273.6 Politics of inclusion and local governance in India

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 12:00 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Distributed Paper
Sadhu AHLAWAT , Department of Sociology, Department of Sociology, Maharishi Dayanand University , Rohtak , India , Rohtak, India
Panchayati Raj Institutions are entrusted self-governance at the village level in India.  It provides an ideal forum for decentralised planning and implementation for development work in accordance with people's needs and aspirations at the grass root level. With this assumption the government of India made 73rd Constitutional Amendment in December, 1992. It was a landmark event in which over a million elected representatives in India made efforts in planning, monitoring and implementing the development programmes through village councils known as gram sabhas, thus making India as the world's largest functioning democracy.

The main focus of the present paper is to address the question of empowerment of scheduled castes and women. In this context examined the extent to which the new provisions have enabled the hitherto excluded underprivileged groups or categories such as SCs and women, to be included in the rural power structure. To what extent and in what way they have been empowered? And if not, what are the socio-economic factors leading to their exclusion? What is the response of the dominant communities to the inclusion and participation of excluded groups? Lastly, we propose to examine and explain the impact of these changes on the social structure and ethos of the rural society at various levels. These questions have been explored during the second panchayat elections (1999-2003) and also in 2011 during the forth panchayat election Haryana. The process of social inclusion was in its initial stages during the first phase of study so an attempt was made, after a decade in order to examine the changes in the power relations at the grass root level (rural settings) of an Indian state.