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NCERT : Popular Struggles and Movements


Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 60

Q.1 Are you suggesting that strike, dharna, bandh and demonstration are a good thing? I thought it happened only in our country, because we are not a mature democracy yet.

(i) Democracy evolves through struggle by the people of the country. Strike ,dharna , bandh and demonstrations are the democratic means of struggle. These are a good thing till used peacefully for a genuine democratic demand, otherwise these may be harmful equally.

(ii) When these things take place democratically in a country, it means the   democracy is expanding and deepening its roots. It is not only our country where these happen, in every democratic country these are observed when   the general will of the people is ignored. 

Intext Question

Textbook Page No. 61

Q.2 Does it mean that whichever side manages tomobilizing a bigger crowd gets away with whatever it wants? Are we saying that ‘Might is Right’ in a democracy?

(i) No mobilizing a bigger crowd does not let any side have what it wants. It is not simply mobilizing. People cannot be mobilized as objects. In fact, it is  rooted in the common interest of the people. It is the common and genuine interest of the people that has the force of mobilizing the mass. The force of  struggle in the people for a common  cause cannot originate at the will of any   group, it is spontaneous.

(ii) No, we can say it in other words that people’s will and interest has might and it is through this that a democracy evolves.

Let Us Revise

Q.3 In 1984, the Karnataka government government set up a company called Karnataka Pulpwood Limited. About 30,000 hectares of land was given virtually free to this company for 40 years. Much of this land was used by local farmers as grazing land for their cattle. However the company began to plant eucalyptus trees on this land, which could be used for making paper pulp. In 1987, a movement called Kittiko- Hachchiko (meaning, pluck and plant) started a non – violent protest, where people plucked the eucalyptus plats and planted saplings of trees that were useful to the people.

Suppose you belong to any of the following groups, what arguments wouldyou put forwards to defend you side: a local farmer, an environmental activist, a government official working in this company or just a consumer of paper.

(i) A Local Farmer : Since plantation of eucalyptus will lead to complete devastation of other vegetation cover of the area, we people will be greatly affected as we will not have land for grazing our cattles. So, this must not be permitted.

(ii) An Environmental Activist : Eucalyptus plantation grows very fast at the cost of underground water. It has been seen through experience that wherever eucalyptus plantations were developed, within a few years, the piece of land had become barren. Not only this, they will affect the growth of smaller plants under them. So, it should not be permitted.

(iii) A Government Official: I do not know whether this plantation has negative or positive effect. Being a government servant, I have to comply with my   duty and continue with planting eucalyptus.

(iv) A Consumer of Paper : It feels good that a pulp company has been established locally. Very soon it will start producing pulp and paper and supply them at a cheaper rate due to reduction in the cost of transportation.

Let us Read Cartoons

Textbook Page No. 62

Q.4 Governments initiate schemes and programmes to alleviate the suffering of the poor and meet their basic needs. But poverty remains in the country. What could be the reasons for such a situation?

Though the governments have initiated many schemes and programmes to alleviate the suffering of the poor and meet their basic needs, but poverty remains in the country. One of the main reasons is corruption. Corruption is very much found at each and every level of the administrative system. It never let the money of the project/scheme to reach the place or people for which is allocated. Once Rajiv Gandhi said about that whatever we sent from the centre, only 15 to 20 per cent of the money reached to the largest group or place. Other reasons are illiteracy and devoid of awareness in the people regarding their rights and duties specially right to information. Our constitution has given us the right to ask or enquire about any project or activities going on in the area by the fund supplied by the government. If people take initiative and check the accounts and quality of the work, then all the officials and contractors will be afraid from taking wrong decisions.

Intext Questions

Textbook Page No. 63

Q.5 Can you identify the pressure groups functioning in the news clippings given here? What demand are they making?

(i) The pressure groups given in the news clippings on textbook page 63 are -

AITUC, journalists, Delhi’s traders, NGO, CII, RWAs.

(ii) The above pressure groups are making the following demands:

AITUS is making demand for Pro- American tilt in foreign policy.

Journalists – They are protesting against assault on photographer. So, they are demanding action against those who assaulted photographer.

Delhi Traders – They are demanding the assurance of timely refund of VAT dues to Delhi’s traders.

NGOs –These organisation are demanding the standard drugs to be supplied to Bhopal gas victims, Because these victims are getting sub-standard drugs.

CII- It is demanding for the establish – ment of SEZs (special Enonomic Zones) for  the growth in the job  sector.

RWAs- They are making demand that their side of the story should be heard too.

