How does the census define a village community?

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The census of India considers those areas as rural where the population is below 5000 and the density of population less then 400 per square Kilometer. It further provides that in such areas at least 75% of the males of the working population are engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Generally speaking, a village is an aggregate of houses in a rural setting, smaller than a town and larger than a hamlet and without any urban body. In a village community an aggregate of people settle permanently in a definite geographical territory and develop a sense of community sentiment along with social economic and cultural relations which marks them off from other communities.

The noted sociologists M.N. Srinivas perceives the village community as “a body of people living in a restricted area, at some distance from other similar groups, with extremely poor roads between them, the majority of the people being engaged in agricultural activity, all closely dependent upon each other economically and otherwise, having a vast body of common experience, must have some sense of unity”.

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According to Victor Azarya “a rural community in the sense of type of collectivity, usually refers to (i) a group sharing a defined geographical area or physical space such as a village or hamlet and (ii) a sense of belonging and maintaining social ties and interactions which shape it into a distinctive social entity”.

From the above definitions, we may deduce that the rural village community is a small aggregate of families who reside in close physical contact within a definite locality. Share common interest and are mostly engaged in agrarian sectors.

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