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

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Kerala's Democratic Decentralisation: History in the Making

The democratic decentralisation campaign in Kerala is of unique significance in the history of India for it establishes a politics of social change which restructures the systems of power, of production and of relations, especially between state, government and people who image the alternatives and build them. Impressions of the State Planning Board's International Conference on Democratic Decentralisation last month.

The ongoing decentralisation campaign in Kerala is one of the most radical of its kind and conveys important lessons for the worldwide struggle for democratisation. An attempt is being made to break away from the past and, in order to facilitate the transition, a unique mass movement has been launched in support of decentralisation. From a mere government led administrative reform, the Peoples Plan campaign has made the process of decentralisation an objective for mass action and a part of popular politics. In a sense, the state government launched a movement to force its own hand to radically restructure the mode of governance. Why should any state embark upon such a mission?

T M Thomas Isaac with Richard Franke, Local Democracy and Development: Peoples Campaign for Decentralised Planning in Kerala.

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