Friday, May 1, 2009
The cultural analysis of the Santal village administration would pave the way for a clear understanding of the economic and political stratification and their history and evolution in ancient India. This indeed, will give an idea about the contribution of Santals towards modern social system. The Santal society is characterized by democratic equality. Wealth matters little in the day-to-day life. The clans are regarded as equal to another clans and there is no class distinction either in status or occupation. The village is generally multi clans and each clan has sub number. The Santal villages are social and political entities with great cohesion and continuity. Each village has well established political organization with a secular headman called Majhi who is a man of great prestige. The village council controls the entire social system of the Santals. The village council or Atu Mone Hor is consisted of Majhi (village headman), Jog Majhi (Deputy village Headman), Paranik (Assistant to village Headman), Goddet (secretary to village Headman), Jog Paranik(deputy Paranik), Naeke (head village priest) and Kudam Naeke (Assitant to village priest). All the villagers are member of the village council. Village council is the institution that settles all the disputes of the villages. Santal community as a whole maintains certain uniform customs and laws with relation to marriage, divorce, birth etc. Majhi presides over the village council meetings when they are held to discuss the matters related to village. In event of disputes arises with different village, he acts as representative of village. Paranik is the principal assistant to Majhi and representative of Majhi. If Majhi dies without any male issues or brothers, then paranik will get the office. and Goddet. No public sacrifice, no festival, no ceremony such as marriage can be done without Majhi taking initiative. Jog Majhi serves as the supernatant of the youth of the village and he is one the link between younger generation to older generation and he generally passing all the secrets to younger ones. In the absent of Jog Majhi, the Jog Paranik officiates. Equally important is the religious headman called Naeke and his assistant Kudam Naeke.