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

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Panchayati Raj Institutions and Human Rights in India

The institutionalisation of panchayati raj systems since the 1990s that has added greater momentum to the decentralisation process has also had deeper implications for the human rights situation in India. Even as the democratic process has been extended, changes in traditional society have involved conflict. This article argues however that as isolation of villages is forever broken by inroads of media, technology and spatial mobility, the new panchayat system will only help weave the village into the broader social fabric. It is with increasing democratisation and intervention of civil society institutions that concern for human rights will assume its rightful place alongside a vibrant democracy.

Panchayat Elections

Panchayat elections have been postponed many times in several states on the flimsiest of grounds, clearly violating constitutional norms. Should this practice be allowed to continue?

Decentralised Institutions

From the beginning of the 1990s, there seems to be a positive change in the outlook towards decentralised institutions. In the emerging scenarios both panchayats and voluntary agencie, have a crucial role to play and can work together effectively if they view each other as partners rather than contenders in the process of decentralisation and development.

Panchayats at Work-What It Means for the Oppressed

These four case studies from Madhya Pradesh drive home the gruesome fact that despite 50 years of independence, the power structure at the village level remains oppressive. Dalit men are beaten, dalit women are stripped naked while criminals are shielded by political parties and the state maintains a studied silence.

Social Background of Kerala District Council Members

with any entrenched interest group, There were clear indications of this kind of thinking in the finance minister's mini budget speech on the occasion of the vote on account. But this would be irresponsibility at its worst, not just because it would put future development efforts in jeopardy (and notably muddy any prospects of finalisation of the Eighth Plan, already delayed by a year) but also because it would simply postpone the hardest decisions as regards government's economic policy.

Politicisation of Religion-Conversions to Islam in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu was the centre of an important sociological debate following the conversions of an entire Harijan village to Islam in February 1981. Subsequently there were conversions in several bother villages of the state. This invoked reactions from all sections of society and from June till October 1981 the mass media, political parties, religious organisations, and, not the least, the state and Central government devoted considerable attention to these conversion.
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