Archive for July, 2009

Civil Society and Democratization in India

This chapter is an attempt to understand the emergence of civil society in India as a response to the rolling back of the state from social welfare. The chapter begins with an overview of the recent challenges before Indian democracy and moves on to discuss how civil society organizations used the various traditional media like folk dance, popular songs, street plays and other popular methods to spread awareness and to bring development through the empowerment of common people. It argues that the macro and mainstream universalistic media and communication was unable to capture the fragmented realities and social problems of the rural life for which civil society called for a micro and particularistic media to address the issues in rural society. Through the example of Mazdoor Kishan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in Rajasthan, the chapter also discusses the role of civil society organizations in enhancing democratization, especially the Right to Information Act in ensuring good governance in society.