Problems and Challenges faced by Panchayati Raj Institutions in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir
The creation of the institution of Panchayati Raj was a landmark in Indian history for democracy to percolate deep down to the grass-root level. It is seen as a mechanism through which the unheard’s voice could find a place in the planning and implementation process. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992, passed by the union government of India becomes the Panchayati Raj law, on April 24, 1993. This amendment act gave the constitutional status to the Panchayats. The power of the local bodies to govern and manage local issues is the highest level of democracy observed in India. Its outcome is the people’s involvement in running their affairs, which results in direct and participatory democracy at a local level, whereas at the national level, it is a parliamentary democracy.
The concept of Panchayati Raj in Jammu and Kashmir is the original one; it was the Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the erstwhile state, who introduced the concept of Panchayati Raj in the state in 1935 when he enacted the first Village Panchayati Regulation Act No 1. To see the development concerning the Panchayati Raj in other states of the nation, the government later came with new and comprehensive legislation, which is called the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act 19891. Even though Panchayati raj institutions provide opportunities to the local people to participate in the political and development process at the grass-root level, but these institutions still do not work suitably in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
The present paper deals with the problems and challenges faced by the representatives of these institutions and emphasize the effect of militancy in the proper functioning of these institutions in the union territory of J&K.
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