient panchayats. Both depend upon the cooperation of the villagers. Difference between ancient and modern panchayatsThe following differences become evident in a comparative study of ancient and modern panchayats :
1. Intervention of the Government. The major difference between the ancient and modern panchayats is in regard to the extent of Government intervention. In ancient India the activity of the village panchayats was free of any Government intervention and instead, it were the panchayats which sometimes contradicted the order of the Government, At their request the King would make a reduction in the tax and would even completely forego it. In the modern village panchayat the Government officials do interfere. The panchayat inspector, panchayat officer and panchayat director are there to check the activities of the panchayats. Unless the panchayat inspector gives his consent the budget for the Gram Sabha, panchayati adalat or Gram Panchayat cannot be passed or finalised. The Government reserves the right of not only looking into the affairs of the panchayat but also the right to disband themà altogether. The panchayat officer can prevent any action which is liable to disrupt peace or to injure the interests of the public. In this way the village panchayats of ancient India were completely independent whereas the modern panchayats are controlled by the Government.
2. Right to collect State Revenue. The second difference between the ancient and the modern panchayat is with regard to the collection of State revenue. Whereas the village panchayat of ancient India collected the State revenue and passed it on to the king, the modern panchayat performs no such function.
3. New duties. With the progress of time the modern village panchayats of modern India have been entrusted with some new duties like making arrangements for public radios, meetings, speeches,
. exhibitions, cooperative societies, self dependent groups etc.
Q2. Critically examine the function of Village Panchayats in rural India.
How far they can be true agencies in establishment Village Republic in present day condition? Ans. Role of Panchayats in Rural Reconstruction
construction of rural lise in India depends upon the village The economic, social and political reconstruction of the he brought about only through the panchayat. Pt. Jawahar
v said that three factors are necessary for the solidarity immunity development projects; superior village panchayat,
Panchayats. The economic, social a village can be brought about only through the panchayat pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru rightly said that three factors are necessary for the solidarity of India: community development and good village cooperative societies . If these three are properly developed the foundation of our country will be so string and solid that it will face all kinds of political and economic catastrophes, fearless
even of the atom bomb. The role of panchayats in rural reconstruction is as follows:
1. Decentralization of administrative authority. The administrative power has been decentralised in India by the village panchayats and the village people obtained the rights of self-government. These panchayats have been given the rights to all kinds of self-government. These panchayats have been given the rights to all kinds of reconstruction in the village. The government officials are anxious to give them assistance and suggestions.
2. Social reconstruction. The gram panchayat cultivates in the village people the habit of working together, owning responsibility for the various activities of the village, understanding things of public interest and living in cooperation and charity. The panchayati court taught them to resolve misunderstanding through mutual negotiation. The panchayats did much towards increasing the communal feeling by decreasing the effect of urbanisation which had been manifested in the village youths in the form of a lack of responsibility, selfishness and impetuosity. The tendency to look upon the entire village as a family was born in the village people as a result of the communal contribution of labour in the construction of roads, lanes drains, tanks, schools, and panchayat houses. In this way the panchayat has a major role in removing the irresponsibility which had been the outcome of the disintegration of the joint family and the removal of caste panchayats. By arranging for radio sets and lectures etc. the panchayats created awakening in the villages. Thousands of primary schools were opened in the villages to spread education among the village children. In order to educate the older members of the community, adult education centres and night schools were opened. Literacy weeks celebrated and resolute efforts were made to remove illiteracy from the country.
