Body: List out the features of Jajmani system. Explain how it changed after British came to India.
Conclusion: Mention that some features of Jajmani system are still prevalent in India even to this day.
Jajmani is a system in villages in which a family of a 'lower' caste serves a family belonging to an 'upper' caste and get material benefit in exchange.
Features of Jajmani system:
Patron and Client: The patron family is called 'Jajman' and the landless client is called 'kamin'.
Hereditary: The relationship between jajman and kamin is hereditary.
Permanent relationship: The relationship between jajaman and kamin can't be terminated easily.
Barter exchange: The payment for the service provided rarely involves cash.
5 Scope of work: The kamin can work in multiple villages and for multiple families.
The jajman acts like a father figure to the kamin.
Caste integration: People from different castes are close and perform social functions together.
Peace of mind: The kamin have employment security, get food and shelter.
Uninterrupted Service: The kamins are loyal and prompt. There is regular and uninterrupted service provided by kamin whenever jajman needs it.
Social inequality: There is caste hierarchy in work in this system.The society is divided by caste system.
Permanent bond: A client family is bound to serve a patron family for several generations, which the patron can use for exploitation. It may turn out to be like bonded labour.
This sytem was functional in bygone era, but today it is turning irrelevant. With the rise of social organisations, e.g. Arya Samaj, the lower caste people try to climb up the societal ladder. Transportation and communication development has also helped kamins to go to work in places far away from their home villages. In a modern democracy like India, such an exploitative system is getting setbacks.