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Asian Man (The) - An International Journal
Year : 2018, Volume : 12, Issue : 2
First page : ( 188) Last page : ( 195)
Print ISSN : 0974-6366. Online ISSN : 0975-6884.
Article DOI : 10.5958/0975-6884.2018.00032.4

Gavaki: A Study of Affected Families from Maharashtra, India

Shetty Jyoti Sunil1,*, Kurane Anjali Dinkar2

1Assistant Professor, Research Department, Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI), Pune, Maharashtra, India

2Professor, Department of Anthropology, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Maharashtra, India, anjane08@gmail.com

*Corresponding author Email id: shettyjyoti186@gmail.com

Online published on 23 January, 2019.


Customary law and traditional systems of resolving intra-community disputes were prevalent in rural India much before the arrival of the formal courts. Gavaki is similar to Khap or Jaat Panchayat. Though Gavaki is not totally based on caste and religion, social boycott is the common link among them. In Gavaki Panchayat, a few elderly people who are politically and financially strong come together and make decisions. Whoever disagrees the Gavaki, is boycotted. Gavaki Panchayat exists in the interior parts of Maharashtra. It has socially boycotted many families in different villages of Raigad (India Today dated 21st December 2014). This article is the outcome of a workshop which was organised for the families affected by Gavaki, and was attended by victims, their relatives, representatives from civil society organisations, media and Government representatives (from police department and local bodies). Data was collected from 47 affected families from Maharashtra State, objective was to understand the structure of Gavaki, the existence of Jaat Panchayat among different castes, nature and type of punishment by Gavaki on the victimised families and lastly the role of the State Government. Decades after independence, even today structural causes such as social marginalization, position in society, access to basic human rights, different vulnerabilities faced at different stages of the life cycle reduce human development. These setbacks can be overcome with the right policies and a stronger commitment to social cohesion. Identifying and targeting vulnerable groups, reducing inequality and addressing structural vulnerabilities are essential to yield sustainable human progress across generations.



Caste, Human rights, Inequality, Marginalization, Panchayat, Parallel system, Social cohesion, Village.


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