Editorial | Grassroots level governance

The hallmark of the modern day democratic states is that it finally finds its authentication in the people of that state. Howsoever the deterioration in the systems today, and whatever the level of criticism that the plummeting standard of governance have earned, it still remains a fundamental characteristic of a government that the people have to be taken care of, and their satisfaction in the matters of  governance is always sought. The core of any governance structure in a modern democratic state is the welfare of a people. If this core is not strong, and if the institutions of the governance do not finally meet the needs of a people, it is bound to be a failure.

Even the states that don’t fall in the category of democracy, the welfare of people is placed as a priority. All this means that any modern day states, or governments, lose the reason to exist, if they don’t take care of people – their security, their healthcare, their basic needs, and other matters. To fulfill this purpose the gap between the structures of governance and the people must be narrowed down. In fact the very idea of a gap between the officials and the people is a colonial construct. So sooner it is demolished the better. And if it is fully uprooted it brings joy to people.  Unfortunately in the third world countries the colonial attitudes lived long after the colonial masters left this part of the world. Even now their are traces of the same attitude found in many of the offices, and the officers in this part of the world. The need of the hour is to change this atmosphere where people feel themselves to be at the mercy of an official. This defeats the very purpose of democracy of which the states like India are so proud. One of the ways to do away with the colonial hangover is to bring the officialdom closer to people. The programme that has been christened as Back-to-Village must serve the same purpose. Besides getting the people’s works done this initiative should instill a degree of confidence in the people, particularly in the far off villages, that they matter.