Land ownership, caste hierarchy and patron-client relation have been regarded as the traditional building blocks of political-economic organization in rural India. However, many believe that gradual urbanization and expansion of market economy have eroded the influence of traditional power structure. This work is a contribution toward
identifying the nature of `local' rural institutions based on primary data collected by ourselves. We took 36 villages in the states of Maharashtra, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh - 12 in each of these states as the sites for our observation and data collection.
Image: © IRD - Olivier Dangles - François Nowicki / Une Autre Terre