Lok Satta Party on Saturday found fault with Union Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor’s contention that Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of a village-centric development model was “unrealistic” in the current age of globalisation and communication.
“Mr. Tharoor was blurring the distinction between economic self-reliance and self-governance. In the contemporary globalised world, no nation, leave alone a village, can be self-reliant,” N Jayaprakash Narayan, Lok Satta President, said in a statement in Hyderabad.
Mr. Tharoor, a Congress MP from Kerala, had made his remarks at a management conference in Panaji on Friday.
“Despite their technological prowess, even highly developed countries like the US, Germany and China are dependent on countries around the world for raw materials, products and services.
“Such interdependence enables every nation to reap the benefits of comparative advantage,” the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.
Economic interdependence was, however, different from self-governance, he noted, adding local governments not only in countries like the US and Germany but also in China were all powerful.
Even in India, villages and municipalities - when armed with powers, resources and personnel - have recorded spectacular development, said Mr. Narayan, who is also an MLA.
He said decentralisation of powers and devolution of resources on local communities and making them accountable would contribute to India’s progress, prosperity and peace.
“It will lead to the emergence of a crop of new leaders and not necessarily the sons and daughters of present day politicians.”
He said when they have control over resources, local communities could prioritise works depending on their needs.
In contrast, when power was centralised, those at the helm throw priorities to winds and focus on vote-fetching schemes.
Decentralisation would thus put an end to fiscal profligacy too, Mr. Narayan noted.