Protest against the acquisition of common grazing land in Kadadara Panchayat, Gujarat | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
janvier 2000
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

Local governance has become increasingly significant as devolution from central and provincial levels is being attempted in India as a result of the enactment of the 73rd and 74th Amendment of the Constitution in 1993. The essence of local self governance is to enable a small community to maintain access and control over their natural and physical resources, to take collective decisions in the common public good and to provide resources in priority developmental actions. Another dimension of local self governance is to demand accountability from people in public positions. In the Indian context this responsibility has been given to local elected bodies called Gram Panchayats in the rural areas and municipalities in urban areas. This constitutional mandate has however, encountered stiff resistance from vested interests within and outside these institutions that seek to limit people's participation in this arena.The case highlights the spontaneous efforts of a group of Sarvodayais in protest against the decision of the local Panchayat in Kadadara, Gujarat to approve the lease order of the village common grazing ground without involving the rest of the village in that a decision. The case begins by describing the general setting of the incident, goes on to document the struggle of the people and analyses the outcomes in terms of state civil society dynamics.The author notes the role of two key players in the movement. The struggle was initiated through an article written in the local press, exposing the 'behind the scene' activities which led to the granting of the leasing rights. Throughoutout the struggle, the media provided consistent support by reporting the progress of the struggle, various events organised by it and linking it to the issue of rights of state vs people on the control of a common property resource like land. Second, the involvement of the Sarvodayis lended legitimacy to the movement.The author concludes by outlining the implications for civil society:the role played by social workers and other influential intermediaries bringing the people's voice into the public domain is vital. Such committed intermediaries play a crucial hand holding role for such micro level civil society assertionsthe case also highlights the limitation of such spontaneous, micro- level civil society assertions in achieving any long term changes. In this case the struggle helps to reverse the government's decision of giving Kadadara's common grazing land to the industry. However it fails to influence the policy regarding people's ownership, control and decision making over their common property resources

Auteurs et éditeurs

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

D. P. Mishra


Fournisseur de données

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