3. Economic reconstruction. The economic condition of the villages of India is far from satisfactory. The responsibility for this reconstruction rests with the panchayats. Before the panchayat courts were instituted much of the hard earned income of the villagers was unnecessarily spent on litigation. Even the most trifling quarrels were: taken to the courts and it sometimes took months and even years before any decision was arrived at. The cause were always postponed while a major part of the villager’s carnings found its way into the pockets of the advocates, peons, and agents. Inspite of all this, justice was a premium because it was not particularly difficult to get false witnesses.
some villagers had even adopted bearing false witness as a lucrat profession. During the British rule the rural cottage industries of Tuna suffered a devastating blow. Some cottage industries breathed their last because they could not compete with the cheaper foreign goods on the one hand while on the other they did not get any assistance, Irom government. The industries of the village come to grief also as a result of urbanisation which resulted in the transportation of most rural commodities into the town and also a lack of demand for rural products. On account of this condition of the rural industries the artisans came to work in the urban factories. The village panchayats provided a cheaper means of getting justice & also encouraged the rural industries. Thirty three percent of the cases are now settled by mutual negotiation and understanding. Bearing false witness has become impossible because the matter now is solved within the precincts of the village. Justice has been rendered free and without delay. The village panchayat assists the cottage industries. It arranges for the sale of the produce by organising exhibitions, markets and fairs. It introduces new methods into the villages through radio and other modern innovations. As a result of the spread of education the people have come to know many new facts regarding production, sales etc. in cottage industries. Desires the cottage industries the village panchayat Raj has also encouraged agriculture. India is predominantly an agricultural country. The reconstruction of the villages of the country is dependent upon agriculture. As a result of illiteracy the methods of farming, tools etc., have remained antique and the yield per acre is very low. The panchayats have arranged for modern agricultural implements and cooperative societies for superior seeds, superior manure and sales etc. They have increased the knowledge of the specific aspects of agriculture in the people through radio, exhibitions and speeches and got financial assistance from the government. Besides these activities towards economic reconstruction, the village panchayats have participated in the work of economic uplift through many other activities like arranging for pastures for animals, plantation of forests for fire wood and wood for architectural purposes, and improving the breed of the cattle etc.
4. Political reconstruction. The panchayat created a social and national consciousness among the people of the villages in the modern individualistic and egoistic age. In the villages there are panchayat houses in which the people can
congregate and discuss over the progress
of the village. In thousands of villages Gandhi squares have been constructed so that the ideal of Gandhiji is always present and the patriotic feeling is awakened. At the same time the sense of the self dependence and cooperation is being developed in the villagers through the influence of the cooperative movement. A considerable length of roads, wells, schools etc. have been constructed with the help of contributed labour. The elections of the panchayats and the panchayat courts educate the villagers in the democratic method. As a member of the panchayat their ability of administration increases in arranging for the village. In spreading the democratic qualities of liberty, equality and fraternity the gram panchayats have played a major role.
Actually the Indian village panchayats are the centres of all kinds of reconstruction in the village. They provide the villages with opportunity of meeting at one place, sitting together and thinking as well as working cooperatively, solving their quarrels mutually, arranging for their own village and making efforts for their mutual progress. The responsibility of making the villages ideal rests almost entirely with the panchayats. It is through their efforts that poverty, illiteracy, narrow mindedness, disunity, frivolity and disorganization can be removed from the village. Only these can make villagers the ideal citizens of free India. Only these can give material shape to the dreams of Swarajya, and Ram Rajya of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation.
Suggestions for Improvement
The panchayats are making considerable progress in the direction of rural development but this progress cannot be said to be entirely satisfactory. It is true that the villages of India are in such a backward state that much time must lapse before they can be developed democratically, but nevertheless some suggestions may be given in this respect. The gram panchayat can mould the life of the rural community into the right channels by removing its defects and fulfilling the necds of the modern changing life. For this there is need for some change in the management and rights etc., of the panchayats. In this regard some suggestions follow :
1. Education of panchayat in administrative function. In the village education is not very wide spread. Many of the panchas elected by the villagers are only nominally literate. Most of them are completely ignorant of administration and justice. More often the revered elders are elected who have not the least idea of modern changes, democratic Thinking and scientific researches, it is true that the officials of the
Government can assist them in this respect but then it no longer remains the administration of the panchas but rather becomes the administration of government employees, annihilating in the process the very ideal of panchayat. Thus there is every need for educating the panchas in respects of administration, of doing justice, modern scientific researches and democratic ways of thinking, etc. After being elected they should be educated in the training centres and their knowledge increased through the media of national and international exhibitions. They should be brought into contact with the leaders of the nation in order to remove and dispel their dogmatism. It is a matter of satisfaction to know that the state government are working in this direction. Some time back many panchas came from Rajasthan to see the international agriculture fair in Delhi and gained inspiration by meeting the Prime Minister. Prior to this a trainload of villagers had travelled around the country. Much work is still needed in this direction.
