Decentralised Democracy in India

This book provides a vantage point of comparison, of the actual reality of decentralisation in India with Gandhi’s vision of decentralised democracy, or what he referred to as Gram Swaraj. It looks at the historical evolution of panchayats from ancient times to India’s independence, and critically discusses the developments after. It examines the functioning of the present Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the performances of urban local bodies. The basic thrust of this work is the need for constitutional reforms meant to strengthen and deepen democracy. 

The book will be useful to those in political studies, policy studies, public administration and development studies. M. V. Nadkarni is Honorary Visiting Professor, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. N. Sivanna is Professor, Centre for Political Institutions, Governance and Development, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India. Lavanya Suresh is a political scientist and Assistant Professor, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani – Hyderabad Campus, Hyderabad, India.

Contents List of Tables

Foreword by P. R. Panchamukhi. 


List of Abbreviations

1. Introduction 

2. Gandhi’s Attitude to the State and Keeping it in Check 

3. Democratising the Polity through Decentralisation in Gandhi’s Vision 

4. Decentralised Democracy in India’s History till Independence 

5. After Independence 

6. A Critical Review of the Present Panchayati Raj-I: Deepening Democracy and Development Outcomes 

7. A Critical Review of the Present Panchayati Raj-II: Inclusiveness and Environmental Orientation 

8. Panchayati Raj System in Karnataka: Evolution and Performance 

9. Local Democracy and Gram Panchayats in Karnataka: Field Insights 

10. Decentralised Democracy in an Urban Setting 11. Towards a Deeper Democracy

Decentralised Democracy in India