Democratic Decentralization and Gram Sabha

Priyavrat Thareja, Jai Shanker Tiwari


The concept of Democratic Decentralizations has become fashionable in modern economic and political restructuring and for fashioning new strategies for economic development. The term is not of recent origin. It has been much discussed debated by writers, social reformers, political philosophers, modern pluralists and liberal socialists. Democratic Decentralization has been described by various names in India such as ‘functional democracy ‘, ‘building from below,’ panchayati raj,’ etc. However, these do not reflect the spirit behind democratic decentralization. Much more importance has been assigned to democratic element in all of them then to its development aspect. The concept of democratic decentralization in the Indian context has mostly been associated with the Gandhian philosophy of non –violent social order consisting of self – sufficient village republics. “Centralization as a system”, according to Mahatma Gandhi” is inconsistent with the non violent structure of society” (Harijan, 1942).

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