Monday, December 1, 2008

Sahbhag : An Introduction


When the debate over the inclusion of the word ‘democratic’ in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution started in the Constituent Assembly, Pandit Nehru said, ‘The whole of our past is witness to the fact that we stand for democratic institutions. Obviously we are aiming at democracy and nothing less than democracy. What form of democracy, what shape it might take is another matter?”

We, as a nation, adopted Representative Democracy then, which we are still practicing. It was expected
that the system of governance this representative democracy would evolve into would eradicate all the
evils which our society was suffering from and lead the whole country towards achieving the cherished
goal of a glorious development. Today, we have a proud claim of sustaining our democracy through all
odds. But we are overburdened with acute problems in all walks of life. A vast population of India is still illiterate and starving. A major section of our society still lives below the poverty line. We are facing problems of terrorism, communalism, regionalism and many more such roadblocks.

We have a large population of sensible, educated and committed youth. But most of them are disillusioned with the prevailing political scenario in the country. They don’t think that the anomalies plaguing our nation can be removed through the present political system. The ever-decreasing voter turn-outs in the general elections are clear indicators of this fact.

All these problems call for a systemic change in order to empower each and every individual. A system that can ensure transparency and accountability at every level of governance is very much essential. Sahbhag believes that for all this, we need grass-root level political education of our citizens, which we failed to deliver during 60 years of our independence. We are desperately in need of a kind of education which can motivate every citizen to exist as an embodiment of humanity and the ethos that our nation stands for. A more vibrant democracy, which can ensure the participation of the common man in policy-making, its implementation and consequent monitoring, can be the answer. Sahbhag, therefore, believes that it’s the right time to mobilize the whole nation for a switchover from Representative Democracy to Participatory Democracy.

Center For Applied Democracy (CAD) , the research wing of Sahbhag, earlier known as Centre For Democratic Research (CFDR), was established to evolve proper instruments for moving ahead in this mission and provide proper research inputs to the movement.

3 comments:

humanobserver said...

A nice initiative... I am with you....

Sahbhag - A Society for Participatory Democracy Registration No.S/59121/2007 said...

thanx a lot deepak..we need people like you to make the movement a success..all the best to all of us for the future!!

PRABHAT RANJAN said...

Dear Sanjay ji;
Well done.We all who witnessed ur first seminar were waiting for this.While going throuh the proceedings I was expecting few words for Dr.Rajendra Prasad ;the first President of India.It may be a co existence that said seminar was organised in Rajendra Bhawan and 3rd December when you documented ur proceedings is also the same as Birth Day of that great personality.Again you all committed to something for the participatory democracy then how one can forget the contribution of Dr.Rajendra Prasad.
Really timing of ur Blog is also planned.Bombay incident , whole nation has seen a common public anger against the poiiticians .Really it is a time of Democratic crisis.In present set up of democracy we can't avoid political leader but simulteneosly need to do something which make our leaders responsible is also necessary.
So,Ur Team must think or research something regarding "Plan to channel the public anger against politicians in to a popular movement to press for the law regarding "Right to recall" which is pending before Parliament despite of recommendation of Election Commission of India.Ur research wing C.A.D must be thinking on this topic.
It seems by mistake you forgot to reproduce the speech of Sh.N.K.Singh;Political Editor of E.TV Network who was first speaker of ur Seminar.Still I remember his speech with Data.
Once again thanks to all Team Member of Sahbhag for great job in the field of Participatory Democracy.
Prabhat Ranjan