Let us Read Cartoon

Textbook Page No. 66

Q.6  The Right to Information Act is one of the recent legislations passed by Parliament? Who is shown as obstructing the implementation of the legislation?

In the cartoon, the head of the government the PM is shown inaugurating the Right to information law in the public. A person is shown trying to make this law available to the general people. But there are obstructing, elements who don’t let it to reach to the people. These  elements are bureaucrats i.e., government officials.

Intext Question

Q.7 What are the social movements listed in these news clippings? What efforts are they making? Which sections are they trying to mobilise?

(i) The social movements listed in the news clippings given on Textbook Page 66    are – social audit of government account,RTI activist’s movement for fair play in PDS, M.P. tribals seek their right on forest land, KSSP for ADB loans

(ii) The organizations mentioned above are making the following efforts to mobilize a particular section:

Social Organisationare making effort to check the account and other activities to uncover irregularities in Rajasthan. They are mobilizing the general public to come out and take this responsibility.

RTI activists are making efforts to raise the issue of muscle and money power in ruling the PDS. RTI activists are trying to mobilise the poor section of the society who are not getting their due from the PDS system.

M.P. Tribals – They are making efforts to seek full right on forest land. They are also opposing displacement from the area. They are mobilizing the tribal people to come out and take initiative for their birth right on forest land.

KSSP- It is making pressure on the bank officials to follow transparency in the distribution of ADB loans are being given.

Let us Watch Television

Textbook Page No. 67

Q.8 Follow the news on any news channel for one week. Make a note of news related to pressure groups or movements representing the following sector or sections : Farmers, traders, labour, industry, environment and women. Which of these are mentioned most on television news? Which sections or intersects get mentioned the least? You may follow a newspaper if you don’t have TV at home.

(i)  Traders, women and industry are mostly mentioned on television.

(ii) Environment, farmer and labour get mentioned the least on television.

Let Us Revise

Textbook Page No. 68

Q.9 In the above passage what relationship do you see between democracy and social movements? How should this movement respond to the government?

(i) Social movements are meant for making voice on behalf of the common people against the government for its wrong policies and ill-practices.

In the above passage, while Mr. Mathai was encouraging farmers to plant trees on lands, the government sold the piece of land to its supporters. This is a form of corruption and non- democratic way of working on the part of government. So, these are the situations when movements arise to reinforce  democratic values.

(ii) The movement should oppose the working of the government officials, stage bandh and protest the government. It should forward its demand before the government till justice is met with.

Let us Read Cartoon

Textbook Page No. 68

Q.10  This cartoon is called ‘News-no-news’. Who is most often visible in the media? Whom are we most likely to hear about in newspapers?

(i)  The following are most often visible in the media:

Political leaders, ministers, businessmen, industrialists, traders, sportsmen, film actors/actresses, etc.

(ii) In newspapers, we hear most likely about the following:

Women activists, social workers, environmentalists, etc.  


Q.11  In what ways do pressure groups and movements exert influence on politics ?

(i) They try to gain public support and sympathy for their goals by carrying out information campaigns, organizing meetings, filing petitions, etc.

(ii) Most of these groups try to influence the media into giving more attention to these issues.

(iii) They often organize protest activities like strikes or disrupt government programmes.

Q.12 Describe the forms of relationship between pressure group and political parties.

(i) There are instances when pressure groups are either formed or led by the leaders of political parties or act as extended arms of political parties.

(ii) There are instances when political parties grow out of movements. For example, formation of Asom Gana Parishad from movements of students in  Assam.

(iii)  In most cases, the movement groups raise new issues that are taken up by the   political parties.

(iv)  Most of the new leadership of political parties comes from interest or movement groups.

Q.13 Explain how the activities of pressure groups are useful in the functioning of a democratic government.

(i) Government can often come under undue pressure from a small group of rich and powerful people. The pressure group and movements perform a useful role on countering this undue influence.

(ii) They remind the government of the needs and concerns of ordinary citizens.

(iii) If one group brings pressure on government to make policies in its favour, another will bring counter pressure not to make policies in the way the first group desires. This sets the government know about what different sections  of population want.

Q.14 What is a pressure group? Give a few examples.

(i) Pressure groups are organization that attempt to influence government policies. These are formed when people with common occupations, interests, aspirations or opinions come together in order to achieve a common objective.

(ii) Few examples of pressure groups are trade unions, business associations, professional bodies of doctors, teachers, lawyers, etc.

Q.5  What is the difference between a pressure group and a political party?

(i) Political parties have a direct share in power, i.e., government, while pressure group do not aim to directly share or control political power.

