View Full Version : panchayam/panchayat: yes or no?

12-23-2005, 07:11 PM
should this council derived from an ancient judicial system be abolished or not?

The Panchayat (पंचायत in Devanagiri) is an Indian political system that groups five villages in a quincunx (four peripheral villages around a central one were laid out as the '5' side of a die). Each had appointed tasks and responsibilities, such as cart-making or basket-weaving. The central village, usually the largest of the Panchayat, traditionally handled food storage and meetings places for the officials, as well as their residences

in recent years, one cannot help but hear more than hundred stories of how the panchayam system in south asia has abused its power and made th elife of the people it was made to protect unbearable.

in some cases it has been the reason for many deaths and rapes and public humiliations? (see pakistani panchayat)...

if it is so riddled with corruption and power hungry men...why should this system be maintained?

why not replace it by real qualified magistrates who can be punished and are answerable to the law?

(I guess shy akka might be aware of this....there was a show hosted by "lakshmi" the actress about women affected by this panchayat system.)

are there women in those village councils??? if not why not??


12-23-2005, 07:16 PM
Lets be done with it....

We have a legal system (at least on paper!)... Why a para-legal messup? Benefits are too few and far in between.. Terrible things are way too many and happens waaaay too often.

Time to nail the box shut.

decisively v- :D

ps: Good food and lots of free time.. Makes people very creative.. :yes: :P :P Nice topic, Miss.. :b: :P

12-23-2005, 07:20 PM
that's what I thought too :ee:

let's get rid of all those old men in vetties sitting under the tree (wayyyyyyyyyyyy too many tamil movies :ee: )

honestly, I think they should take all their griveances to the police and to the normal legal channels.


12-23-2005, 07:23 PM
Ennale vazhakku .....

Nice topic ... wasnt panchayat systems given a face lift in early or late 80's ?

12-23-2005, 07:36 PM
that's what I thought too :ee:

Oh.. :00: :00: Then I should change my side and vote for Nay!! :P :P

Just kidding.. :D

There are some reasons why it still exists as a social institution (as opposed to governmental or legal institution)..

Primary reason.. Lack of education. People still consider going to court and police as a 'really bad thing'. In many cases, its considered worse than committing the crime itself. In fact if police comes to your home the whole village will talk about it.. :sm12: (happened to me.. the cops showed up for passport verification.. and the whole place was abuzz.. v-ya thEdi police ellaam avanga veetukku vanthaagannu.. :sm12: :P)..

People do not know how to use, or have enough trust in the system.

Secondly, more often than not, its because of the dependency in the villages. (usually its some financial dependency.. ) One or two really rich people (with meththai house and what not while the rest live in thatched roof huts..). Most of these people depend on the rich guy for tons of reasons (work in their gardens, or this and that). So arbitration comes rather naturally. (much like you and your bro fight.. and go to dad for arbitration.. :ee:)..

Thirdly.. again because of lack of education, and because they believe that educated people make better judgements and so on, people tend to listen to the most educated guy in the town.... I have personally seen my dad (because he was a school teacher !!) arbitrate little family quarrels (all during school time too.. and I was his student !!).. Dad could do nothing except advice. And people will listen and obey what he says.. 'Padichavanga, sonnaa sariyaathaan irukkum' is the logic..

lastly.. there are thousands of people, with literally hand to mouth (often starvin :(), in each village.. To go to legal council is expensive. There are no police stations. Trust me. (There is none in my home town. For that matter no firestation either.. but we have a telephone exchange, about 100 000 people in the sub-county or maa-nagaraatchi, 2 high schools, 4 movie theaters... and now, about 10 internet centers!).. The nearest police station common for about 400 000 people all around is about 8 miles away from my home.. and covers a radius of 15-20 miles. One sub-inspector, and two headconstables, and a bunch of others.. See the inadequate resources we have?

Eliminating it is not possible. :( :( Not yet, in any case.

But yeah.. should be done! Enough of it..


01-03-2006, 10:57 AM

(1) Its a hard target to abolish a system like panchayat in a country like India, because the maximum number of cities and town are less then villages in India.

(2) Eduthom Koavuthom nu ellam panna mudiyathu.

(3) They introduced something new called "சிறப்பு சிற்றுராட் சி" may be due to the revenue collection because of some more small scale industries like (Rice Mills..)

(4) I don't think villagers ever paid money to goverment in the name of tax, I may be wrong here.

(5) Vasan solluramari "One or two really rich people" is really not the case (atleast) in many of my native and nearby villages, there are bunch of people who are rich, they spend their own time in (Jallikattu and Rekalai Race..., may be they thought its too much for those guys to make their village powerful and simply make sure they had their fun in race... other local club entertainments..)

01-05-2006, 06:39 PM

Amazing how you have a town of 100 000 with 4 cinemas, and no police station. We only have one cinema and a tiny theatre, for I have no idea how many people.
DO they think that just because it's a small town there would be no crime?

Educated people don't make better judgement, they just know their rights far more clearly than others :ahha:


I do agree that it is near impossible to change such a well established system, in a country the size of India over night. However, as you say so often "change is constant", and frankly the system of Panchayat is far too open to abuse (even if not in yours and the surrounding villages) that it is a daily threat to the well being of many people, especially the more vulnerable ones, ie the poor, the disabled, the women, children, people of different castes (not part of the majority), etc...

I have no idea what this means: "சிறப்பு சிற்றுராட் சி" and it's purpose. :think:

well if those people aren't paying taxes because they revenues are far lower than the taxable incomes, then you cannot blame villagers. To have a decent Judiciary and police system is after all a right that should be offered to all Indian citizens regardless of the geography of their homes and their income.

If money is a problem, why not train volunteers, sort of like jury duty but with special training and also a volunteer civilian watch force. In England many ordinary people are encouraged to volunteer their time as "community volunteer police", they came in very handy during the july 7th terror crisis.

I do realise that everything is open to abuse but that doesn't mean that new things shouldn't be tried. Honestly I heard a rather shocking story from my mum (who saw it on an Indian Talk show), about how the whole village panchayat and the local police threatened and abused this young woman.
Even in Chandramukhi, there was a scene when the grandmother or mother had to ask for forgiveness from every bloke if a certain caste in a village to give her husband decent funeral rites!!
What kind of weird people head those so called council of elders :doh: :doh: