“NGO sector and Political parties”

by Jamil Junejo, Hyderabad- Sindh
NGOs emerge and flourish where state institutions become inefficient, and dysfunctional, where political parties are banned by government or degenerates because of their ideological and structural issues. Besides, due to inefficient performance of political parties and resultant generation of distrust people are compelled to eagerly look for substitute platforms to express their feelings, demands and aspiration. Emergence of NGOs in Zia era amply supports this view point. For political parties were banned .Political activities were suppressed. Resultantly people opted for substitute platforms in the form of NGOs to opine and to act collectively.


Mistakenly, NGOs are considered favorable and plausible substitute of political parties and state institutions. No doubt, this sector works to fill the vacuum left by inefficient state institutions and political parties, but to little extent .It can be supportive, supplemsantative and augmentative to the political parties and the state institution but not plausible and complete alternate.

Scope and function of this sector is very limited as compared to that of political parties and sate institutions.NGOs bring limited social change. Whereas, political parties are main source of social transformation at broader and wider level. Politics enjoys leading role in the social sciences in terms of social transformation. And political parties are key apparatus of politics. Third world countries need sustained, organized, vibrat and vigilant political parties than NGOs for salvation from multi faceted slavery .NGOs heel the social diseases on ordinary basis. Where as political parties generate sustained change.

NGOs can’t bring sustained change because they are mainly project based. whereas political parties operates in a process for bringing social change .fate of change brought by any NGO is mainly limited to duration of the project .For example,SMCs ,school management committees sustain as long as concerned project exits.

The values and principles operating behind the political parties are for higher and greater than that of NGOs. Capital operates behind the activities of NGO sector, whereas volunteerism, commitment, enthusiasm operate behind the actions of political parties. NGOs can’t arrange any public programme on the basis of money of larger strength than that of political parties based on volunteerism, spirit and enthusiasm. Political parties organizes programmers of thousand people without sufficient amount of money .No any NGO, though having vast capital can arrange the programmers of such strength.

Political parties have very important mobilization tools which appeals to the emotions of people ,viz, speeches,slogans,tablos .NGOs lack this approach .Its money based activities appeals to the the mind not emotions of people. It is emotions not calculated rational decision that makes people to sacrifice their lives for general cause.

NGOs have change based approach, where as political parties have revolutionary approach. Third World needs revolutionary approach more than change based approach to change its destiny of destitute into prosperity.

Now lets deal with question of state institutions in connection with NGO sector .NGO sector,by adopting flawed approach of service delivery , is making futile effort and attempts to replace the state institutions . Service delivery is soul responsibility of state as the social contract goes. Neither it is responsibility of NGO sector to provide material services to public nor it can completely cater the material needs of public .for, service delivery is out of approach of NGO sector. Sate as an organized entity having organized various institutions can fully cater the needs of public in the terms of service delivery. No any NGO can claim or afford to provide health and educational facilities in every village of Pakistan, but sate can do so. Government can facilitate every village with the hospital and schools. Past government of PPP facilitated thousand of villages in Pakistan with schools and Sui gas. Can any NGO afford to cater theses need to such extent?

NGOs should adopt the right based approach rather than service delivery based approach. It should create pressure through lobby, advocacy and mass mobilization on government to provide basic amenities and facilities to public rather that trying its self to provide the services.
Service delivery based approach of NGO sector is posing threat to existence of sate. It is attempt to weaken the sate institutions. In this way ,it aligns it self with the hatched conspiracy of corporate world to weaken the state institutions and then to take their ownership through privatization and ultimately complete their wishes, interest and needs in the way they like most.
Sate is abstract entity. It demonstrate itself thorough its institutions. If NGOs cater health needs of societies instead of health ministry, caters educational needs of society instead of education department (state institution), state will loose its strength. .we need yet existence of state. It is yet necessary evil. Still we need sate to harmonies and organizes heterogeneous societies, create peaceful relationship between haves and haves not, to legalize rules of rules and whereby crates cordial relation between rulers and ruled, to save societies from anarchy .So for world has not reached at the sate of stateless society. It needs it existence yet.

My discourse doesn’t mean to deny the role of NGO sector in process of overall social change, but mean to identify its right approach and right perception about its area of operation and extent of its significance in social change and nature of its role with regard to political parties.

Service delivery approach of this sector is totally flawed rather outdated in this modern world. Its mandate and strength is limited .Its job is not to carter material needs, but to disseminate information , knowledge; to sensitize public about its rights, should provide it channels of getting rights from state and its institutions . Therefore, it should adopt political approach in order to be supportive to political parties to bring sustained and border change; inorder to mobilize and sensitize public at broader level; in order to make government aswell state to complete its responsibility. It should adapt mobilization tools of political parties, viz, speeches, seminars, strikes, processions, and tablos.
Socio political inertia of deprived and enslaved nations can’t be broken by non state actors by service delivery but by mobilization and sensitization.

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