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Village Organisation

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Chapter Summary

Ladakhi villagers are often strongly criticised by development workers for their lack of leadership and innovation. This chapter is attributed to their reluctance to acknowledge and grant power or authority to individuals with leadership qualities and their corresponding practices of selecting a headman by rotation. This, of course, means that the goba is often one of the least politically capable men in the village. He also has to call a village meeting to secure approval for any controversial new proposal, which is a further barrier to innovation and change. Order in the village is, therefore, the responsibility of the yulpa, acting in the village meeting. The village, as a community, is, therefore, made up of a web of crosscutting ties, characterised by tendencies towards hierarchy and status, which are counteracted by processes of uniformity and equality.

Keywords: goba; Ladakhi villagers; leadership; village meeting; yulpa



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