Muqaddam the village headmen during the Sultanate period. The government dealt with the peasants through the Muqaddams. In some places Muqaddam was called Mukhiya. During the rule of Sher Shah, Muqaddams were held responsible for commission of offences in the villages and they had to produce offenders under penalty and were remunerated in cash, land grants and a share in the produce. In the days of sher shah and Islam Shah, muqaddams used to protect the limit of their own villages lest any thief or robber or enemy might injure a traveler and so be the means of their destruction and death. During this time the police system produced some order though the degree of inland security. Sher Shah was the first Muslim ruler of India to provide a level of security to life and property.

The muqaddams of the Sultanate changed in to the chaudhuris or Rai or khut of the Mughal period. Though the term seems to have been discarded in official records, it continued to be used in the countryside of certain provinces during the fist two decades of the twentieth century for addressing an important villager. This time the Chaudhuris became the headmen of the villages. [Nasrin Akhter]