(ii) Political parties are formed by a few people, while pressure groups involves a whole class.

(iii) In a political party, there may be a number of leaderships, usually this does not happen in case of pressure groups.

(iv) Political parts serves for its long terms goal while pressure groups generally have short term goals.

(v)  Political parties are well- organized, while pressure groups are loosely organized.

Q.16 Organizations that undertake activities to promote the interests of specific social sections such as workers, employees, teachers, and lawyers are called ……… groups.

Sectional interest

Q.17  Which among the following is the special feature that distinguishes a pressure group from a political party?

(a) Parties take political stances, while pressure groups do not bother about political issues.

(b) Pressure groups are confined to a few people , the parties involve larger number of people.

(c) Pressure group do not seek to get into power, while political parties do.

(d) Pressure groups do not seek to mobilise people, with partied do.

(c) Pressure groups do not seek to get into power, while political parties do.

Q.18  Match List I (organizations and struggles) with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the list:

(b)   C, D, A, B.

Q.19 Match  List I with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists.


(a)  D, C, A, B.

Q.20  Consider the following statement above pressure group and parties. A. Pressure groups are organised expression the interests and view of specific social sections.

1. Pressure groups take positions on polities issues.

2. All pressure groups are political parties.

Which of the statements give above are correct.

(a) A, B and C                                 

(b) A and B

(c) B and C                                       

(d) A and C

(b)  A and B

Q.21  Mewat is one of the most backward areas in Haryana. It used to be apart of district Gurgaon and Faridabad. The people of Mewat felt that the area will get better attention if it were to become a separate district. But political parties were indifferent to this sentiment. The demand for a separate district  was raised by Mewat Educational and Social Organisation and MewatSakshartaSamiti in 1996. Later MewatVikasSabha was founded in 2000 and carried out a series of public awareness campaigns. This forced both the major parties, Congress and the Indian national Lok Dal to announce their support for the new district before the assembly elections held in February 2005. The new district came into existence in July 2005.

             In this example what is the relationship that you observe among movement, political parties and the government? Can you think of an example that shows a relationship different from this one?

(i) This example reflects that when a movement gets its base among majority of the people, it becomes in the interest of the political parties to give their support to the movement. Also it becomes necessary for the government to accommodate such demands, if it wishes to continue in power.

(ii) Yes, such an example is the Narmada Bachao Andolan in which even after having a popular support, the government did not concede to the demands. Also the political parties have different views in this respect. So, this movement could not get the desired result.  

Additional Questions

Q.1  In recent past, when did a movement take place in Nepal? What was it aimed at?

(i)   Nepal witnessed an extraordinary popular movement in April 2006.

(ii)  This movement was aimed at retaining popular control over the government from the king.

Q.2  When was the popularly elected parliament dissolved in Nepal? Why did it happen so?

(i)  In February 2005, the king of Nepal dissolved the popularly elected parliament.

(ii) King Gyanendra was not prepared to accept democratic rule. He took advantage of the weakness and unpopularity of democratically elected government and dismissed it.

Q.3   What were the three demands during the movement for democracy in Nepal in 2006?

Following were the three demands:

• Parliament that was dissolved by King Gyanendra should be restored back.

• The power should be transferred to the all- party (i.e., SPA) government.

• A new Constituent Assembly should be elected.

Q.4  What led to a spontaneous popular protest in Boliva?

(i) In Bolivia, the right of water supply in the city of Cochabamba was sold by the government to an MNC.

(ii) This MNC raised the price of water four times.

This led to a popular spontaneous protest.

Q.5  What are the commonalities between the movement for democracy in Nepal and Bolivia’s water war?

(i)   Both are instances of political conflict that led to popular struggle.

(ii)  Both of these involved mass mobilization.

(iii) Both the instances involved critical role of political organizations.

Q.6  What do you know about Bolivia’s water war? Discuss.

(i)  Bolivia’s water war is an example of people’s successful struggle against privatization of water in Bolivia.

(ii)  The government sold the rights of water supply to an MNC. Strike was staged against this act.

(iii)  The government imposed martial law. But the power of the people forced the   MNC officials to flee the city.

•  The government conceded to all the demands of the protesters and the contract with the MNC was cancelled. Water supply was restored to the  

Q.7   Is it true to say that democracy evolves through popular struggles? Discuss.

Yes, popular struggles help democracy to evolve.

• It is possible that some important decisions are taken without undergoing any conflict. But that is an exception.

• Defining moments of democracy usually involve conflict between the groups who exercise power and the groups who aspire for a share in power.

These moments come or expansion or deepening of democracy.



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