Governance

The Governance system among the ‘Indigenous Peoples’ of India is very unique and interesting. It is within the Family, Gotra/Toem(Title), Village, Areas, State and Country…..etc. Each individual Indigenous Person is included and valued in Indigenous Governance system, i.e. ‘No one is left behind’. In Tribal/ Indigenous Communities the Panchs/elders are selected (Not elected), by the community members, based on their behaviors, dealings, talks, openness, mind sets, commitments…etc. which is called as ‘Chail-Chalan’. Once these Panchs are selected then among them one MukhyaPanch is being selected, who is called ‘Sri Panch’ or ‘Mukhya’ and he would lead the governance of the clan, village, Gotra, the area or the State and the Country, that is carved by the community together with the panchs. Many of the social and practical functions, organizations, and dispute resolutions are performed by these village mukhyas/panchs/elders.For example among Oraons the ‘Tola, Padda, Khudi, Parhas, Raji, Desh …etc.’ terms are used to address their leaders oftheir Governance;among the Mundasthe leaders of the governance are addressed as ‘Manki-Munda-Manjhi’ and ‘Munda-Pahan-Mahto’; in Santhal they are known as Pargana, ToropPargana and so on. This form of governance is not only found between the ‘Oraon’,Mundaor Santhaltribes (Indigenous Communities), but exists in all other indigenous communities.

There is no concept like ‘Majority and Minority’, ‘Rich and Poor’, ‘Small and Big’ or ‘Influential and Non-influential’. The decisions are taken till the least individual gives his/her free consent. Therefore one could find the real democracy among the Tribal/Indigenous village or Community. Care and share is the fundamental aspect of this governance. Once the community takes a decision, every person abides by it even at the cost of his/her life. The Indigenous members make the plans, take decisions and execute it, which is effective and efficient because the whole community is the part of it. This type of governance is far superior to the present parliamentary form of governance system. The Indigenous community has inherited this governance system since time immemorial from their elders.

Unfortunately the Indian ‘Panchayati Raj’ and ‘electorate vote’ system not only ruined the Indigenous Governance systems but the value of democracy is lost. Therefore till date the elected leaders in the country are not recognized and valued by the Indigenous Peoples, because they do not respect and value the village panch/ mukhya or elders, rather work towards pleasing the party to which they belong.