Describe the Historical origin and Development of Local Self Government in Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu has a long history of local self-governance as is evident Tamil Nadu, in those days, was a land of village republics, with community groups undertaking many activities for their area development. This tradition reached its peak during the 10th and 11th centuries under the reign of Cholas when Village Councils used to levy taxes, improve community life, and administer justice in their limited area.
These Village Councils had effective links with the Chola rulers. “Kuda Olai Murai” was the name of the secret ballot method exercised to elect members to the Village Councils. With the downfall of Cholas, the state experienced a decline in the village autonomy and the rise of the centralized feudal administrative system. This continued till British rules introduced local self-governance colonial British Government.
In the post-independence era, the first enactment of democratic decentralization in the state was the Madras Village Panchayats Act, 1950. Pursuant to the White Paper on the ‘Reform of Local Administration’ in 1957, the Madras Panchayats Act, 1958, and the Madras District Development Council Act were enacted with the following salient features.