Centre for Development of India
Towards Building a Horizontal Dialogue on Development
Tremendous debate has been generated on the state of
There is dearth of any critical
input on how to bring about transformation. Accepted that education is in dire
straits, as it is in other parts of the country, but why does it not constitute
the agenda of any political or civil society formation. Floods are
Central Bihar, the ‘flaming fields of Bihar’, where we work primarily, has been burning all along but even decades of class struggle has not even been able to generate consciousness about the minimum wage issues, leave aside the closed schools, defunct health centres and absent employment opportunities and gendered and caste based oppressions of most morbid nature.
In such a situation we see the need for a consistent engagement with the issues in a holistic fashion, analyse them and work out viable alternatives. We believe that all this exercise needs to be carried out together with the support of suffering masses, which feel the pain and anguish of absent schools, hunger, and caste, class and gendered based oppression. Solutions worked out sitting in the luxuries of capital cities without any involvement of the affected masses have never been effective anywhere in the history of mankind. Developmental schemes and programmes have been rendered ineffective because the agencies involved have not bothered to involve people in their conceptualisation and implementation process. They try, at best, to appropriate the knowledge generated by the common people but never bother to involve them in the process, which follow, of developing that knowledge and making it tangible in the field. Top-down approach needs to be defeated as the first step towards development and it can be defeated only if we believe in the principles of horizontal dialogue and start working on those principles.