Read this article to learn about the role and changing aspects of Jajmani system in India.
Role and Function of Jajmani System:
Analyzing the functions of Jajmani System, various sociologists have given the functions of Jajmani system after different case studies.
Edmund R. Leach (1960):
Jajmani system maintains and regulates the division of labour and economic inter-dependence of caste.
William H. Wiser (1967):
Jajmani system serves to maintain the Indian village as a self-sufficient community.
Harold Gould (1987):
Jajmani system distributes agricultural produce in exchange for menial and craft services. Gould has studied jajmani system in Sherupur village in Faizabad district In U.P. (1954-55). He also found different considerations which kamins get from the jajman like free food, free residence, free clothing, free food for animals, free timber, free dung, rent-free land and credit facilities etc.
Gould has also studied the formal rate at which jajmans paid lo kamins for the services rendered.
A Brahmin gets 15 kg of grain per family at the harvest time.
A Korl (weaver) gets 15 kg of grain + Rs. 20/- per month per jajman.
A Kumhar (potter)
A Nai (Barber) – They get 8 kg grains per family.
A Lohar (Blacksmith)
A Dhobi (washer man) gets 4 kg of grains per woman in the household during harvest time.
The Role-Relationship between Jajman-Kamin:
The role-relationship between them gives rise to various concessions to the kamins, including their protection by the jajmans during various exigencies of life. However, this system is not reciprocal in all villages.
Pauline Kolenda (1963) said the dominant castes swing the balance of power in their favour in such relationships in many villages in India.
Yogender Singh (1973) also believes that villages in India are changing today In respect of economic Institutions, power structure and inter-caste relationship.
Harold Gould said, basically the distinction between the landowning cultivating castes on the one hand, who dominates the social order and the landless craft and the menial castes on the other, who are subordinate to them.
David Pocock (1963) declares, if jajmani relations do not constitute a system, they constitute an organization. They are organised around one institution, the dominant caste of a given area. Jajman has to be paternalistic towards his kamins and fulfill their demands.
Changing Aspect of Jajmani System:
In the last sixty years the jajmani system has undergone many significant changes. In the village, not every caste participates in this system. In addition to the jajmani relation, there has always been contractual, wage labour type of ties between the providers of goods and services and their buyers.
With the rise of backward class movements in the recent past, certain caste that were a part of the jajmani system have withdrawn themselves from it.
Introduction of cash economy has also brought about changes, because payments in the jajmani system were always in kind rather than in cash. With the ever expanding commercial frontiers, new opportunities have come up in towns and cities, and many occupational castes have sought to take advantage of this situation. They move to participate in these opportunities after seeking withdrawal from the jajmani ties.
There are a number of factors responsible for the disintegration of jajmani system in India.
These factors are:
Due to the Impact of modernisation, the jajmani system is getting disintegrated. The influence of life style, modern education, western culture has become the barrier In jajmani system. Decline in Jajmani system can be attributed to changes in hereditary occupation. The rapid expansions of means of transport and communication have enable the people to receive improved services somewhere else.
Due to the impact of industrialisation and urbanisation, the economic condition of the people has been changed. So it comes in the way of jajmani system. Barter system of exchange is now almost extinct. Now payment in form of cash is made.
Broad changes in caste system also come in the way of jajmani system. Jajmani system which was once useful In Indian rural society has gradually seen reduced to exploitation of the lower castes. Jajmani system is interconnected with the caste system.
The caste system in India is on its way of disintegration. So the jajmani relations with other castes are In the process of being broken off. Another factor is that now-a-days the caste panchayats are dying out. They have lost their power and effectiveness. Various reform movements have also contributed to the decline of the jajmani system.