Guest post by SHRISHTEE BAJPAI and ASHISH KOTHARI
Abstract: Indigenous and other local communities across India have had traditional systems of local governance as unwritten or sometimes written codes of conduct and decision making. Many such systems are still being followed in parallel with the panchayat systems, or getting re-invented by combining the modern forms of governance with the traditional ones, especially in the case of communities still practising traditional occupations and ways of life (forest-based, pastoral, fishing, and/or farming). There are, however, very few studies of these systems interacting with modern state institutions, their current or continuing relevance, and their role in achieving goals of justice, well-being, and ecological sustainability.
This study focuses on documenting the present status and relevance of the traditional governance system of Ladakhi villages, with a focus on the goba (or lambardar/nambardar). For this, the study also looked at the interface between the local/traditional and new/modern governance systems, viz. the goba with the panchayat, Ladakh Hill Council and UT Administration.
Keywords: traditional governance, goba, democracy, natural resources, indigenous knowledge, environmentContinue reading The Goba of Ladakh – Current Relevance of a Traditional Governance System: Shrishtee Bajpai and Ashish Kothari