2. Decrease in the intervention of the government. Besides educating the panchas the interference of government officials in the activities of the panchayats should also be decreased in order to attain a state in which the panchayats should also be decreased in order to attain a state in which the panchayats should be given full rights in matters of the village. The government officials some times intervene unnecessarily in the activities of the panchayat. This not only hinders the work of the panchayat but also detracts from the respect of the panchas and deprives them of their enthusiasm for the work, It is usually seen that the panchayat officer and panchayat inspector is given the most respected place when he adorns the meeting, while even the sarpanch occupies a position of comparatively lower status. This is very improper. The government official, no matter what his rank, is always a paid and hired servant of the public. He has the freedom of making use of all rights in serving the public but he will always be given a position lower than the representatives of the people in the government of the people and even more so when this representative is an honorary leader. The government officials should try to increase the respect of The panchas in the eyes of the villagers but this can happen only when There is. adequate education spread among them and they understand
Control over formation of political parties. Democracy is the government of the people but their is just that much more opportunity
for party-politics. As in the state and central elections the elections of the panchayats are also infested with the formation of parties on the basis of caste, class and other mean interests, and even after the election the activities of the panchayats are interrupted by this party-politics. This defect is found not only in respect of panchayats but in all kinds of election in the country. There is need for a strong revolution to root out this evil. Without this revolution the foundations of democracy can never be strengthened in India.
4. Increase in the rights of the panchayats. The rights of the panchayats should be increased for rural reconstruction. The panchayats should be given the right to demand exemption from payment of taxes in the event of any famine or disaster in agriculture. Ashok Mehta Committee on Panchayati Raj Institutions
With a view to reviewing the functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions in the country and suggesting necessary structural change in these institutions to make them an effective instrument of rural development, a committee was set up in 1977 under the chairmanship of Shri Ashok Mehta. This Committee has suggested certain changes in the structure of Panchayati Raj institutions. The recommendations of the Committee are under the consideration of the Government. I
Q. 3. Trace the factors of development of the Village Community. Ans. Development of Village Community
As man acquired skill, and knowledge in agriculture he became proficient in procuring all his needs from the same tract of land which eliminated the necessity of ceaseless wandering. However, fertile land was not available everywhere with the result that people settled permanently when they came across some fertile area and became engaged in farming. Thus when some families live as neighbours in the same area, shared in each others joys and sorrows and joined hands in the struggle against the physical elements, a community feeling originated in them and this marked the foundation of village communities. Naturally an economic organisation would have developed where the people lived together in the rural community. Some laws about social relations, conduct and mode of living came into being which, after being habitually obeyed by the people became traditional dogmas. A village community can, therefore, be defined as a group of persons permanently residing in a definite geographical area and whose members have developed community consciousness and cultural, social an economic relations which distinguish them from other communities.
Development of village community is not caused by any one factor. Various factors like topographic, economic and social, have been active
participants in this growth. A brief survey of the important factors in The development of village community will explain the growth of village communities.
1. Topographical Factors. Topographical factors in the development of village community include all those geographical factors which cause different families to migrate and settle in some particular locality. The more important of this kind of factors are land, water and climate.
