Daily News Analysis

Practice of Veli

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In a fishing village of Andhra Pradesh, the practice of social boycott among the Vaddi community has adverse social and economic consequences.

  • Veli is the practice of social boycott.
  • Those subjected to social ostracisation are not allowed to speak to other villagers and in some cases, compelled to abandon their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.
  • Many times, the veli is motivated by politics, caste, or economics.
  • An informal grama peddalu (village elders), also called a kula (caste) panchayat, of six or seven members nominated for a year by the community (they are never re-installed), takes a call on veli.

The age-old practice of veli has been followed to maintain social order within the community.

  • The grama peddalu may also enforce tappu (wrong), a monetary penalty against ‘wrongdoers’.
  • In a parallel government, they may impose both or just one, depending on how severe they feel the ‘wrongdoing’ is.
  • The pedda (elder) Vaddi heads this informal panchayat that decides on several matters that the community considers important socially and economically, including marriage and extra-marital affairs.

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