Local Self Government in Tripura with Special Reference to TTAADC::By:Mrs. Susmita Das
Local Self Government in Tripura with Special Reference to TTAADC
By:Mrs Susmita Das
Local Self-government is a form of administration such that the inhabitants of a certain territory form a community that is recognized by the Central government and has a specific legal status and was originated by the Anglo-Saxons.
Panchayat Raj (Rule of Village Committee) system is a three-tier system in the state with elected bodies at the village, Taluk and District levels. It ensures greater participation of people and more effective implementation of rural development programmes.
India has a chequered history of Panchayat Raj starting from self sufficient and self-governing village communities that survived the rise and fall of empires in the last to the modern institutions of governance at the third tier provided with constitutional support.
During the time of Rig-veda (1700 BC) evidence suggest that self-governing village bodies called ‘Sabhas’ existed and with the passage of time, these bodies became panchayats (council of five persons)
DURING BRITISH RULE
During British rule the autonomy of Panchayat declined and replaced the Mahalwari or Village tenure system with individual Ryotwari (Village holder-wise) system assigning least priority to Panchayat system only for their self interest. To manage, suppress the protest and demand of Indian people British from time to time formed different commission and reform committee on formation of different local bodies.
Post-independence period: The first five year plans and 2nd five year plan has failed to bring into the planning and implementation of policies and the active participation of common people at the grass root level.
Following committees were formed for strengthening the PRI system:
THE 73RD CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ACT
All the measures taken so far could not eliminate the rural poverty and accelerate the development process to desired extent. The institutional initiatives failed and in response to this the idea of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act emerged as giant steps towards achieving the true spirit of decentralization. It was a political drive to see PRI as a solution to the government crisis that India was experiencing and interestingly it was moved by both the centre and state government.
The constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act passed in 1992 by the Narasimha Rao government came into force on April 24,1993.It was meant to provide Constitutional Sanction to establish “democracy at the grassroots level as it is at the state level or national level”.
THE SALIENT FEATURE
THE SETUP OF LOCAL SELF GOVERNMENT IN TRIPURA AND TTAADC
Decentralization is popular word in social science discourse. It is widely interpreted as an instrument of good Governance and means of democratic development process.
In deed, a democracy works when all people including the most marginalized of the society participates in the process of governances has capability to ask questions and seek accountability. For countries like India, it is an indispensable precondition for social, economic and political development and necessary conditions for strengthening institutions.
The real test of decentralization lies in its contribution towards peoples empowerment by way of providing the significant role in decision making and in entire process of governance bodies have been held regularly since 1978 when Left Front was elected to govern the state. Since 1993,following the constitutional amendments in this regard Tripura has a three-tier structure of elected local bodies or Panchayat raj institution (PRI) at Gram Panchayat, Block Panchayat (Panchayat Samiti) and District Panchayat (Zilla Panchayat) levels. In addition, Tripura also has the unique institution of the Tribal Area Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) vested with power intended to ensure a large degree of self-government to tribal.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PRESENTATION
In Tripura, there are vibrant self local bodies in both ADC and Non-ADC areas. In addition to rural local bodies there are urban local bodies.
An important issue in the context of the state of Tripura is that of recognizing the distinct identity of tribal’s and the need to provide a degree of autonomy to them with a view to ensuring the protection of the economic, social and cultural interests of the tribal population. Historically, with in-migration of non-tribal’s, including displaced persons from other territories into Tripura over several decades, the tribal population has become a minority in the state in which tribal’s were originally the overwhelming proportion of the population. Several decades and struggles later, a distinctive and democratic resolution of the issue was arrived at when the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) was created under the seventh schedule of the Indian Constitution through the passage of a Bill brought forward by the Left Front government of Tripura in 1979. The first TTAADC was elected in January 1982. Subsequently, through a constitutional amendment, the TTAADC was brought under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution in 1985.
TTAADC: STRUCTURE AND POWERS
The TTADC has 28 elected members and 2 tribal members nominated by the Governor of the State. 25 constituencies are reserved for tribal’s The TTAADC is vested with both legislative and executive powers. The Chairperson of TTAADC is responsible for the conduct of legislative functions. An executive council of members with a chief executive member (analogous to a cabinet of ministers and a chief minister) discharges the executive functions of TTAADC. The administrative, legal and financial powers of the TTAADC are listed in
TTAADC accounts for 70% of the State’s area and 30% of its population. It is spread over all the four districts. Corresponding to the Gram Panchayats of the non-ADC area, there are 522 village development councils in TTAADC territory spread over 13 blocks. There are 462 revenue villages spread over 151 Tehsils in the TTAADC territory. The TTAADC runs 1375 primary schools and 442 social education centers. It operates through 5 zonal and 37 sub-zonal offices. Though the TTAADC has some taxation powers, its expenditure is substantially covered by funds received from the state government. Some data on funds annually provided to TTAADC is presented.
The TTAADC is an example of the practical relevance of regional autonomy within a framework of formation of states based on the principle of linguistic nationality. It is noteworthy that both tribals and non-tribals were involved in and supported the process of formation of TTAADC. Thus the TTAADC was a product of the joint struggle of tribal and non-tribal democratic movements to protect the identity and rights of tribal’s. The objectives underlying the formation of TTAADC were to provide internal autonomy in compact areas inhabited overwhelmingly by tribal’s, protect the social, economic and cultural interests of the tribal population and promote the all-round socio-economic development of the territory covered by the TTADC
PROSPECTS AND OUTCOME
As a fruit of effective Self Government body in TTAADC exclusively for tribal areas has been boon for upliftment of the condition of poor tribal people in remotest habitations in the sector of Education, Health and all spheres of economic, political and social issue.To encourage the economical development it is necessary that state government ensures the democratization of government management, de-monopolization of state economy as well as instulation of sustainable an efficient authority. At last the road map to successful local self-government can be achieved by the following root map.
Democratization of government managementàDevelopment of local self-governmentàStrengthening of rural economyàintensification of rural citizens creative effortàestablishment of Civil societyàrural development
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mrs.Susmita Das has done her MA (Bengali) from Tripura University. She writes in several news papers and magazines. She lives with her two daughters and husband at Agartala.You can write to Mrs. Susmita Das at email@example.com
NB:Originally the paper was published with title “Local Self government in India – a milestone towards grass root democracy problem & prospects with special reference to TTAADC, The Local Self Government in Tripura”. The opinion expressed in the paper is the personal opinion of the author.