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“An ideal India would be a collection of villages.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi envisioned to have a decentralized, village centric Constitution of India. Many notable scholars have mentioned the Father of the Nation’s desire to have a country consisting of developed villages that will, in turn, lead to building a developed nation. The 73rd Amendment is commonly known as the Panchayati Raj Amendment as it aimed to restructure the foundational tenets of rural governance in India. It sought to establish an administrative system with a bottom-up approach where the villages of India would have the maximum leverage to develop a decentralized arrangement to suit their needs. But even after more than two decades of this Amendment, Bapu’s vision feels like a far fetched dream for the country. There still exists a wide gap between the classes, genders, wages, opportunities, and whatnot.
For understanding the aims and objectives of the Panchayati Raj Amendment, we need to gain a perspective on the importance of giving power to each village to make it self-sufficient. Through this research work, we will attempt to shed light on the condition of gender discrimination at the grass-root level by focusing on the data collected from the villages of Haryana. A descriptive analysis will help us bring to fore the gaps between the claims of authorities and the reality. Additionally, we will pinpoint the challenges in the effective implementation of the government-sponsored schemes and the possible solutions for the same.
Sadly, women have not been able to utilize the reservation of one-third seats for them to enter into public life. They are still considered incomplete without their male counterparts, even in today’s world. The male members exploit the women quota to get any female family member elected in the village panchayat. After she becomes the office bearer, she is just a puppet who has to act according to the whims and fancies of these patriarchs. In any case, women are thought to be nothing short of a liability on the entire family. They do not have the right to decide what is right and wrong for them.