Do movements and protests in a country strengthen democracy? Justify your answer with examples.
In the whole world movements and protest are considered a part of democratic system. Movements and protest in peaceful manner strengthen the democratic system. But some critics of movements and protests are of a view that collective actions i.e., strikes, dharna, bandh and demonstrations, etc., disrupt the functioning of the government, delay in decision- making and destabilise the routines of democratic system.
Effective representation to different groups and their demand are ensured by popular movements and protests. Involvement of different groups in popular movement has broadened the participation of masses in a democratic system.
The studies of popular movement are very helpful in understanding the nature of democratic politics. These movements have proved very helpful in solving some problems of party-politics and thus these movements should be seen as an integral part of our democratic life.
Generally in these movements socially backward people and sections of the society participates or someone else on their behalf to readdress their grievances. These people have no voice in routine working of the democracy hence their voice can be put aloud through these movements.
In the interest of masses democratic politics requires a broad alliance of different disadvantage social groups. But under leadership of these movements such an alliance is not developing. Political parties are required to play an effective role in bringing the different social group together under common leadership. But in reality political parties are not playing proper and effective role because the relationship between popular movements and political parties has grown weaker over the years. At present, it is one big problem of Indian politics.
Which of these statements are incorrect?
The Chipko Movement
(a) was an environmental movement to prevent cutting down of trees.
(b) raised questions of ecological and economic exploitation.
(c) was a movement against alcoholism started by the women.
(d) demanded that local communities should have control over their natural resources.
Some of the statements below are incorrect. Identify the incorrect statements and rewrite those with necessary correction:
(a) Social movements are hampering the functioning of India’s democracy.
(b) The main strength of social movements lies in their mass base across social sections.
(b) Social movements in India emerged because there were many issues that political parties did not address.
Read the passage and answer questions below:
…., nearly all ‘new social movements’ have emerged as corrective to new maladies – environmental degradation, violation of the status of women, destruction of tribal cultures and the undermining of human rights – none of which are in and by themselves transformative of the social order. They are in that way quite different from revolutionary ideologies of the past. But their weakness lies in their being so heavily fragmented. …… …. …….a large part of the space occupied by the new social movements seem to be suffering from. Various characteristics which have prevented them from being relevant to the truly oppressed and the poor in the form of a solid unified movement of the people. They are too fragmented, reactive, ad hocish, providing no comprehensive framework of basic social change. Their being anti-this or that (anti- West, anti-capitalist, anti-development, etc) does not make them any more coherent, any more relevant to oppressed and peripheralized communities. — Rajni Kothari
(a) What is the difference between new social movements and revolutionary ideologies?
(b) What according to the author are the limitations of social movements?
(c) I f social movements address specific issues, would you say that they are ‘fragmented’ or that they are more focused? Give reasons for your answer by giving examples.