This work is based on the author’s Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘Social Organization And The Migration Patten of A Village Community’ which was accepted by the
University of Poona for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the year 1960. Some modifications are made regarding the presentation of the material but
otherwise there is no substantial change in the present work and the original dissertation.
It is a pleasure to express my grateful thanks to my guide Dr. (Mrs.) Irawati Karve, Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology of the
Deccan College, Poona 6, for her guidance and encouragement. Without her support and encouragement this work would not have been completed.
I am also very much thankful to Dr. Y.B. Damle for the interest he took in my work and for many stimulating discussions.
The preparation of this work was undertaken during the period of my association with the Department of Sociology, M.S. University of Baroda. I am very much
thankful to Prof. I. P. Desai, Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology, M.S., University of Baroda for giving all facilities for completing this work.
I would like to thank Dr. S.M. Katre, Dr. H.D. Sankalia, and other authorities of the Deccan College for publishing this work.
I would also like to thank Shri. J.S. Augustine for reading the final draft of this work and making many improvements.
The maps and diagrams for this work are prepared by my friend Shri V.K. Mulay. Similarly the typing of this draft was done very neatly and efficiently by Shri
Mohandas. I am thankful to both of them for their help.
The Village communities in India were ‘little republics having nearly everything they want within themselves, and almost independent of any foreign relations.
Except for marriage and occasional pilgrimages village people hardly had any relationship with the outside world. The Baluta system and the village panchayat
fostered the sense of stability and self-sufficiency in the village community. However, the atmosphere of stability and self-sufficiency was affected by the advent
of the British rule in India. Steps taken by the British rulers to bring about uniformity in the administration and the judicial system of the entire country, and the
introduction of the money economy introduced seeds of change in the traditional set-up of the village community. The impact of these forces was felt not only by
the village which were nearer to townships and within easy distance but even by the villages situated in the hilly regions. However the change brought about by
these forces was not of a radical nature. There were other powerful forces which had a greater potentiality of bringing about radical change in the relative
isolation and stability of the village community. These forces were, introduction of rapid means of communications like railways and automobiles,
industrialization, and urbanization. Railways connected remote territories with industrial townships and cities. As a result villages which were connected with
industrial and urban centres started changing more rapidly as compared with other villages which were not so connected. These forces affected the traditional
economy, introduced money and made its use more frequent and popular, introduced commercial farming, and induced urban migration. However the impact of
industrialization and urbanization was not felt by the villages which were at a considerable distance from industrial townships and cities, and they continues to
enjoy a sense of isolation, and self-sufficiency.
The village community in the eastern part of the Satara District of Maharashtra, is very much removed from direct contact with the cities and industrial
townships. The means of communication are also very poor. The important cities and industrial townships are considerably away from here. In spite of these
factors conducive to a sense of isolation and stability, villages in this area are showing greater urban migration and other signs of disintegration and the reasons
for this phenomenon are to be found in economic scarcity created by perpetual semi-famine conditions. This exploratory study is undertaken with a view to
investigating the impact of famine conditions on the social organization of a village community in this region.
Choice of the villages.—After a preliminary study of the caste composition of 21 villages situated in the eastern part of the Satara District, two villages, Divad
and Palsavade were selected for field work. Following considerations determined the choice of the villages: (a) of the two villages one should be a typical
multi-caste village, representative of the famine affected village community in this area and (b) the other village should be comparatively free from the influence
of famine and having a similar social background so as to allow comparison to assess the influence of famine. The village Divad represents a typical multi-caste
famine affected village, and Palsavade which is situated near Mhasvad Tank, represents a village least affected by water scarcity. Both these villages have a
common social background and they differ in regard to famine condition.
Methods of data collection.—The use of questionnaire method was the principal instrument of data collection. Questionnaires were filled by the author by
personal interview with the head of each household. Besides this method, use of informal interviews was also made in the collection of data. Appendix ‘B’ gives
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