NCERT Class 10 Political Science Chapter 5: Popular Struggles and Movements YouTube Lecture Handouts

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  • Democracy involves conflict of interest and viewpoints

  • Those in power balance conflicting demand and pressure

Nepal

  • People’s movement in 2006 to restore democracy

  • Third wave country to restore democracy

  • Nepal was one of the ‘third wave’ countries that had won democracy in 1990.

  • King formally remained the head of the state, the real power was exercised by popularly elected representatives.

  • King Birendra was killed in royal massacre in 2001

  • King Gyanendra was not willing to accept democratic rule.

  • In 2005, dismissed Prime Minister and dissolved Parliament

  • Major political parties formed Seven Party Alliance (SPA) & 4 day strike in Kathmandu

  • Converted to indefinite strike with Maoist insurgency (Nepalese Communist Party)

  • Maoist – overthrown government by Armed revolution and bring peasants and workers to power (ideology of Mao, leader of Chinese Revolution)

  • 3-5 lakh protesters asked for democracy & served ultimatum to king

  • Finally, 24th April, 2006 - Girija Prasad Koirala became new Prime Minister of the interim government. It was called as Nepal’s Second movement for democracy

Bolivian Water Wars

  • Against privatization of waters

  • Landlocked country in Latin America

  • World Bank pressurized government to give up its control of municipal water supply. The government sold these rights for the city of Cochabamba to a multi-national company (MNC).

  • Company immediately increased the price of water by four times & led to protests

  • Protest not led by political party but by FEDECOR (included local professionals, engineers and environmentalists – later framers and factory workers & homeless street children)

  • Supported by Socialist party which later came to power in 2006

  • January 2000, started 4 day strike by labor, human rights and community leaders, police resorted but started again in February and later in April & government imposed martial law.

  • MNC contract was cancelled and water supply restored at older rates

  • Political conflicts led to popular struggle & mass mobilization

  • Democracy evolves through popular struggle – conflict between those who aspire for power and those who have power

  • Resolution by mass mobilization – sometimes can be resolved by judiciary or parliament; if deep it comes from outside that is common man

  • Conflicts and mobilizations are based on new political organizations – spontaneous public participation becomes effective with organized politics – includes political parties, pressure groups and movement groups

  • Influence decision by direct participation in competitive politics - create parties, contest elections and form government

  • Indirect participation – form organizations, undertake activities to promote their interests (interest groups or pressure groups) & act together without forming organizations

Pressure Groups

  • These influence government policies

  • They don’t control or share political powers

  • People with common occupation, interest, aspirations or opinions come together in order to achieve a common objective

  • Narmada Bachao Andolan (stop construction of dam – issue specific), Movement for Right to Information, Anti-liquor Movement, Women’s Movement (general or generic or long term movement), Environmental Movement (general or generic or long term movement)

  • Movement influence politics rather than direct participation in electoral competition – loose organization with informal ad flexible decisions & depend on spontaneous participation

  • Indonesia – 15,000 landless farmers from West Java protested stating “no land, no vote” & asked to boycott Indonesia’s first direct presidential election if no candidate backed land reform.

  • Interest groups promote interest of particular sections – trade unions, business associations and professionals (lawyers, doctors and teachers) – sectional interest groups as it represents a specific section of society

  • Public interest group or promotional groups – represent larger section like FEDECOR in Bolivia – focus on collective interest and aim to help group rather than own members. For example, BAMCEF (Backward and Minority Communities Employees Federation) is an organization largely made up of government employees that campaigns against caste discrimination.

Movement Groups

  • Issue-specific movements that seek to achieve a single objective within a limited time frame.

  • General or generic movements that seek to achieve a broad goal in the very long term

Separate organization, independent leadership

National Alliance for Peoples’ Movements (NAPM) is an organization of organizations. Various movement groups struggling on specific issues are constituents of this loose organization which coordinates the activities of a large number of peoples’ movements in our country

How Pressure groups and Movement Groups influence politics?

  • Gain public support and sympathy to carry goals and activities

  • Organize protest activities like strikes and disrupt government programs. Workers’ organizations, employees’ associations and most of the movement groups often resort to these tactics

  • Business groups often employ professional lobbyists or sponsor expensive advertisements – some may participate in official bodies that offer advice to government

  • They have political ideology and political positions over major issues – they can be formed or led by the leaders of political parties or act as extended arms of political parties

  • Assam movement led by students against the ‘foreigners’ came to an end, it led to the formation of the Asom Gana Parishad

  • Roots of DMK and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu can be traced to a long-drawn social reform movement during the 1930s and 1940s.

  • Relation between parties and pressure groups cannot be direct in some cases and occur with negotiations

Drawbacks of Pressure Groups

  • Democracy looks after interest of all and not a particular section of society

  • Sometimes, pressure groups with small public support but lots of money can hijack public discussion in favor of their narrow agenda.

Benefits

  • Government can come under undue pressure by a small group of rich and powerful but this is countered by pressure groups

  • Where different groups function actively, no one single group can achieve dominance over society

  • The government gets to hear about what different sections of the population want. This leads to a rough balance of power and accommodation of conflicting interests

Green Belt Movement in Kenya

  • 30 million trees planted in Kenya led by leader Wangari Maathai

  • Government officers were corrupt with deforestation and illegal selling of trees

  • President Daniel Arap Moi’s government encouraged ethnic communities to attack one another over land -This was one of the government’s ways of retaining power; if communities were kept busy fighting over land, they would have less opportunity to demand democracy

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