Social Organisation-

  • They are bound together by strong, caste feelings and settle disputes at meetings. If the disputants do not agree to abide by the decisions of the caste council, they are referred to the religious teacher and is enforced on pain of loss-of-caste.

    Each kuri, hamlet or a tanda (caravan) has a chief or a leader with the designation of Naik ( a Telugu word meaning lord or master.) The office of the Naik was partly hereditory and choice also depended on the ability. The Naik had authority to decide all disputes in the community and the only appeal from; led to the representative of Bhángi and Jhángi Naiks families at Narsi and Poona and to Bhurtia Naiks successor in the Telugu country. The Naik received two shares if participated in robbery or crime and fees on remarriage of a widow, out side her family and on the discovery of a witch.

  • The Banjara had a particular breed of dogs and with which they were accustomed to hunt wild pigs, on foot carrying spears, when the pig was killed the head was cut and presented to the Naik or Head man, and if a man was injured or gored by the pig in the hunt, the Naik kept and fed the man without charge until he recovered. In the police report, Dr. Shorts has stated that their social system is unique and they are exclusively guided by their own laws and customs, each community is governed by a priest, who exacts receives implicit obedience and under the cloak of religion and super natural agency the undisputed power of life and death over them. They maintain close secrecy regarding their customs and some forfeit life than divulge them. They are punished for breaches of caste rules by rebuke, fine and loss-of-caste. The Naik acted as an arbitrator in the caste disputes. He also used to direct the movements of caravan while travelling. If the old family has no suitable representative for being elected a Naik, a fresh man of some good and rich family is choosen. On election he is presented with a turban and the clothes, as a token of allegiance. At every council meeting the Naik is the president with ten or twelve members who must be adult males, witnesses come in regular order and give their regular witness one after another. The council never adjourns, but rises only after giving a decision even if it is at the sacrifice of their regular work. They send their children to schools.

  • Nasik :(Maharashtra)Caste disputes were settled by a meeting of resepctive members under the presidentship of the chief member of Sanap Raghuji Chandrarao's family. If the accused is found guilty and is not able to pay the fine, he is made to stand before the caste meeting and crave pardon with his sandles on his head.