Governance and Panchayati Raj Institutions

Topics: Panchayati raj, Democracy, Sociology Pages: 15 (3818 words) Published: January 8, 2013
Rural Development Governance: Are Panchayati Raj Institutions designed Deliver? A Case Study of PRIS post 73rd amendment In Andhraprdesh Prof.Ravindra Shastri1 Mr.H. Vageeshan2 The paper briefly discusses the status of Panchayats right from the beginning of Indian republic and tries to bring out the bias towards centralization in the constitution. Later goes in to illustrate the case of Andhraprdesh in the pre and post Seventy Third Constitution Amendment. It deals with the process of de politicization of development in the state for the past two decades. Then delves in to the coincidence of faster liberalization agenda and deficient decentralization process. It tries to touch up on the contradiction between the agend of economic liberalization and decentralized democratic debate. Further paper sheds some light on disconnect between the political awareness and democratic consciousness. It concludes by high lighting the potential of democratic

decentralization to unleash democratic transformative agenda if properly nurtured.

The Road for development the early debates
After a journey of more than six decades rural development is still an important issue for India which has equal importance with national defense. It is an all encompassing concept for over all well being of majority of India. Rural reconstruction was priority for India since the dawn of independence. The path to rural Development is very much

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Professor head of the department Political science ,Osmania University Political Science Lecturer in political science In NALSAR university of law and a reaserch cscholor nthe department of Political science Osmania University

contested. The debate around the road to social revolution was taken up in the congress party as well as in the he Constituent Assembly Debates3.Decentralization for social and economic transformation was not a choice of the makers of the constitution. A consensus was built around It was concluded at that time that centralized structures for social development and national unity. The idea of Village as a unit of decentralized democracy4 was opposed. The Panchayats were deemed to be parochial and maintainers of status quo of rigid social hierarchy and cannot be vehicles of modernization. Individual was seen as a unit of governance. The liberals argued that this is essential to get India out of medievalism based on birth, religion, custom, and community and reconstruct her social structure on modern foundation of law, individual merit and secular education5.

Dr.B.R.Ambekar was in consonance with this liberal democratic argument. And empathically rejected decentralization .He was of the opinion that sprit of Indian constitution and realty of India are juxtaposing as Indian society is basically

undemocratic and seed drilling of constitutional morality among the people is quite essential6 .Thus Indian constitution became a blend of Anglo American model .Constituent Assembly adopted a democratic, centralized, constitution which the members believed will be a vehicle of social revolution which was an inherent part of struggle for political independence from colonial yoke.

The passionately debated issue of Gram swarajya (village republic) was given a short shift. The Constituent The assembly accepted village Panchayats to be placed in chapter of Directive Principles of State Policy. The ideal of reformed village life was inferred as a pivotal for modernization of Indian society. To achieve ideal of egalitarian society and to destroy the social institutions based on privileges or on hereditary inequality centralized planning rout was taken. Instead of a broad based pyramid structure an inverted pyramid 3

Austin Granville : The Indain Constitution : A Corner stone of a Nation : Chapter 2 Social Revolution “ 4 Agarwal S. N.: Gandhian Constitution for Free India 5 Austin Granville :Op cit 6 Sharma .B.D.; The little lights in Ttiny Mud Pots Pno.27

“Which Road to


References: Agarwal S. N.: Gandhian Constitution for Free India, Kitabistan publications Ahmadabad 1946 Anil Kumar .V : Economic Reforms and Political Decentralization ISEC Bangalore 2008 Austin Granville : The Indain Constitution : A Corner stone of a Nation : Chapter 2 “Which Road to Social Revolution “ Oxford University Press 1976 Douglas Ensminger: Rural India in Transition, All India Panchayati Raj Parishad New Delhi 1972 Mathew George(ed) Status of Panchyathi Raj in States of India, New Delhi, Concept publishing company (1995): Sharma .B.D.; The little lights in Tiny Mud Pots , Sahyog Pustak Kuteer New Delhi 1998
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