ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Secularism and Communalism-A Comment

November 1, 1969 whom the entire community nominates over and over again as the people possessing the most influence"8 But what ought we to assume when analysing village communities with population figures only in the hundreds? How many influential can be considered appropriate in such cases? And need we assume, as does Ehrlich, that the "entire community" will always be agreed on 10, 15, or whatever the number decided upon? Rather than taking this for granted, I would suggest that one needs to raise the question of what percentage of the community population ought to be in agreement about who the influential are. Obviously in some communities there may be widespread agreement on at least a few influential; in other communities, however, where perhaps both political resources as well as leadership may be more dispersed, there may be less unaninrty, and a much wider spread of individual choices. In order to accurately assess the collective nature of these influentials one needs to be clear about the consequences of the procedure used to select them. It is important to recognise that the number of nominations decided upon for one community may not be appropriate for use in another; and, as we have attempted to demonstrate, to leave this decision to some arbitrary whim can seriously affect the accuracy with which one is able to describe a community elite.

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