A New Chapter in Indian Democracy

Yes, I feel that a new chapter in Indian Democracy has got unfolded in recent times due to various initiatives of government, NGOs and civil society activist. The devolution of powers and financial resources to third tier of administration i.e., local level in both urban as well as rural areas is now boring fruit.. The strengthening of local bodies through various measures like social auditing by Gram Sabha, plan preparation by urban local bodies and monitoring of development by RWAs, Panchayats etc. is showing result. The NREGA has also empowered the rural people and panchayats are playing a crucial role in implementing the schemes at grassroots level. The active participation of people in campaign against corruption initiated and led by Anna Hazare is a good example of active role of civil society. In many slums of Mumbai NGOs are very active in creating a more democratic vies in people. The 50% reservation for women in Bihar has empowered the village women and the system of sub- reservation within reservation has ensured full benefits to the disadvantaged groups of the society. The Right to Services and Citizens charters granted by many states like Bihar, Uttarakhand, Delhi etc has not only made the officials accountable but also people more assured of services and this measure will surely curb the widespread corruption at grassroots level in bureaucracy.
On the whole, we can say that a new chapter in Indian Democracy has got unfolded and we hope that it will get sustained over time.

— Shashikant Nishant Sharma
SPA, Delhi
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