Intervention by civil society has played a very important role in making governance transparent and accountable. Discuss in context of India.

It is aptly opined that the Media & Civil Society are the fourth pillar of government.

“Civil society is the engine of social change” – Dennis Mcquail

Civil society refers to the non-profit organizations that are independent of government control and work for humanitarian causes. E.g. Amnesty International, PUCL, Bhartiya Adim Janjati Seva Sangathan, etc.

Collaborations:

  • NGOs implement schemes through CAPART & also get funding via DARPAN, portal developed by NITI Aayog.
  • The Draft Lokpal Bill was made with the help of ‘India Against Corruption’.
  • Social Audit in the MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana.
  • Citizen’s charter, work culture changes & code of conducts, due to civil society pressure.
  • Civil societies are active participants in ‘Jan-Sunwai’ & ‘Praja-Vahinis’.

Interventions via confrontation:

  • Fight of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan via Aruna Roy led for RTI Act.
  • Medha Patkar in Narmada Bachao Andolan, protected rights of tribals.
  • Chipko movement was watershed for environmental action in India.
  • Demonstrations, Bandhs, Gheraos and Hartals by civil society force the government to act.
  • Fight for tribal rights in Kanha National Parks for the Baigas community by Adim Janjati Sangathan and use of social media.

Way Forward:

“United we stand, Divided we fall” is the mantra for pragmatic collaboration with civil society.

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