IV. Institutions as engine of development
The most devastating impact of the Indian state intervention in rural economy has been the one on our national mindset. It has bred a powerful, unerasable sarkar mai-baap syndrome pervading the entire development scene. When a social researcher interviews a rural citizen - landless, large farmer, artisan, teacher, nurse - about any problem - personal, organisational, social, political or professional - the dialogue will continue until it concludes with something that the sarkar should do. Regrettably, often the researchers also end up writing only what sarkar should or should not do; worse, through the length and breadth of its vast presence, the sarkar functionaries too have begun to deeply believe in this self-fulfilling prophecy. At the policy planning level, this syndrome has reinforced the notion of the state as the sole generator of developmental impulse and led decision makers to ignore or understress the powerful role institutions can and do fill as development players. The creation and sustenance of new economic organisations, particularly of farmers, put into operation powerful engines of local economic growth. The skill and sensitivity with which state interacts with these in their formative stages has indelible impact on the patterns of their life cycle.