(i) Land. The most important topographical factor with respect to permanent village community is land. In this both the fertility and the layout of land are important. It is difficult to carry on agriculture on land which is rocky and uneven. If the land is completely unfertile and sandy then the village cannot easily develop there. In the desert of Sahara and Arabia vegetation and habitation are equally scarce. On the other hand, one can observe villages at every two or three miles in the plains of the Ganges and Jamuna. The obvious reason for this difference is the plain surface and the fertility of the land in these plains. The village communities settled on fertile land are more developed because they are more prosperous. Hence the village communities in Punjab are more developed than those in some other parts of India. The villages show signs of prosperity by their larger size. The smaller rural communities in the mountainous terrain are not so well off in respect of the economic conditions. The layout of the land is such that, a part from the exigency of obtaining foodgrains, even, suitable area for residential buildings is at a premium. It is much easier to contrast house in the plains than in a mountainous terrain. It is equally difficult to live in houses in the deserts where there are frequent sand storms.
(ii) Water. The facility of water has much to do with the development of a village community at any particular locale. It is almost inconceivable that villages can come up where water is not available. Besides water required for the daily recurring needs of men, like drinking, bathing, washing etc., the villages must use it for irrigating the farms. As the rivers are a perennial source of water the village communities which exist on river-banks are particularly prosperous and well developed. In India the villages along the banks of the Ganges are in a much better condition than those which are seeking out a miserable
existence in the deserts and hills. If water is scarce, noi much use can be made of even the most fertile and cultivated land. In the desert., where water is not easily available the villages are scattered far and wide. In the Oasis where water is not easily available the villages are scattered far and wide. In the Oasis wherç water can be found some plan trees and grass are grown and the villages crop up. Greatest cultures of the world have developed along the banks of the mightiest rivers. But those rivers which are apt to flood their banks are not likely to encourage the settlement of any permanent village community anywhere within their vicinity. The banks of some rivers are a quagmire for miles around within which dense forests group. In Africa such areas are not at all conductive to the growth of a village community and most of the population is found in a barbaric state. There can be no vegetation in the absence of water and even animal husbandry is not possible in such areas. Even areas rich in minerals are no attraction for the people to form a community and settle permanently if there is no water.
(iii) Climate. The climate of place is also an important factor in the development of village communities. A temperate climate is the most favourable to the health of man as well as to agriculture. Thus the village communities of these areas are the most prosperous, cultured and developed. Man cannot lead a natural and proper life in areas of extreme climate. Hence village communities inhabiting the Equator and the Polar region are bound to exhibit extremely undeveloped and barbaric conditions. In warm climate, people become supine and lazy. In India this is another operative factor which has been the cause of the low-living standard in the village communities. The village communities of Europe are in a far better condition than their counterparts in India. The progress which science has made has to a great extent, counteracted the effect of climate upon urban life. In
London, people can move about in their homes in single shirt even in extremely cold weather because the houses can be kept warm through scientific devices. But the villages of Europe are, even in this era, exposed to the vagaries of the climate against which man cannot rebel nor do anything. In this way, the growth of village communities is everywhere profoundly influenced by the climate.2. Economic Factors. The state of development of agriculture, economy and cottage industries is very much important among the economic factors which offer positive assistance in the development of Village communities.
(1) Condition of Agriculture. Even today the mainstay of the village communities is agriculture and thus their growth depends upon the state of agriculture. The phrase state of agriculture means the state of production by farming. If farming yields a fair amount of produce then the village communities will be prosperous and they will have more time to engage in cultural activities. II, on the other hand, the members of a village community have to exert themselves to the point of exhaustion in order to get just enough to keep body and soul together, their social condition degenerates along with their economic condition. In those countries of the scientific world where agricultural production has increased due to inventions and favourable natural conditions the village communities are in an advanced stage of development. The village communities of the United States of America are exemplary in this respect. In India, the village communities in states like Punjab are more developed due to greater production in agriculture than in any other part of the country. On the other hand, the village communities in hilly or unfertile areas are in a very poor, disintegrated and at times precarious condition.
