In the 1950s, when Indian Sociology stepped into the terrain of village studies, Brij Raj Chauhan – the founder Professor of Sociology in Rajasthan – initiated research in rural Rajasthan. Located close to the capital of the princely state of Mewar and locally governed by Rajput chiefs appointed by the Maharana, the village Ranawaton-ki-Sadri was chosen by B.R. Chauhan for doing the ethnography of a small community using an emerging paradigm for such studies.
Indian Village Revisited is a posthumous publication based on B.R. Chauhan’s revisit to Ranawaton-ki-Sadri in Udaipur district. The book tries to locate the key differences in the village between 1950s and the first decade of the 21st century. Having studied the same village at two points of time, the author had the advantage of deciphering change. As a field anthropologist, he insisted on observation and informal interviews. Enormous secondary data relative to the village and the region was also collected to locate the microcosmic changes occurring in the village as a consequence of urbanization and modernization, democratic decentralization, and the emerging party politics.
Unfortunately, Professor Chauhan passed away soon after the completion of this study. This volume has been edited by one of B.R. Chauhan’s students, Yogesh Atal, who has also contributed an essay in his honour. As a tribute to the teacher, and as the first such venture of restudying the village community, this publication is of special significance. The book is written in a descriptive style, as the ethnography of a changing village.