ix] LOCAL AND MU'ICIPAL GOVERN.AEIIN2 281
sell tobacco, drugs, salt, flour, spices, oil, and other necessaries
of life. Sometimes a dancing girl is attached to the village;
always a barber, who is the agent for carrying marriage pro-
posals, besides his functions as barber and also surgeon.
Sometimes there is an astrologer and even a "witchfinder " '
A more important functionary is the accountant (patwdri in
Northern India, karnam in the South, kdrkun or kulkarni in the
West). He keeps the village accounts, showing the ownership
of holdings and the payments due to Government or to a land-
lord, maintains the village map, and is generally the scribe of the
community. Lastly comes the chaukddrr or village watchman,
whose functions in connexion with our police administration are
described in chapter xii. The village officials were formerly
remunerated by free holdings of land or by fees in kind.
The Indian village still plays a large part in the revenue Position of
administration; and the headman, the accountant, and the thevillage
chaukidar are practically Government functionaries who are adminis-
being more and more remunerated by fixed salaries, as it has tration of
been found difficult to keep the lands attached to their offices India.
from alienation. The position of the village headman is most
important in Madras, Bombay, and Burma. In the first Pro-
vince, besides being responsible for the collection of revenue
and its remittance to the taluk treasury, he can as village
magistrate try petty cases, and must maintain law and order in
his village, applying for assistance to higher authorities if
necessary, and reporting to them the occurrence of crimes and
the movement of criminal gangs, while as village Munsif he
acts as a petty civil court. In Bombay the police patel and the
revenue padel are sometimes separate officials, but more com-
monly the two posts are held by the same individual. The
police patel supervises the village police, and is bound to keep
the Magistrate of the District informed of all matters connected
with crime and police, and with the health and general condition
of the village. The lambardars of Northern India are more
exclusively revenue officials, but they too are bound to give
information of the occurrence of crime.
While the Hindus had thus for many ages a system of village The
self-government, neither they nor their Muhammadan con- govern-
querors succeeded in evolving a local administration such as towns in
that which grew up in Europe. Neither the customary rule ancient
Baden-Powell, Land Systems of British India, vol. i, bk. i, chap. 4.
This local economic organization does not however exist in Assam or
Burma, and in Bengal proper it is much less developed than in other parts
of India. See Report on the Census of India (1901), paragraphs 323-5,