Clac workshop announcement

First CLAC Experimental Workshop on Tamil Customary Law

This experimental workshop will bring together for the first time men who are actual practionners of Tamil customary law, known as panchayattars, to discuss over two days a number of issues on the contemporary practices of caste panchayats and village panchayats in Tamil Nadu. The Panchayattars, coming from 5 different castes (Pramalai Kallar, Ambalakarrar, Maravar, Goundar, Nadar) have been met either through personal fieldwork or during the EAP 314 pilot project. Though there will be ample space for open discussion, the workshop will be articulated around several sets of specific questions. The workshop will take place exclusively in Tamil.



Monday 14th of November


09h00 – Welcome address by Prof. Venkat Raghotham

(Head, Department of History, PU)

09h10 – Opening address by Prof. D. Sambandham

(Dean of Social Sciences and International Studies, PU)

09h20- Inaugural address by Justice David Annoussamy

10h00- Vote of Thanks by Dr. Zoe E. Headley

10h00 – Presentation of the structure and content of the workshop – Zoe Headley

10h05 – Session 1 A: Issues of locality and scope of jurisdiction of panchayat

10h30- Tea Break

10h45- Session 1 B: Issues of social composition of panchayat

12h15 Lunch break

13h30 Session 2 A: Types of offences and crimes

15h00 Tea break

15h30 Session 2 B: Issues of panchayat opening and closing procedures

17h30 End of Session


Tuesday 15th of November


9h00 – Opening address by Dr Eric Denis (Head of Social Sciences, IFP) and Professor A. Chellaperumal (Head of Anthropology, PU)

09h30- Session 3 A: Issues of proof and ordeals

10h30- Tea Break

10h45- Session 3 B: Issues of fines

12h15 Lunch break

13h30 Session 4 A: Physical punishment and social boycott

15h00 Tea break

15h30 Session 4 B: The panchayat, the judiciary and the press

17h30 End of Session

Organised by:

Dr. Zoe Headley (CNRS -CEIAS, France)

S.Ponnarasu (IFP -PondicherryUniversity)

With the help of:

S. Selvakumar (IFP-EAP)

V. Muthukumar (IFP-EAP)

P.Chandran (IFP-EAP)

K. Krishnasami (IFP-EAP)