With the dawn of the Modi era in India, we hear a lot about three concepts: Development, Governance and Accountability. As with any new mantra, these concepts have been bandied around in countless election speeches, debated on TV and trivialized to such an extent that even the educated middle class now thinks of
– Development as the building of bullet train networks and flyovers;
– Governance merely as a means of getting your files cleared faster; and
– Accountability merely as a means of getting your files cleared faster WITHOUT paying a bribe.
But alas, things are never so cut and dried, and through this blog, I would like to share my thinking on these issues beginning with what these concepts imply, their evolution in the Indian context, and the ground realities in our country…
I have been a trainer of Indian government officials and elected representatives for over 26 years, specializing in the areas of urban governance, poverty, human development and social accountability. I have been writing extensively on these subjects for my students, and through this blog I want to reach a worldwide audience.
I am an ardent football fan and have a soul connection with the Brazilian national team. In fact when I joked to the mayor of Sao Paulo (when he was visiting my institute) that I must have been a Brazilian in my last life, he very generously said I was one in this life too. Therefore, I am also a Brazilian! Great!