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Tinker, Hugh Russell (1951) Local government in India and Burma, 1908 to 1937: A comparative study of the evolution and working of local authorities in Bombay, the United Provinces and Burma. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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An attempt has been made in this study to show the situations which arose from the creation of representative local Institutions upon the English model within the framework: of Indian and Burmese society.;Two more or less distinct periods are covered. The first four chapters tell of the establishment of e system of local public services under the direction of District Officers responsible to a hierarchy of official control, and of the gradual growth of a more Liberal concept of local government as a training ground in political education - a development largely neutralised in practice by official concern for administrative efficiency.;After E. S. Montagu's "revolution in principle" - the sudden abandonment of official control, and the transfer of local bodies to populer management - the progress of local institutions under Dyarchy is narrated in the following four chapters. The Internal problems of local bodies - the conduct of affairs by elected boards and the dissolution of previous standards in administration, are related to the impact of political end communal feeling, the difficulties created by economic instability end poverty, end the mental antitheses of a society in transition from the old ways to the techniques of the West.;This general chronological review of the development of local institutions from 1908 to 1937 is followed by a section devoted to special problems. Local finances - the predominant Influence of the middle-class in the imposition of different types of taxes, the incidence of the burden of taxation, the continued poverty of local bodies. Public utilities, public works and public health - the influence of official and public opinion in their development. Education end Its direction under popular control. Village councils - their divergence from the traditions of the peat, their present scope and limitations. And finally an estimate of civic life in India and Burma - the part played by local bodice in producing political leaders end administrtators.;The writer has tried to present examples, from three different provinces within the Indian Empire, of the widely contrasting circumstances to which English-style local government had to be adapted. The United Provinces provide a picture of the traditional India of peasant and landlord into which the introduction of western public services comes as an incursion from another world, Bombay, by contract, is a province of industrial and commercial towns which have to some degree absorbed the ideas and techniques of the west, and have at least a minimum of the middle-class leadership and the financial resources necessary to make a success of local government. Burma falls into yet another category - a separate nation, conscious of its own identity, it has been yoked to the British-Indian system; its political and social development has been designed after an alien model, and has thereby been distorted.;In arriving at an assessment of the achievements of local authorities, the writer has had to take notice of defects in administrative technique, the lack of planning in the devolution of powers to popular management, financial poverty, the effects of political intransigence, and other adverse factore. The overriding problem which constantly nullifies advance, is believed to be that misunderstanding and uncertainty which accompanies all aspects of the gigantic readjustment from the custom and personal rule of the past, to the new techniques of representative democracy. Local bodies reflected the common standards of the societies to which their members belonged. In the attempt to transform India and Burma into western democracies, the example of local bodies has not been without its use In introducing: politician end the public to the practical working of representative institutions, end to their shortcominge and limitations.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:24

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