Paragraph on Rural settlements in India!
Rural settlements refer to clusters of dwellings called ‘villages’ together with the surrounding land from which the inhabitants derive their sustenance.
Village has been defined in different ways by various authors.
According to Richthofen, “They (Villages) are groups of families, united by common descent, or at least having rites in common, who cleave to one another because of the necessity for cooperating in the cultivation of the same crops.” Blache has termed the village as the expression of a type of community larger than family or clan. To quote Bruhnes, “Village is a term applied to a geographical fact — the collection of houses and residents of the most numerous aggregations”.
Zalinskey pointed out that an individual village is not simply a collection of farms but a definite social entity. The village has a number of characteristics—territorial, ethnic, cultural—which defines it as an entity. M. de Clerck describes “a village is above all, a socio-psychological environment, where everybody knows everybody else, where everyone’s attitude is strictly controlled by the group; the cultural system defines the patterns of behaviour and the habits of the individuals coincide with village custom”.
In India, however, officially a village stands for the area demarcated as a mauza meaning “parcel of ground with definite boundaries for revenue purposes without clear and consistent regard for its population”.
A revenue village thus defined is a definite administrative unit and includes one or more clusters of dwellings together with the land territory under its possession. Each village has a distinctive place name which helps in distinguishing one village from the other. The hamlet, locally named as faliya, para, dhana, dhani etc. means a separate aggregate of houses within the village boundary, sometimes having name and always forming a part of the whole.