Rise of Popular Movements Notes Class 12 CBSE

Nature of Popular Movement

(i) The nature of popular movements can be simple as well as complex. Popular movements depict a very unusual form of collective action. From time to time many popular movements took place for protest. Here some novel tactics for protest are used.

(ii) Party Based Movements keep close association with political parties and follow their objectives and ideologies. Non-Party Movements do not keep association with any political parties and independent from specific ideologies.

Some Popular Movements

Some of the popular movements are discussed below.

Chipko Movement

(i)  Chipko Movement was an environmental movement to prevent cutting down of trees. It demanded that local communities should have control over their natural resources.

(ii) The movement began in some villages of Uttarakhand in early 1973 when the forest department refused permission to the villagers to fell ash trees for making agricultural tools.

(iii) Issues of ecological and economic exploitation of the region were raised. Women’s active participation was the most novel aspect of the movement.

Movements of Dalit Panthers

(i) Dalit Panthers was a militant organisation of the Dalit youth which was formed in Maharashtra in 1972.

(ii) Their activities were mostly centered around fighting against increased atrocities on Dalits in various parts of the state. The larger ideological agenda of the panthers was to destroy the caste system and to build an organisation of all oppressed sections.

(iii) In the post-emergency period, Dalit Panthers got involved in electoral compromises, it also understood many splits, which led to its decline.

Growth of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU)

(i) BKU was an organisation of farmers from Western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana regions.

(ii) The BKU demanded higher government floor prices for sugarcane and wheat, abolition of restrictions on the inter-state movement of farm produce, guaranteed supply of electricity at reasonable rates.

(iii) Their activities to pressurise the government to accept their demands include-rallies, demonstration, and jail bharo.

(iv) Until the early nineties, the BKU distanced itself from all political parties.

(v) Unlike most of the Indian farmers who engage in agriculture for substance, members of the BKU grew cash crops for the market.

(vi) Like BKU other organisation of farmers were Shetkari Sanghathan of Maharashtra and Rayanta Sanghs of Karnataka.

Anti-Arrack Movement

(i) This movement in Andhra Pradesh was a spontaneous mobilisation of women demanding a ban on the sale of alcohol in their nearby neighbourhoods.

(ii) In the early 1990s, the women of Dubaguna in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh had enrolled in the Adult Literacy Drive on a large scale.

(iii) It is during the discussion in the class that women complained of increased consumption of a locally brewed alcohol-arrack-by men in movement can be traced here.

(iv) The simple demand to ban arrack touched upon larger social, economic and political issues of the region that affected women’s life. This movement inspired other women’s movement in later periods.

Narmada Bachao Andolan

(i) This movement was against displacement caused by huge development projects.

(ii) Sardar Sarovar Project : It was am ambitious developmental project, launched in the Narmada valley of Central India in early eighties.

(iii) Numerous big and small dams was to be constructed on the Narmada and its tributaries which were concerned with three states-Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharastra.

(iv) Narmada Bachao Andolan was a movement to save Narmada. It was around 1988-89 that the issues crystallised under the banner of the NBA-a loose collective of all voluntary organisations.

(v) The movements demanded that there should be a cost-benefit analysis of major developmental projects including social costs.

(vi) The social costs included forced resentment of the project-affected people, a serious loss of their means of livelihood and culture and depletion of ecological resources.

(vii) Many considerations led the NBA to shift form its initial demand for rehabilitation to its position of total opposition to the dam.

(viii) Narmada Bachao Aandolan continued a sustained agitation for more than twenty years.

(ix) It use every democratic strategy to put forward its demand.

Lessons from Popular Movements

(i) Popular movements helps us to understand better the nature of democratic politics.

(ii) Popular movements ensured effective representation of diverse groups and their demands.

(iii) Popular movements suggested new forms of active participation and thus broadened the idea of participation in Indian democracy.

Movement for Right to Information

(i) The movement started in 1990, when a mass based organisation called the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS) in Rajasthan took the initiative in demanding records of famine relief work and account of labourers.

(ii) In 1994 and 1996, the MKSS organised Jan Sunwais or Public Hearings, where the administration was asked to explain its stand in public.

(iii) In 1996 MKSS formed National Council for People’s Right to information in Delhi to raise RTI to the status of national campaign.

(iv) In 2002, a weak Freedom of Information Act was legislated but never came into force. In 2004 RTI Bill was abled and received presidential assent in June 2005.