Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
the cosmologies of micro-governance
2004 Making Services Work for Poor People
critics point at the experience of ineffective functioning or lack of functioning of gram sabhas under the panchayat raj. The experience demon- strates that the institution of gram sabha has remained defunct under the panchayat system. The members of task force defend gram swaraj by arguing4 that under the panchayati raj system no major decisions directly affecting the lives of the people were taken by the gram sabhas, therefore
the attendance and participation in gram sabhas was low. In the new system, gram sabhas will take all the major decisions affecting the lives of people and therefore people will have stakes in the proceeding of gram sabha. In the panchayat system, the government decided the frequency of meetings, dates and agenda of gram sabhas, which was often far removed from the interests and life of common people en- suing in poor attendance. Gram swaraj will now ensure that gram sabha meetings are more regular (at least one meeting every month) with an agenda in which the people of the village have stakes. Responding to the issue of limited capacity of gram sabha a member of the task force posed a counter question. He argued that “the British gave the same argument while denying inde- pendence to India, similarly a lot of hue and cry was raised when panchayati raj was implemented”. According to him the argument of limited capacity to counter the introduction of gram swaraj is antithetical to democratic decentralisation
Elections are designed to increase mass support for the Party, and grassroots democracy is understood to be fully compatible with strong
state control.09 In this context, the self-government programme is best seen as an effort to rejuvenate village leadership by cleaning out in- competent, corrupt and high-handed cadres, all for the purpose of consolidating the current regime.