(ii) Rural Economy. Besides agricultural production the village economy is another important economic factor, in the development of village communities. If greater production is to be achieved in agriculture then animals of good breed and proper implements like good ploughs, good seeds and good manure will have to be acquired by the farmer, for which he needs money. Secondly, besides greater agriculture production, there is also the need for adequate consumption. It is necessary that the farmers should have the facility of being able to raise loans in times of need. If the creditor is allowed to keep the farmer always under his thumb and there are no proper facilities for marketing, the farmer will always remain in poverty however much he may produce. For this reason it is necessary that in order to set the rural economy on right lines there should be co-operative societies for capital, good seed, ploughs and implements, manure and sale of the agricultural produce in markets. In India, institutions like co-operative banks, co-operative seed stores, co-operative ware-houses and community
projects have led to an improvement in the conditions of the agriculturists. In a village community, a prosperous and organised
economy is essential for the development of other occupations and Collagen
cottage industries. Moreover, there should be proper arrangements for
the purchase of raw materials and machines for the cottage industries and for selling the products of these industries.
(iii) Cottage Industries. Cottage industries are a very important economic factor in the development of the village community. In the village the cottage industries are concerned with the manufacture of hand spun cloth, ropes and baskets, toys, gur and molasses etc. While on the one hand, these cottage industries provide a means of livelihood to landless people they also offer means of utilization of the farmers and feminine labour in productive activities. In India the farmer is completely unoccupied for a very long period in the year. Besides this, the old and disabled people should also be able to utilize their time in some profitable occupations. They can quite easily spin cotton. This will not only improve their financial conditions but also lead to proper utilization of their time.
3. Social Factors. Social factors in the growth of village community include peace, security, co-operation, intelligence and labour etc.
(i) Peace. For the permanent and healthy development of a village community it is essential that there should be external and internal peace. In countries where there exists an atmosphere of perpetual unrest and dark clouds of war are always hovering on the horizon, the development of village communities is hampered.
(ii) Security. Peace is based on security, the permanent development of village communities being impossible in the absence of the latter. Security includes various kinds like security from disease, security of business, security of agriculture, security of property and security in the other activities of life. There cannot be any permanent development in areas where there is unceasing strife, looting and murder because the destructive forces will obviate all constructive plans. Actually, permanent village communities grow only in places which are not in anyway ruinous to life and property. Agriculturists and villagers also need security froni such natural catastrophes like famine, epidemic, excessive rain, floods etc. In this regard the government shoulders a very heavy responsibility.
(iii) Co-operation, Community development is difficult to achieve when there is no cooperation. There are many activities in a village which depend upon the collective cooperation of the whole community and cannot be entrusted to the responsibility of any one individual. Such activities are public health, security, peace and proper use of public property as well as other allied activities. In these the people of
The village co-operate and bring about a communal development of the people and no matter how favourable the geographic conditions, it is Difficult to achieve permanent development of the rural communities: without a proper co-operation of the whole community.
(iv) Intelligence and labour. The biggest single social factor Responsible for the development of a permanent village community is the labour of the people. Ultimately, the development of the village communities depends upon the intelligence and the labour of the villagers. Lacking this they cannot face natural exigencies of life and problems concerning agriculture etc. They cannot increase agricultural output nor profit by the scientific discoveries nor understand the theories of social welfare. The credit for the improved conditions of village communities must go to their efforts and intelligence. It is due to these two factors that the villages of the Western countries are prosperous and happy and it is the absence of these two factors which has left the Indian village in their backward state. A permanent rural community can develop only when all these topographical, economic and social factors are found to co-exist and are readily available. Each of these three factors make important contribution to this end.
