Jajmani System Feature # 1. Hereditary:
Jajmani ties are hereditary; i.e. various families belonging to various castes keep on providing their specialist services to particular agriculturist families generation after generation.
The latter do not have the right to discontinue the services of the families of serving occupational castes.
If they are not satisfied with the quality of the service, or they notice slackness on the part of the service-providers, they are expected to bring this matter to the attention of the Council of the caste to which the erring family belongs.
The jajman-kamin relationship is hereditary in the sense that in case there is separation in the family, these rights are also divided like any other property of the family. According to N.S. Reddy, “Jajmani jobs are considered to be proprietary.
When a person has no son but only daughter, the rights are passed on to the son-in-law. If one has no daughter as well, it is passed on to the next nearest relative. Jajmani rights are equally distributed among the successors of the deceased jajman.”
Jajmani System Feature # 2. Durable or Permanent Relation:
The Jajmani relations are not like wage-relations which can be terminated after the transaction is over. They are durable. They continue over generations. They are exclusive. They are exclusive in the sense that one family will carry out its relations with only one particular family of the particular occupational caste.
For example, the farmer family is supposed to carry on such relations with only one blacksmith family, and this blacksmith should make tools only for their own farmer families.
The relations are durable in that the link may be inherited on both sides. A blacksmith serves the same farmer family that his father and grand-father served. It is not within the power of the Jajman to remove a particular Kamin or Praja. “It is not easy for an agriculturist to remove a family attached to his household and secure the services of another”.
Jajmani System Feature # 3. Goods Against Services (Barter exchange):
The relationship between Jajman and Kainin is not purely economic but is a human relationship. Accordingly Jajman takes full responsibility for the welfare of kamin and kamin serves Jajman with full dedication and devotion. Jajman not only provides kamin with food but also gives him clothing’s and residential accommodation. The amount of food grain given to kamin depends upon the nature of services rendered.
Oscar Lewis conducted a detailed study of the Jajmani system and collected some data regarding Jajmani payments:
Jajmani System Feature # 4. Peace and Satisfaction:
According to W.H. Wiser, peace and satisfaction or contentment is a significant feature of Jajmani system which it provides to the villagers. The kamins of a jajman feel a sense of security. They are not worried of finding employment.
This system provides relief to the jajmans also. They are assured of the services of the kamins. Thus both Jajman and Kamin get a sense of security and peaceful living in the village. The old age customs and traditions had made the adjustment between the two and nobody has to bother.
Jajmani System Feature # 5. Difference in Scope of Work:
Under jajmani system the range of work of different kamins is not uniform. There is no specific provision that certain kamin should work for one family or one village. A kamin may or can effectively cater to the needs of two or three villages depending upon his nature of work.
For example, a barber can serve in more than one village; who can spare time for serving extra jajmans, his services are not required by the jajmans everyday.
Another important factor is that demand and supply of a particular type of kamin in the region may also affect the differences in the scope of work. If the supply is greater, then the demand for a particular type of kamin, his scope of work is naturally going to be narrower.
Payments also fluctuate according to the available supply of skills and labour and the demand for them. Specialists are imported into a village where there need for them. Brahmins have been entitled to settle in places where previously there were no Brahmins.
Jajmani System Feature # 6. Ideology of Paternalism:
It is noticed that there are multiple bonds between the jajman and the kamin or we can say between the patron and client. The patron looks after all those families that work for him. He advances loans or gifts to them at the time of festivals and other similar occasions. He safeguards their interests. He saves them from exploitation at the hands of others. So another Important feature of jajmani system is that it is based on the ideology of paternalism.
Jajmani System Feature # 7. Integration of Castes:
Jajmani system leads to the integration of castes. Interconnectedness within different castes is reflected through the joint celebrations of festivals such as Hoh, Kumar Punima, observation of Raja Sankranti etc. on the part of various caste groups. Through these celebrations caste integration and solidarity is maintained and strengthened and social unity is ensured in the village.
Jajmani System Feature # 8. It is Functional:
Jajmani system is functional. It gives security to lower castes that they will never go hungry, For the upper castes. It ensures a regular and uninterrupted supply of services. Because of these relations, the village emerges as a unified body, where the patrons organize rituals and activities that symbolically affect the unity of the village.
For Instance, it is believed that some deities like Bhumia, Kshetrapal etc. guard the boundaries of the village.
The patrons regularly organize collective worship of these deities. The overall picture is that those who receive the largest number of services are the ones who are expected to care the most for the welfare of the village.
Jajmani System Feature # 9. It is Related to Ritual Matters:
Under the Jajmani system the servicing castes, the kamins perform the ritual and ceremonial duties at the jajman’s houses on occasions like birth, marriage and death. D.N. Majumdar (1958) has given the example of a Thakur family (Rajput caste) in a village in Lucknow district In U.P.; which is served by as many as ten castes for the life-cycle rites.
All people who help in the function receive gifts of food, money and clothes depending partly on custom, partly on jajman’s affluence and partly on the recipient’s entreaty.