The recent civilian killings in Kashmir have sent shock waves across the country. Everyone within valley has condemned these acts. But then, everybody is fearful of the threat and is feeling the persisting insecurity. In an atmosphere as such even the best of governance makes no good, for peace and prosperity go hand in hand.
The cornerstone has to be the peaceful environment, that’s when all the sectors show progress ensuring public welfare that’s accessible to every individual of the state beyond religion, cost colour and creed.
Peace is fundamental to good governance. In absence of peace on ground, both the governance and the government cannot work smoothly, for that there’s an increased disconnect between governors and governed. The area of commonality doesn’t exist in an environment of insecurity and it’s something that can’t be manufactured.
Governance as a concept is broader than the government itself and its ability to hold thing together. Government is the main institution for formulating, making and implementing public discourse and decisions. There are many public based communities used to formulate and structure the group to make collective decision.
The point remains, peace is necessary for reception of these efforts at the public end. The mechanism of governance has to be the system of decision making, dispute resolution, social interaction and to structure human society. For all these things to happen the government has to take necessary steps to calm the tempers and that’s when we can factually beat the drums of good governance.
Peace analysts identify two critical elements that link governance to peace. One is system capacity which denotes resources and strength of the institution structure. Second is to provide social good for good governance that helps to sustain peace.
The other critical way to look at it is that the governance leads to peace through institutional quality. Governance systems promote peace when they are inclusive, participatory, and accountable. Inclusive systems incorporate all social groups into decision-making procedures and provide for the equitable receipt of system benefits and resources.
Inclusive systems offer mechanisms for all stakeholders to voice their concern and grievances. Participatory systems go beyond structures of decision-making to encourage social, political, and economic engagement of all groups within society. Accountable systems operate according to formal rules and have systems in place by which the decision-makers can be held liable for violations of these rules.
Good governance and peace are mutually reinforcing. Peace provides environment for the smooth functioning of the government. Human rights should be respected and protected in a sustainable manner. Peace is not only to provide equality in social, political and economical sectors but the state has to ensure that there’s no water flowing underneath when it comes to these areas of management.
Practically, good governance should ensure peace by addressing root cause of tension, violence and threat to human life and property. Make sure that all citizens feel that their needs and interests are equally taken into consideration and represented. Peace promotes unity, positive thinking and goodwill for the common citizens.
Good Governance within its ambit not only includes better administration but also effective policy making and quick and fair delivery of justice. Justice delayed is the human rights violation which disrupts peace and becomes a hindrance in the progress of a nation.
All the organs of the state, legislature, judiciary and executive must work properly and fairly. The term good governance has now become a very commonly used term usually attached to the executive of the state which denotes its capacity to govern. But the point should be noted, we are living in the era of welfare state, a difference must be drawn between ‘ruling’ and ‘governing’. Good governance means, and includes the process of governing a nation in near perfect manner and not ruling the nation.
In short, the broad conception of good governance should be specified according to the three types of state powers. It is about principles of good legislation for the legislator; principles of good administration for the administration; and principles of good judicial procedures for the judiciary.
Good governance has eight major characteristics. ‘It is participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.
Given the discussion on the subject, there has to be an understanding especially on part of the government to include these basics to its method of governance, if it really intends to walk the talk of working for the betterment of those it has literally pushed in the corner over a period of time.
Fida Firdous writer is peace preacher
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.