Governance has two important components- internal systems and procedures, check and balance system. Civil society can influence policy and project formulation, implementation through membership of committees, submission of memoranda directly or through elected representatives.
• Watchdog – against violation of human rights and governing deficiencies
• Agitator- on behalf of aggrieved citizens
• Educator- of citizens on their rights, entitlements and responsibilities and the govt. about the pulse of the people
• Mobiliser- of public opinion for or against a programmes or policy
Civil society acts through ‘social capital’- the capacity of people to act together willingly in their common long term interest. Individuals cannot take on the huge political bureaucratic machinery, nor can the entire civil society act on behalf of every citizen. Civil society therefore has to operate through compact, focused organisations based on strong social capital.
Efforts to improve the quality of governance will fail if the quality and calibre of the political executive is unsatisfactory. Civil society needs to note the deterioration in the quality, integrity and commitment of the elected representatives and the criminalization of politics. Voter education, electoral reforms and periodical highlighting of the performance or non-performance of elected representatives are high priority items in civil society’s agenda. Parliamentary democracy becomes participative democracy only with civil society’s active role ably supported by media. However, civil society as a whole unable to play its full potential role in enforcing good governance in India except when extraordinary leadership overcomes narrow loyalties or when an issue is of common major concern to all sections like natural calamities.
Some Appreciation Please!