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descriptive Question-Answer 6

Politics of Development

The best way to inspire and involve the Indian youth in making India an upcoming economic power is for all political parties to engage themselves in politics of development. In your well-considered opinion what measures should be adopted to achieve the goal.

Needless to reiterate and reaffirm that India needs politics of development rather than the politics of polemics and populism. More than ever before, both people and political parties should see to it that they work for harmony and not for acrimony among people professing different faiths and practising varied ways of conduct and character in their day to day lives. No other concern and consideration should weigh on the perceptions and priorities of politicians, programmers and planners, except those that enhance developmental activities in all walks of life and ultimately help improve quality of life of those subsisting at the lowest levels of our socio-economic ladder. It is time now that political parties of every hue and hype focused their manifestos, programmes and policies on developmental vision and pragmatic approach and action to achieve the goals of social
justice. There is no denying that the most effective measure in this direction is the involvement of youth in developmental activities and a harmonious harnessing of their youthful energies and enthusiasm. For this to happen on the ground, we, as an upcoming nation, need to orient ourselves towards development, whether on farms or in factories, on technologies or service sectors, et al.

In order to make the best use of resources, both human and natural, all political parties must converge on developmental politics, because without development we cannot hope to engage our youth in constructive and creative activities, nor can we envisage a situation in future when poverty would be a thing of the past. It is true that barring a few examples, we do not have many icons among our political parties. The youth needs role models that only politicians can provide, because they wield power and affect people and their proclivities in large measure. Political parties should visualise a situation in future where our burgeoning youth should see an imprint of great leaders in every action.

It goes without saying that people’s ethos, values and character are crucial factors that determine whether the country will move forward on a progressive path or stagnate. The education system, along with many other channels and sources of knowledge, must concentrate on cultivating in every citizen a sense of eternal values, as well as instilling discipline among them. The media, too, as partner in national development, should celebrate the success of the people and become an invigorating instrument of inspiring the youth by highlighting the best and the most unique among those who shine like stars in the firmament of our political spectrum.

Development and Social Gaps

Some right thinking people feel that breakneck development in the name of liberalisation deepens social gaps. Express your views on the subject of development versus social disparities.

Globalisation/liberalisation has given an unprecedented push to development, as a result of which the tempo of life has acquired both success and stress, incentives and impatience, achievements and angst. Besides these candid contradictions, research and development the world over has opened new vistas of opportunities in service sectors, travel and tourism, infrastructure and industry. The spread of a culture of emergency and the accelerated pace of development has increased the volatility of economics which, in turn, has led to deepening social gaps, thereby increasing social tensions and instability. Nearer home, the rise of naxalism in different parts of the country is a strong pointer to the disparities that fast-paced development has brought in its trail.

For a developing country like India, it is not only the urban-rural divide and deepening social gaps that confront us, but we also have to cope with the sway of individualism over the binding force of a collectivist society. There is, and will be a decline in social values.

It is feared that the ever-widening gulf between the haves and have-nots, knowledge and ignorance is bound to increase if development without social equity is preferred and promoted. Inequality and the feeling of being left behind and outside can be a seed to social conflicts and confrontation between the privileged and the deprived. No doubt, without development the multi-faceted problems of poverty, ignorance, disease, deprivation etc. cannot be tackled. But it is equally true that the fruits of development should reach those who need them the most. 

State-funding of Elections

Some thinking people advocate State-funding of elections as one of the most effective measures to rid our electoral system of the scourge of money and muscle power. On the basis of your experience and knowledge, express your views on the proposition under deliberation.

Despite occasional hiccups if the Indian democracy has acquired the image of a vigorous and vibrant form of government, it has also earned the sobriquet of money and muscle-driven democracy. Quite true and troubling description of our electoral process in some cases, the right thinking people and parties are of the strong opinion that State-funding of elections would go a long way in minimising the insidious influence of both money and muscle power in our otherwise quite fair and free conduct of elections.
The extent to which money power has become the driving force in elections, it is not irrelevant and irreverent to say that most candidates with limited means at their disposal find themselves handicapped and victims of denial of level playing ground. This amounts to negation of equal opportunity to one and all, as far as elections are concerned. In order to overcome this obvious flaw and disadvantage, State-funding of elections is one way that should be fully explored and worked out.

No doubt, State-funding of elections is one of the most immediate and urgent electoral reforms that are required to cleanse the system that has become money-centric. While the idea is good, there are some imponderables that may crop us during the course of raising funds by the Central and State governments, the distribution of such funds, whether in cash or kind, among a plethora of parties, both national as well as regional. It is too simplistic to assume that State-funding of elections or more transparent flow of business money to political parties and politicians will eliminate the evil impact of money over elections. State-funding has also its limitations with multiple parties and candidates. Since the elections have become a very expensive affair, State-funding may not help much in arresting the rot that results from excessive flow of money expenditure that candidates tend to spend in the hope of making much more money or assets once they get elected. Even if the State-funding is only in kind, such as free supply of electoral/publicity material, diesel, petrol, vehicles etc., the expenses incurred by parties, friends, relatives of a candidate, may defeat the very intent and purpose of the proposition.

But still, with all these apprehensions lurking, there is no harm in hammering out a way so that State-funding of elections gets a start, with the hope that the initiative would prove a healthy step in the right direction.


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13.0 Learning Outcome

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Initiatives towards Constitutional Status to Local Governance

13.2.1 Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

13.2.2 Features of 74th Constitutional Amendment

13.2.3 Decentralised Planning in Context of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

13.4 Functioning of PRIs in Various States after 73rd Amendment

13.5 Functioning of Local Governance after 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment: Observations

13.6 Conclusion

13.7 Key Concepts

13.8 References and Further Reading

13.9 Activities


After studying this Unit you should be able to:

• Identify the background of revitalisation of local governance;

• Understand the features of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment;

• Discuss the initiatives after economic reforms; and

• Outlines the functioning of local governance in various states after the amendment.


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