Pandit of Kashmir - Sociopolitical Organization



Pandits consider themselves to be a community ( gaum ) or "brotherhood" ( baradari ). They are divided into two endogamous subcastes, Gor (priests) and Karkun (workers). Socioeconomic Standing and "noble" ancestry are important in the organization of social relations. For most goods and services Pandits are dependent upon Muslim artisan and service occupational groups. While these relations are governed by convention, the state too is increasingly involved in them as, for example, in the regulation of relations between landowners and tenants. Pandit society is fully integrated within the Political and law-and-order frameworks of the modern state. They do not, therefore, have any independent institutions of Political Organization or social control. As in any other society, however, public opinion and social pressures are important as instruments of social control. Public esteem ( yash ) is a matter of deep social concern among Pandits; it is indeed a major cultural value.


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