Answer the following question in detail. (About 150 words)
‘Social movements play an important role in bringing about changes in society.’ With reference to this statement, choose any two different social movements that you have studied and comment on:
- the issues related to the movement, and
- how the movement has brought about changes in Indian society.
Social movement: Environmental Movement: Narmada Bachao Andolan
Related issues: The construction of Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada would have led to displacement (i.e., loss of livelihood for tribal and local people.)
- To protest against it, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) emerged in 1985 under the leadership of Medha Patkar.
- It became an international movement.
- In October 1994, Medha Patkar went on indefinite dharna to pressurise the State governments of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and MP.
- The movement suggested alternative methods for the generation of electricity and rehabilitation of the displaced.
- Chipko stands for ‘hug-the-tree’. It is a unique movement started by Amrita Devi.
- It is marked by the Gandhian principle of nonviolence and known for the active participation of women.
- The movement started in March 1973 in Chamoli district (Himalayan region) under the leadership of Sunderlal Bahuguna
- Most of the Chamoli district is covered by forests and the livelihood of inhabitants there is linked to forests. However, indiscriminate use of forest land led to deforestation.
- Industrialisation and development led to improvements in transport and communication networks.
- People involved in developmental projects challenged the established claim of local people on forests.
- Loss of means of livelihood affected and angered people leading to the emergence of the movement.
- In April 1973, when contractors and workers reached Mandal village to cut the trees in jungle spaces allotted to them by the State government, inhabitants hugged the trees so as to resist and mark their protest.
- The action happened at a mass level and so, the authorities had to retreat.
- This incident boosted the morale of several other groups facing similar problems to get together and to protest against deforestation.