eGovernance in India

Improving eGovernance in INDIA

Empower people through panchayat raj institutions: Mani Shankar Aiyar

Posted by egovindia on July 29, 2006

Empower people through panchayat raj institutions: Mani Shankar Aiyar

Special Correspondent

Says people should be allowed to decide their destiny



FACING CHALLENGES: Minister for Panchayati Raj Mani Shankar Aiyar addressing the 53rd anniversary celebrations of the Triplicane Cultural Academy in Chennai on Friday. Prince of Arcot Mohammed Abdul Ali, (second from right) and V. Murali, vice-pres ident of the Academy, are also in the picture. — Photo: K.V. Srinviasan



CHENNAI: Union Minister of Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports, Mani Shankar Aiyar, on Friday said various challenges facing the nation ultimately boiled down to the challenge of letting people be in charge of their lives and decide their destiny.

For this, they should be empowered through the panchayat raj institutions. The panchayat raj system of governance should permeate the entire economy and reach that part of the country where a majority of the poor lived. Then, various problems facing the nation would become tractable.

Speaking at the 53rd anniversary celebrations of the Triplicane Cultural Academy on `Challenges facing the nation’ at a function jointly organised by the Kasturi Srinivasan Library here, he recalled that the country’s greatest success in the last 60 years was in translating Independence as a freedom to the people. Several other countries had gained independence since 1947. Compared to any other developing country, India had not only created democracy but also sustained it effectively. “This is a democracy almost without parallel.”

The country had also sustained the Constitution, though it had been amended more than 100 times. No other Constitution had such flexibility. The Indian Constitution allowed for change with continuity.

Economic growth

Comparing neighbouring China and its fast economic growth, he said that in relative terms theirs was an economic miracle while in India it was a political miracle. The economic reforms in India started even in the 1980s when growth was stepped up to 5.6 per cent. In 1988-89, the economy expanded at the rate of 10.87 per cent. In the last three years, the growth was consistent at seven per cent. However, the paradox in economic growth — eighth in the world in the number of millionaires and the 127th position in human development index — should be tackled.

He explained that the country did need higher levels of progress. But, at the same time, if it followed the patterns adopted in other countries for development, one more generation would be deprived. It was here that elected local bodies played an important role. People should be given a sense of responsibility and allowed to determine their destiny.

N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu, who presided, prioritised the challenges before the nation as those posed by secessionism and extremism, communalism, and mass deprivation and inequalities.

The Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali said there should be an early and permanent solution to the India-Pakistan problem.

N. Parthasarathy, secretary, and V. Murali, vice-president of the academy, were among those who spoke. Jaya Arunachalam, another vice-president, introduced the guests.


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