Social Movements - Solutions

 CBSE Class 12 Sociology

NCERT Solutions
Social Movements

1. Write short notes on:
(i) Women's Movement:

(ii) Tribal Movements:

Ans. (i) Women's Movement:

  • Early 20th Century saw the growth of women's organisations such as 'Women’s India Association (WIA) (1917)' AII India Women's Conference (ARVC) (1926), 'National Council for Women in India (NEWI) (1925)'.
  • While many of them began with a limited focus, their scope extended overtime. It is often assumed that only middle class educated women were involved in social movements.
  • In the mid 1970s there was a renewal of the women’s movement in India. Some call it the second phase of the Indian women’s movement. While many of the concerns remained the same there were changes both in terms of organisational strategy as well as ideologies.
  • There was the growth of what is termed as the autonomous women’s movements. The term ‘autonomy’ referred to the fact that they were ‘autonomous’ or independent from political parties as distinct from those women’s organisations that had links with political parties. It was felt that political parties tended to marginalise issues of women.
  • There were new issues that were focused upon. For instance, violence against women. Over the years, important legal changes have taken place thanks to the campaign by the women’s movement. Issues of land rights, employment have been fought alongside rights against sexual harassment and dowry. There has also been greater recognition that both men and women are constrained by the dominant gender identities.

(ii) Tribal Movements:

  • Different tribal groups spread across the country may share common issues. But the distinctions between them are equally significant.
  • Jharkhand is one of the newly-formed states of India, carved out of south Bihar in the year 2000. Behind the formation of this state lies more than a century of resistance. The social movement for Jharkhand had a charismatic leader in Birsa Munda, an adivasi who led a major uprising against the British.
  • Literate adivasis began to research and write about their history and myths. They documented and disseminated information about tribal customs and cultural practices. This helped create a unified ethnic consciousness and a shared identity as Jharkhandis.
  • Adivasi experiences of marginalisation and their sense of injustice were mobilised to create a shared Jharkhandi identity and inspire collective action that eventually led to the formation of a separate state.
  • The issues against which the leaders of the movement in Jharkand agitated were:
    • acquisition of land for large irrigation projects and firing ranges;
    • survey and settlement operations, which were held up, camps closed down, etc.
    • collection of loans, rent and cooperative dues, which were resisted;
    • nationalisation of forest produce which they boycotted
  • The North East. The process of state formation initiated by the Indian government following the attainment of independence generated disquieting trends in all the major hill districts in the region. Conscious of their distinct identity and traditional autonomy the tribes were unsure of being incorporated within the administrative machinery of Assam.

  • The rise of ethnicity in the region is thus a response to cope with the new situation which developed as a consequence of the tribe’s contact with a powerful alien system. Long isolated from the Indian mainstream the tribes were able to maintain their own worldview and social and cultural institutions with little external influence.

  • While the earlier phase showed a tendency towards secessionism, this trend has been replaced by a search for autonomy within the framework of the Indian Constitution.

  • One of the key issues that bind tribal movements from different parts of the country is the alienation of tribals from forest lands. In this sense ecological issues are central to tribal movements just as cultural issues of identity and economic issues such as inequality are.

2. In India, it is difficult to make a clear distinction between the old and new social movements. Discuss.
Ans. Old Social Movements

• Class based - united to fight for rights.
• Anti-colonial movements.
Nationalist movement wanted people into national e.g., liberation struggle.
• Movement against colonialism.
• Nationalist movement mobilised against rule of foreign power and dominance of foreign capital.
• Mainly concerned with struggles between haves and havenots. Key issue is reorganisation of power relations, i.e. capturing power & transferring it from powerful to powerless, e.g. Workers were mobilised towards capitalists; Women's struggle against male domination.
• Worked under guidance & organisational framework of political parties, eg. Indian National Congress led the Indian National movement; Communist Party of China led the Chinese Revolution.
• Role of political parties was central and poor people had no other effective means to get their voices heard.
• Concerned about social inequality and unequal distribution of resources - important elements.
New Social Movements
• Decades after Second World War- 1960s and early 1970s
• Take up not just narrow class issues but broad, universal themes, which involved a broad social group irrespective of their class. 
• Vietnam where forces led by US bloody conflict.
• Paris - Vibrant student's movement joined worker's parties in a series of strikes protesting against the war.
• USA was experiencing a sure of social protests. Civil rights movement was led by Martin Luther King.
• Black powers movement led by Malcolm X.
• Women's movement, environmental movement.
• No longer focus on redistribution of power rather are more concerned with improving the quality of life. eg. Right to education, clean environment.
• No longer confine themselves within political parties. Instead started joining civil society movements and forming NGOs because they are supposed to be more efficient, less corrupt and less autocratic
• Globalization - reshaping people's lines, culture, media Firms - transnational.
Legal arrangements - international.
Therefore, many new social movements are international in scope.
• Essential elements — Identity politics, cultural anxieties and aspirations.

3. Environmental movements often also contain economic and identity issues. Discuss.

  • The Chipko movement, an example of the ecological movement, in the Himalayan foothills is a good example of such intermingled interests and ideologies. According to Ramachandra Guha in his book Unquiet Woods, villagers rallied together to save the oak and rhododendron forests near their villages.
  • The economy of subsistence was pitted against the economy of profit. Along with this issue of social inequality (villagers versus a government that represented commercial, capitalist interests), the Chipko movement also raised the issue of ecological sustainability.
  • Cutting down natural forests was a form of environmental destruction that had resulted in devastating floods and landslides in the region. For the villagers, these ‘red’ and ‘green’ issues were inter-linked. While their survival depended on the survival of the forest, they also valued the forest for its own sake as a form of ecological wealth that benefits all.
  • The Chipko movement also expressed the resentment of hill villagers against a distant government headquartered in the plains that seemed indifferent and hostile to their concerns. So concerns about economy, ecology and political representation underlay the Chipko movement.

4. Distinguish between Peasant and New Farmer's Movements.
 (i) Peasant movements have taken place from pre-colonial days. The movement took place between 1858 and 1914 remained localised, disjointed and confined to particular grievances. The well known movement are:
• Bengal Revolt of 1859 - 62 against the indigo plantation system.
• Deccan Riots of l857 against money lenders.
• The Bardoli Satyagraha -1928 was a non tax campaign started by Gandhi.
• Champaran Satyagraha 1917-18. It was directed against indigo plantations.
• Tebhaga movement (1946-47)
• Telangana movement (1946-51)

(ii) New farmer's movement started in 1970s in Punjab and Tamil Nadu. Main Characteristics:

  • Were regionally organised, non-party and involved farmers rather than peasants
  • Basic ideology of the movement was anti-state and anti-urban
  • The focus of demand were ‘price and related issues’ (for example price procurement, remunerative prices, prices for agricultural inputs, taxation, non-repayment of loans).
  • Novel methods of agitation were used: blocking of roads and railways, refusing politicians and bureaucrats entry to villages, and so on.
  • Broadened their agenda and ideology and include environment and women’s issues. Therefore, they can be seen as a part of the worldwide ‘new social movements’.