Master's Thesis from the year 2012 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: South Asia, grade: Merit, University of East London (School of Law and Social Sciences), course: NGO & International Development Management, language: English, abstract: The last decade has seen India emerging as one of the fastest growing economies in the face of a global economic meltdown. The year of 2010 saw Delhi host the Common Wealth Games, followed by the exposure of shoddy preparations, gross financial mismanagement and reports of rampant corruption in awarding lucrative contracts to dubious firms. The high and mighty became richer. This was followed by various other scams running into billions of worth of dollars of the taxpayers’ money.
The year of 2011 saw, Anna Hazare, a Gandhian social activist sit on a fast with few people supporting him in New Delhi demanding the formation of an independent ombudsman- the Jan Lokpal to investigate the corruption at high levels. The massive support to the protest from people in every major city, from every walk of life, in the country made the government sit up and take notice. The protest seemed to take the shape of a Gandhian mass movement with people joining the fast, wearing Gandhian white cap and determined to be non-violent.
This paper set out to explore if this movement has resulted in any change in the attitudes and behavior of people resulting in participatory development. A questionnaire was drawn with four thematic statements inter-linking this movement and the effect it had on people’s own attitudes towards participatory development. Twenty five respondents sent their views via electronic medium on issues of their own understanding of participatory development and the role gender within that context, their own stories and if they had played any role in the movement.
The research analysis did not conclude a straight answer and was able to establish that participatory development does not exist in its entirety in India despite it being understood as the only way to holistic development. The reasons appeared to be more diverse and varied and were unable to indicate any changes in inner conscience vis-à-vis personal lives as in Gandhian philosophy; making it imperative that a further and more extensive observational study may be needed to understand why participatory development still remains a theoretical concept at large.