Popular Struggles and Movements

Popular Struggles and Movements

In our country, India and in the world in general, or even in our lives, we do not value things that come easy. Anything that we achieve as an outcome of struggle or movement becomes invaluable to us. How can you forget the popular struggles for independence in India? Things did not end there. Even today, there are some countries, even India, that have to undertake struggles and movements, to achieve what they desire. So, here we’ll discuss some of the popular struggles and movements.

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Popular Struggles and Movements

Popular Struggles and Movements

Movement for Democracy in Nepal

In April 2006, Nepal experienced an extraordinary popular movement. The agenda of the movement was to restore democracy. People fought to regain popular control over the government from the king.

Nepal is a third wave country. It won democracy in 1990. Post that, the king used to formally the head of the state but the real power was exercised by the elected representatives. The king Birendra accepted this transition from absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Sadly, he and his entire family were massacred in 2001.

The new king appointed was King Gyanendra. He, however, was not ready to accept the democratic rule. On February 2005 he dismissed the Prime minister and dissolved the popularly elected Parliament.

Understand the Importance and Need of Parliament here in detail.

Events During the Popular Revolt

All the existing political parties formed an alliance i.e. the Seven party alliances–SPA. They called for a four-day strike in Kathmandu. In the following days, the protests turned into an indefinite strike. In this strike, the Maoist and various organizations joined hands.

Nepalis defied curfews and took to streets. Every day over lacs of people gathered and raised demands for the restoration of democracy. On 21 April, people served an ultimatum to the king. The leaders rejected the halfhearted concessions given by the king and struck to their demands. Their demands were:

  • Restoration of parliament
  • Power to an all-party govt.
  • New constituent assembly

Outcome of the Revolt

On April 24th, the king was forced to concede to all the demands. As a result, the new PM of the interim govt., Girija Prasad Koirala was appointed. The SPA & Maoist came to an understanding as to how a new Constituent Assembly was to be elected. Parliament passed laws that snatched most of the powers of the king. It was known as the second movement of democracy in Nepal.

Bolivia’s Water War Against Privatization of Water

Bolivia is relatively poorer and a small country in Latin America. The World Bank forced the government to let go their control over the municipal water supply. Their government sold off these rights to an MNC. This MNC immediately increased the prices to four times. To fight against this:

  • A new alliance of labor, human rights, and community leaders came together in January 2006. They formed a successful strike for four days in the city. Thereafter, the govt. agreed to negotiate but nothing happened.
  • In February, agitation was started again. Now, the police resorted to brutal repression.
  • People again organized a strike in April. This time the government imposed martial law.
  • However, people were adamant and forced the officials of MNC to leave the city. They even made the govt concede to all demands.

As a result of this, the contract with the MNC was canceled. This led to the passing the authority of water supply to the municipality at old rates. This was Bolivia’s water war.

Democracy and Popular Struggles of Nepal & Bolivia

Similarities

Differences

  • Nepal struggled to establish democracy while Bolivia’s struggle involved claims on the elected govt.
  • In Bolivia, the struggle was about one specific policy. On the other hand, in Nepal, the struggle was about the foundations of the country’s politics.

Movement Groups

The world movement is described in many forms of collective action. They have an aim to influence politics without directly taking part in the electoral competition.

There are two types of movement groups:

  • Specific Movements
  • Generic Movement

Features

  • Decision making is flexible and informal.
  • Depend on spontaneous mass participation

Some of the examples of movements include Movement of Right to InformationNarmada Bachao Andolan, Environmental movement, Anti-LiquorMovement, etc.

Question for You

Q1: How do organizations and pressure groups influence politics?
Sol. Organizations and pressure groups influence politics in a number of ways.

  • They try to gather sympathy and public support for their goals and activity by carrying out an information campaign through organizing meetings, file petitions etc., These even take the help of media for the same.
  • The pressure groups and organizations organize protest activity like a strike or disrupting govt. programmes, employee’s associations, workers organizations, etc. These techniques force govt. to take notice of their demand.
  • On the other hand, the business groups employ professional lobbyist or sponsor expensive advertisements.

In general, the pressure groups exert influence on the political parties without being a party. They have political ideology & political position on major issues.

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