The Gaon Buras:
The Assam Cabinet announced that Gaon Buras, village-level functionaries of the district administration, will be called ‘Gaon Pradhans’.
- The government has reasoned that a number of young men (and women) become Gaon Buras, and thus, the word ‘Bura’ (meaning old in Assamese) is no longer appropriate.
- Gaon Buras are the village headmen.
- They are the eyes, nose, ear of the district administration at the village level.
- There are about 6,000 Gaon Buras in Assam. Women ‘Gaon Buras’ are not very common and they take over, if their husbands die.
- It belongs to the colonial era, when the British appointed the oldest person in the village as the head, who would oversee matters relating to land and revenue in a particular area.
- Post-independence, the government continued with the institution and made the Gaon Bura a formal part of the Assam Revenue and Disaster Management department, increasing his responsibilities, and eventually introducing a small honorarium for the role.
- In Arunachal Pradesh, too, the Gaon Buras (and Buris) are the most important village-level functionaries.