Paragraph on the Significance of Panchayati Raj in India !
The Panchayati Raj system has many important achievements to its credit. In no other advanced country do the local people have been bestowed with so much of responsibility to carry out the developmental programmes as in India.
Politically the Panchayati Raj system has made an average citizen more conscious of his rights than before.
The system has gone a long way in removing the element of fear from the minds of the ruralites. At present they approach the BDO and talk to him freely about their problems in confidence. Competitive elections have politicized the villages and the system has enhanced the institutional capacity of local government for economic development and democratic participation in the rural areas. According to Rajni Kothari, “Operating through Panchayati Raj institutions, a new kind of political functionary has emerged at the local level that may, in the course of time, become more powerful than the elected representatives at the state and national levels. Politicians in the Congress and gradually in other parties as well – are beginning to realize the potentialities of the new institutions. They often prefer positions in Panchayat Samitis and Zilla Parishads, to being elected to the State legislature.”
So far as the administrative implication of the Panchayati Raj system is concerned, it has bridged the gulf between the bureaucratic elite and the people. Socially, the Panchayati Raj system has generated a new leadership having a modern and pro-social outlook. Finally, viewed from the developmental angle, the Panchayati Raj system has enabled the ruralites to cultivate a progressive outlook.