Informal local governance institutions such as caste panchayats, street panchayats and customary village councils are often neglected in discussions about local government and are assumed to have lost their relevance after the introduction of panchayati raj institutions. The author takes a close look at these institutions in Karnataka and finds that, in particular, CVCs have not been marginalised by the formal elected bodies. On the contrary, they continue to play an active role. There are also strong interactions between the two sets of institutions, and CVCs have an influence on village politics and grama panchayats with positive as well as negative elements.
K. Ananthpur. Programme 2: Mobilising Public Action. Dynamics of Local Governance in Karnataka. Special feature on ‘Governance and Development in Karnataka’. Economic and Political Weekly (2007) 42 (8) 667-673.