Local Governance and Empowerment: An Analysis of Cross-Generational Impact of Democratic Decentralisation in Telangana, India

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:30
Location: Seminarsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Srinivas SAJJA, Birla Institute of Technology & Science Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, India
One of the most popular state reforms that have opened ‘spaces’ for a wider and deeper participation of citizens at the local level has been the decentralization process. In India, the 73rd constitutional amendment of 1992 is seen as an important landmark in enabling excluded communities to participate in the process of governance. In much of the late-developing world, one could see a process of exclusion of subordinate groups from exercising their rights and legitimate place in the power structure. This is achieved through means of social and economic conditions.

We should make a distinction between ‘formal’ inclusion of excluded communities and the ‘real’ empowering inclusion. Inclusion depends on several factors such as social discrimination, economic dependence, control over means of violence, access to information and nature of social movements to mobilize the excluded communities and groups.

This paper aims to look into patterns and determinants of empowerment and its cross-generational impact among the communities (women, dalits, tribals, and OBCs) who were excluded from local governance prior to constitutional amendment. Three case studies would be provided drawing upon studies done in Telangana state of India. Main points of reference in assessing cross-generational impact of civic participation in local governance will include looking into access to education, access to better livelihood opportunities, change in gender roles and social status of the excluded communities.