Social Scientist. v 7, no. 79 (Feb 1979) p. 57.

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Responses to Class and Caste Oppression in Jhanjavut District, i^-ig^s


AN important social qualification must be added to the earlier characterization af agrarian relations4n ThaiA-jaVUf. Tlie monopolistic ^ a^nd extensive landlordism that i^ typical of the region has beeo deoribed in tfae context pf the rvtirasi ^syst^mJ Th^ establishment of mirasi villages should ^Q linked to the prevalence of Brahrtiin landlordism in Tha^javur, which sponsored mtiltl^caste villages, to be joittitfty managed by the 'Brahmin community ift a village. Multi-caste-villages expressed an essential feature Af the village community ^in a system of telf-sustainnli^ rights and services between hereditary occupational groups* If a historical analyfei^-of the development of'this featume idl'to be ntt^de, the development of l^aid retotiotis ulider the feudal Gholas is o importancey ^yllte Ift a certaiel pcfiodg^ant f villages wearfe mald^ to groups of Brafawinsi, in order to itiaintaift them. The^futther development of rtn^ practice, for various rea^ons^ seems to have Md to a da&libetrate attempt by certain rulers to restrict land ownership ttenonly the'Brahmin caste in such brahmadeya vHlagies. This meant that exclusive land ownership rested with a particular cas'te Aa certain villages^ Any analysis of the lii^fc between land and e^ste itt Thtinjavur m^iat aaalyase the devctopment ofsncb vaAteges, i^vtfaich land was traditionally owned by Brahiaiins and which were ^haractervsed by the separation of

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