The idea of democracy that we embrace today has its roots in village councils of the past. These local assemblies were the elementary building blocks of today’s democracies and their political and administrative systems. The smallness of these assemblies made them both more visible and accessible to the local communities. The hierarchies in these assemblies were based on experience and acquired wisdom, which were shared freely in the larger interests of the entire local communities.
Such a gathering of tribal folk in the villages of Kabini, Karnataka is called ‘Grama Sabha’ or ‘Panchayati’. Rare as they are, such customised problem-solving mechanisms through small group interventions, is something our urban communities can take inspiration from.