ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Understanding the Paradoxical Outcome in Jammu and Kashmir

In spite of boycott calls following the Amarnath agitation of mid-2008, the Jammu and Kashmir assembly election saw a large voter turnout. This article examines whether this turnout can be said to indicate a substantial reduction in political alienation and a decline in sympathy for separatist politics in the Valley. It also analyses whether the National Conference- Congress government reflects the true will of the people because it keeps out the two parties that gained the most in the election, the People's Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Civil and Political Society

The reassertion of civil society is often viewed as a welcome panacea for the crisis in India's representative democracy. But while parliamentary democracy remains the most viable alternative in the diverse society India offers, the relationship between civil and political society is a symbiotic one. The presence of a healthy, open and effective civil society is premised on the existence of effective democratic political institutions.

Understanding Participation

Many of the arguments made in favour of participation do not capture the reality of the dynamics of community participation, as they exclude the inherent hierarchies, power differentials and socio-economic disparities in local communities. Privileging the local in policy formulations without understanding this important characteristic of communities could mean the sanctioning of differences of money and social power, which in turn could mean the exclusion of those who do not have such power.
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