4. Ecological Factors. Ecology has a significant effect upon the life of man. Steiner writes that the importance of ecology is evident in the organisation and development of communities. The social order of any community is affected by the structure of the land surface, means of transportation, kinds of industries and the entire economic order.. These factors also determine the limit of its development. The way of living of different people differs from village to village according to the variation in ecological factors. The following are the more important ecological elements influencing village community. . (i) Population. The life in a village is considerably influenced by its population. When population increases the villages are denoted by the term town while a further increase leads to the same unit being called a city because the increase in population also means the construction or establishment of markets, increase in the number of shops, where new commodities are available the opening of school and colleges, increase in the number of those belonging to the middle class and
the arrangement of police and other security measures. All these are the arrangement of police and other security measures. All these are nothing but the external characteristics of a town. Even the type,
of the different elements of the population influence the life of people. The cultural and social life of a village which is inhabited by
the people of the Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities differ from the social and culture life of a village in which the people belong to the same community. In India the difference in the social life in village inhabited by Hindus and those inhabited by Muslims can be observed. The life in the tribal villages is of an entirely different type. The mutual relation between different groups of the population also influences the life of the villages. In a village the general social relations are also considerably influenced by the relations of the landlords and agriculturists, Hindus and Muslims, the rich and the poor. her you (ii) Occupation. The occupation of the village people also affects the rural life of the village. The social and economic life in a village where persons are predominantly agriculturists differs from the social and economic life of a village inhabited by weavers. Some difference between their economic activities and mobility is obvious.(iii) Distance from the town. The village community is also influenced considerably by the factor of its distance from the towns. The villages which are at a great distance from the town are unable to obtain such commodities from the town as cosmetics, new clothes, fashionable objects etc. The social life of such people is based on ancient dogmas. Their economic life is more static. Their social life is more organized and they attach much importance to religion in India. There is a marked difference between the life of the people who live in dense forests and high mountains, and that of people living within a stone’s throw of big cities like Calcutta and Bombay on the plains. The towns exert a lot of influence upon the villages which form their hinterland because the business of the village depends upon the town and the villagers come into greater contact with the town people. In such villages the social, economic and moral life of the people is influenced to a great extent by the towns. Many of the people living in villages near such industrial cities as Calculia, Bombay, Kanpur etc., migrate to these cities and enlist as labourers and arc, in the process, compelled to Leave their families in the village. In the materialistic and ambivalent atmosphere of the cities they suffer much moral degeneration and its collect is communicated by them to other persons in the villages. On the other hand, their economic condition improves because they can get work in the town and it is through them that many occupations come into being. Milk, vegetables, fruit, ghee food grains etc., are transported from the village and sold at a good price in the towns.
People living in a village in the vicinity of a town are more intelligent, clever, business-minded, prosperous and progressive. Their social life is more disintegrated. Egoistic, rationalistic, materialistic and such other tendencies as are abundant in the town, grow in them.
(iv) Social Organisation. The fourth important factor which. influences the village community is social organisation. In India villages where social organisation is based upon the caste system are easily – distinguishable from the villages inhabited by tribes whose social organisation is based on the joint family system. In organised villages the occupation, social status, economic condition and standard of living are determined by the caste. Often the untouchables live live segregated from the village, their entry into the village is controlled by numerous taboos and social restrictions. Dormitories are a special feature of the tribal villages based on joint family system. In these people there is a more intense community feeling. The head of the biggest joint family is the ruler of the village.
(Ý) Geographical location. Besides the above mention elements, the geographical location of a village also affects its lise to a considerable extent. In the villages situated in forests, mountains, plains, deserts, or in the polar regions there is apparently a marked difference in respect of their social, economic, cultural and political life, and in such other aspects as dietary habits, occupations, clothing, living etc. Among them the villages in the plains are more prosperous and organised, whereas the life of the people living in the mountains is generally rigorous, poor and superstitious.
In fact, the ecological elements are not identical in all villages. Thus, the above-mentioned ecological elements affecting village community present only general laws which are modified by particular conditions.