Village Government in India: A Case Study

Village Government in India: A Case Study

Village Government in India: A Case Study

Village Government in India: A Case Study

Excerpt

The Indian village is today the focus of considerable activity generated by Centre and State Government authorities, as well as by a number of voluntary organizations. A common feature of all these activities is the intent to bring about a change in rural living standards and conditions. Some have as their stated purpose the introduction of new techniques, information and ideas. Others are aimed at bringing about alterations in the pattern of property relationships and land tenure. Still others aim at the creation of differing types of institutions within the village which may serve as vehicles for the implementation of the aforementioned activities, as well as innumerable other programmes. The two basic types of institutions which government has sought to create in rural India are cooperatives and panchayats, and of the two, the most extensive activity has been connected with panchayats.

Considerable controversy has surrounded the institution called the village panchayat, particularly with respect to its ancient origins, and the effects of British rule on it. In the pre-Independence period the Indian National Congress was strongly committed to the passage of legislation for the purpose of creating self-governing institutions at the village level, or strengthening such institutions where they still existed. This commitment stemmed in part from the influence of Gandhi, who strongly supported proposals for . . .

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