Kazi

Introduction to Kazi

Kazi, also called Kaji, is a historical administrative designation in Nepal. Kazi is derived from the Sanskrit word “to function.” In Nepali, it refers to a person who performs an important function.

The Kazi had broad categories of Responsibilities and Duties either assigned or given the Authority to do. It was both a Military and Administrative Position. Therefore, they had to maintain Law and Order, Collect Taxes and guarantee smooth functioning of the State.

During the reign of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the title of Kazi was given to select individuals based on public opinion. He was chosen based on the merit of the individual, and the public’s trust in them. The Kazi was also responsible for assisting the king in the central administration.

Throughout Nepal’s history, several individuals held this position with much power and glory besides them. Damodar Pandey, Tribhuwan Khawas, Narsingh Gurung, and Kirtiman Singh Basnet are a few well-known Kazis.They were prevalent in Both the Kingdom of Gorkha as well as Unified Nepal and its Future.

Functions of Kaji

Assisting the King

The Kaji was the King’s closest and most trusted of advisors in the Nepalese administration. Kaji acted as the chief counselor to the King and provided valuable advice on administrative, political, and military matters.

They also acted as a mediator between the King and other officials, including ministers, generals, and bureaucrats. Kaji was in charge of carrying out the King’s directives and supervising the administration of justice.

Collecting Taxes

The Kaji was also in charge of keeping revenue records and tax collection. The Tax would be imposed according to the Social and Economic Standing of a Citizen.

They were also in charge of allocating the tax money to the army, the bureaucracy, and other authorities.

Maintaining Law and Order

Kaji had the authority to arrest people anybody who broke the law. They could arrest individuals involved in murder, robbery, and theft.

Kaji also had the power to punish criminals which mostly depended on the nature of the crime.

Managing diplomacy

Kaji could also oversee Diplomacy with neighboring countries or Hill States of Nepal. Kaji could be involved in Foreign Affairs of countries such as India and China.

On behalf of the King, Kaji was able to negotiate trade deals, treaties, and other diplomatic issues.

Conclusion

Kazi was the Backbone of the Nepali Administration and Governance until the introduction of Mukhtiyar. The Major Duties of Kazi are as follows: Administration with Chautarias, Preservation of Good Relations, Handling fundamental elements of Administration, etc.

Citation

Pokhrel, A. (2023). Kazi – Itihasaa. Encyclopedia of Nepali History. https://itihasaa.com/gorkha/kazi/