“The lingering effects of the British Colonial Rule on the Indian Legal System” Based on the above statement, explain the citizen centric approach to good governance


The Prime Minister of India, while addressing the nation from the rampants of the Red Fort on the 76th Independence Day called for removal of  any trace of colonial mindset and to take pride in our roots as part of the ‘Panch Pran of Amrit Kaal’.

Even after 75 year of independence, Indian democracy is still facing colonial legacy and mindset in its policies, institutions and public service. Some of the examples of the same are as follows:

  • Centuries old IPC and CrPc codes are still being used. E.g. the sedition law under section 124A of IPC.
  • ‘Sense of ruling’ prevalent among politicians and public servants.
  • Bureaucratic hierarchy and attitude causing maladministration draws its root from colonial era.
  • Use of English over local languages in the administration has become a norm  despite the fact that the majority of the citizens do not understand it.

Aspiration of India to build a happy, healthy, prosperous and developed country by 2047. A true realization of ideals of democracy and securing liberty, freedom and justice for its people would require a citizen centric approach as enshrined in the preamble.

Relevance of citizen centric approach for good governace ;

  • Countries suffering from the burden of poverty, hunger and malnutrition require people centric governance to empower them out of vicious cycles. Thus ensuring bare minimum necessities to all shall be the primary duty of government.  
  • Widespread inequality of wealth, opportunity and status needs attention of governance towards weaker and vulnerable sections of the society.
  • Constitutional duty enshrined in part-IV (DPSPs)Article 38 the State shall strive to promote the welfare of the people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a social order in which justice, social, economic and political is prevalent.
  • Promotion of Participatory democracy through involvement of citizens and non government institutions in policy formulation and implementation. It will ensure accountability and responsibility of administration to people at large thus moving closer to ideals of good governance.
  • Right based approach of public service delivery is the central theme of good governance. Policies of MGNREGA, RTI Act among others are good examples of citizen centric governance.
  • Further, in the times of COVID-19,  adverse challenges posed by climate change in the form of cyclones, floods and drought, administration needs to be faster, tech-enabled, guided by ethics.

Shift toward good governance is visible in;

  • ‘Kartavya Path’ at the place of ‘Rajghat’, It symbolizes a shift from erstwhile Rajpath being an icon of power, to Kartavya Path being an example of public ownership and empowerment.
  • Mission Karmyogi, transforming civil services from rule based to role based.
  • Minimum government and maximum governance, envisage efficient public delivery while leaving behind the ‘babu mindset’  in governace.

Further, there is a need to transform public institutions, bureaucracy, and public service delivery and make them citizen centric. Following the principles of ‘Sarvodya’ and ‘Antyodaya’ in letter and spirit will ensure ideals of good governance.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *