Gaon Buras in Assam are village-level functionaries of the district administration. The state government announced earlier this month that they would henceforth be called Gaon Pradhans. This move is attracting public criticism because it is viewed as an interference in the culture and religion in the state.
The institution of Gaon Bura dates back to the colonial era, when the British appointed the oldest person in the village as its head. Gaon Buras function is to oversee matters pertaining to land and revenue of a particular area. This system was also followed in Arunachal Pradesh.