If ‘State’means ‘we the people’, it is not about the voting system. Institutions as well as systemic mechanisms have to be strengthened and allowed to function for continuous credible governance.
Villages are the primary institutions conceptualized in the frame work of ‘Panchayati Raj’ system to play the role of catalyst in establishing continuous credible governance. If we want to make them accountable, then those need to empowered with resources and some mechanism to be independent and abiding at the same time. This we have failed to provide so far. The power gets constricted to the the few members elected to the Panchayat.
The Civil Society Institutions (CSIs), in its contribution towards ensuring continuous credible governance , need resources to be of help during crises like COVID-19 Pandemic. They also need to have the mandate of people they work for. Only few such CSIs can claim to be like that. There may be a support system to build capable CSIs, an intention to let them flourish and of course a rating mechanism to maintain their standards once established. Of course with a proper grievance Redresal mechanism.
Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) are the CSIs in the space of Financial inclusion, also needs to undergo a change in Avtar. There should not be any distinction between rated and unrated Microfiance Institutions (MFIs). There is a doubt about the number of rated MFIs coming to serve at this moment of crisis. How can inclusion be possible without changing the legal framework around the microfinance?
There is a need for another wing of CSIs, who during normal circumstances, can reach out to the ultra poor, who have remained vulnerable due to vicious circles of poverty. Everybody expects the ‘State’ to come to their rescue. May this be a wing of the ‘State’ directly reaching out to the ultra poor.
If we are more equal than we were 400 years ago, then it justifies the existence and function of the present form of constitution which is based on empowering the ‘State’. Many will argue that this helps to maintain less chaos. Less than a number of CSIs to a single ‘state’. There can also be argument that disasters and calamities are the time when both the ‘State’ and the ‘CSIs’ will feel the crunch. So why not work more on devising a disaster relief measure, with ‘vulnerability insurance mechanism?
Yes there has been a lot of behavioral change and lifestyle change with persistence,many of them have not been documented because of lack of patronage. Unless we have social evaluation, we leave those examples unnoticed. Just the mere act of ‘noticing’ may bring huge transformation, sir. It will lead to empowerment and reduction of inequality, ultimately. But there has to be a system which notices.
May be all this requires all of us to act more prudently, with some kind of code of conduct being the citizen.. That is, if we want to avoid amending the constitution, which might be opening a Pandora’s box.