Panchayati raj institutions are simultaneously a remarkable success and a staggering failure
Last week marked the 25th anniversary of the 73th Amendment, a good time for some examination and introspection on panchayati raj. Panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) are simultaneously a remarkable success and a staggering failure, depending on the goalposts against which they are evaluated. If the goal was to create another layer of government and political representation at the grass-roots level, then there is no parallel to the PRIs. And if the goal was to provide better governance, then PRIs are a failure and not equipped to succeed anytime in the foreseeable future.