An election in Matsura


By Shivam Vij for The Caravan, 1 August 2010

It’s early February in Matsura Gram Panchayat in Rajasthan’s Dholpur district. The Matsura Panchayat, a collection of 11 rural settlements, is holding a historic election. Its 2,700 voters are about to elect their sarpanch. Panchayat sarpanches, in a few states also called panchayat presidents, are the leaders of the smallest administrative units of the decentralised democracy. Continue reading “An election in Matsura”

Bhanwari Devi: A mighty heart

(First published in Tehelka, 13 October 2007.)

Jaipur/Bhateri: Kiran and Vinod have actually been married for a year and a half, today is their formal reception, making their marital status public. They hail from different parts of rural Rajasthan, and were studying in different colleges in Jaipur when they met. Vinod’s father is an agriculturist from the Mali caste. Kiran belongs to a Jat family, which owns four village schools. Therein lay the problem. Continue reading “Bhanwari Devi: A mighty heart”