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Regressive Or Progressive: British Era ‘District Gazetteers’ Might Soon Be Back In India

2015-10-08

REGRESSIVE OR PROGRESSIVE: BRITISH ERA ‘DISTRICT GAZETTEERS’ MIGHT SOON BE BACK IN INDIAPosted by;Orissabarta

BHUBANESWAR:From a letter of ‘Department of Personnel & Training Officer’ D.N Misra, sent to the states, did I get to learn that the pre independence ‘District Gazetteers’ might be in for a revival. The said letter distinctively reads ‘I am directed to say that Prime Minister’s Office has desired that information related to District Gazetteer may be furnished.

During the British raj in India, ‘District Gazetteers’ was a document maintained at the district level for geographic, economic, social & cultural records. The same fell into disuse after India attained its independence. The ‘District Gazetteers’ was first initiated by the ‘East India Company’ in year 1803.

In the coming days many might find this revival attempt by PM Narendra Modi as being regressive and many will vehemently defend it as being progressive. I might not be a diehard Modi fan but for this I feel it is a good step. Many who have been following me will be astonished with this statement from me. Yes, I am an ardent advocate of de-centralization and this attempt of the PMO to interfere at district level bypassing the federal structure certainly seems adverse to my advocacy but never the less I still feel it is a good step. We might spend billions of rupees in publicizing the ‘Swach Bharat Abhiyan’ but the way of life in India as on date is that we have filth all around us. Similarly, idealistically I wish to have de-centralization of power to attain true democracy but the way of life as on date in India is that we have a heavy centralized rule. Reality is that our Nation moves on three nodal points DM, CM & PM.

REGRESSIVE OR PROGRESSIVE: BRITISH ERA ‘DISTRICT GAZETTEERS’ MIGHT SOON BE BACK IN INDIA

I do not know if the revival of the ‘District Gazetteers’ will actually withstand the storm of political adversaries of PM Modi and finally come to conclusion but should this happen it shall map a lot of details enabling a swifter delivery of PM Modi’s vision document. However, I must clarify here that I do not fully endorse the vision exhibited in the past 500 odd days by the 'Modi Sarkar' thus one might feel that this mapping will enable the play of the flawed? Yes, possibly, but never the less the districts, the states and the nation will have a concrete record to assess & deliver. We must not forget the British rule or miss rule whatever you choose to be with, even in those days, with no modern day transportation, communication etc. had a much stronger delivery system than that of the present day. India was much more fragmented & much more plural in those days but that did not stop the British to effectively deliver ‘their’ agendas. Well there is no harm in accepting that the ‘District Gazetteer’ was a strong tool responsible for the said.

SOURCE;

The author Shri. Suparno Satpathy is a noted socio-political leader and the Chairman of SNSMT

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