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Local Governance

A State-Society conversation...

Just like the way we tend to see the inter connectivity & relationship between various life forms in Organic cultivation, we need to have a critical look and assess the current state of relationship between our own State and the Society & all the connecting nodes within this entire spectrum.

From dynastic to the democratic model, the hierarchical pyramid disseminating Authority & governance/control hasn't changed. Its just that in the recent times, the lower level nodes has lost its relevance/control due to lack of awareness & participation.

The local governments role has eroded in the recent years due to public apathy (arising out of lack of advocacy). In spite of the fact that 25 years has passed since the constitutional amendments 73 and 74 has been ratified, adding the third leg (the local government) to the Indian federal Polity, its implementation has been a story of complete neglect. The importance of district and panchayat budgets are ignored by us all (Kerala seems to be doing a better job though). India spends only 2% of its GDP as local expenditure whereas its 11% in China and 7% in Brazil. Having control over the local resources is a critical step in our march towards Sustainability, especially in today's context where the State-Corporate nexus makes the scenario that of a David-Goliath.

Monetary pricing of a product, perhaps need to be given lesser importance than other indices like awareness creation, advocacy support. Definitely, the one who pays more shouldn't get the first privilege of access to the organic food. As shown in the documentary 'Economics of Happiness', 'better' pricing may not necessarily achieve the desired results. By bringing money to the center of dialogue, we (all nodes in the organic chain) may lose our position of strength too.

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