NCERT Textbook - Social Movements Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Social Movements Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

Created by: Uk Tiwary
 Page 1


Social
Movements
8
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


Social
Movements
8
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Change and Development in India
136
      great many students and office-workers around the world go to work only
for five or six days. And rest on the weekends. Yet, very few people who relax on
their day off realise that this holiday is the outcome of a long struggle by workers.
That the work-day should not exceed eight hours, that men and women should
be paid equally for doing the same work, that workers are entitled to social
security and pension – these and many other rights were gained through social
movements.  Social movements have shaped the world we live in and continue
to do so.
ACTIVITY 8.1
Compare your life with your
grandmother. How is it different from
yours? What are the rights you take for
granted in your life and which she did
not have? Discuss.
The Right to Vote
Universal adult franchise, or the right of every
adult to vote, is one of the foremost rights
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. It means that we cannot
be governed by anyone other than the people we have
ourselves elected to represent us. This right is a radical
departure from the days of colonial rule when ordinary people
were forced to submit to the authority of colonial officers who
represented the interests of the British Crown. However, even
in Britain, not everyone was allowed to vote. V oting rights were
limited to property-owning men. Chartism was a social
movement for parliamentary representation in England. In
1839, more than 1.25 million people signed the People’s
Charter asking for universal male suffrage, voting by ballot,
and the right to stand for elections without owning property. In
1842, the movement managed to collect 3.25 million signatures,
a huge number for a tiny country. Yet, it was only after World
War I, in 1918 that all men over 21, married women, women
owning houses, and women university graduates over the age
of 30, got the right to vote.  When the suffragettes (women
activists) took up the cause of all adult women’s right to vote,
they were bitterly opposed and their movement violently crushed.
We often assume that the rights we enjoy just happened to exist. It is
important to recall the struggles of the past, which made these rights possible.
You have read about the 19
th
 century social reform movements, of the struggles
against caste and gender discrimination and of the nationalist movement in
India that brought us independence from colonial rule in 1947.  You are familiar
also with the many nationalist movements around the world in Asia and Africa
and Americas that put an end to colonial rule. The socialist movements world
over, the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s
that fought for equal rights for Blacks, the anti apartheid struggle in South
Africa have all changed the world in fundamental ways. Social movements not
BOX 8.1
A
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


Social
Movements
8
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Change and Development in India
136
      great many students and office-workers around the world go to work only
for five or six days. And rest on the weekends. Yet, very few people who relax on
their day off realise that this holiday is the outcome of a long struggle by workers.
That the work-day should not exceed eight hours, that men and women should
be paid equally for doing the same work, that workers are entitled to social
security and pension – these and many other rights were gained through social
movements.  Social movements have shaped the world we live in and continue
to do so.
ACTIVITY 8.1
Compare your life with your
grandmother. How is it different from
yours? What are the rights you take for
granted in your life and which she did
not have? Discuss.
The Right to Vote
Universal adult franchise, or the right of every
adult to vote, is one of the foremost rights
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. It means that we cannot
be governed by anyone other than the people we have
ourselves elected to represent us. This right is a radical
departure from the days of colonial rule when ordinary people
were forced to submit to the authority of colonial officers who
represented the interests of the British Crown. However, even
in Britain, not everyone was allowed to vote. V oting rights were
limited to property-owning men. Chartism was a social
movement for parliamentary representation in England. In
1839, more than 1.25 million people signed the People’s
Charter asking for universal male suffrage, voting by ballot,
and the right to stand for elections without owning property. In
1842, the movement managed to collect 3.25 million signatures,
a huge number for a tiny country. Yet, it was only after World
War I, in 1918 that all men over 21, married women, women
owning houses, and women university graduates over the age
of 30, got the right to vote.  When the suffragettes (women
activists) took up the cause of all adult women’s right to vote,
they were bitterly opposed and their movement violently crushed.
We often assume that the rights we enjoy just happened to exist. It is
important to recall the struggles of the past, which made these rights possible.
You have read about the 19
th
 century social reform movements, of the struggles
against caste and gender discrimination and of the nationalist movement in
India that brought us independence from colonial rule in 1947.  You are familiar
also with the many nationalist movements around the world in Asia and Africa
and Americas that put an end to colonial rule. The socialist movements world
over, the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s
that fought for equal rights for Blacks, the anti apartheid struggle in South
Africa have all changed the world in fundamental ways. Social movements not
BOX 8.1
A
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Movements
137
only change societies. They also
inspire other social movements.
You saw in chapter 3 how the
Indian national movement
shaped the making of the Indian
Constitution. And how in turn the
Indian Constitution played a
major role in bringing about
social change.
8.1 FEATURES OF A SOCIAL MOVEMENT
People may damage a bus and attack its driver when the bus has run over a
child. This is an isolated incident of protest. Since it flares up and dies down it
is not a social movement. A social movement requires sustained collective action
over time.  Such action is often directed against the state and takes the form of
demanding changes in state policy or practice. Spontaneous, disorganised protest
cannot be called a social movement either. Collective action must be marked by
some degree of organisation. This organisation may include a leadership and a
structure that defines how members relate to each other, make decisions and
carry them out. Those participating in a social movement also have shared
objectives and ideologies. A social movement has a general orientation or way of
approaching to bring about (or to prevent) change. These defining features are
not constant. They may change over the course of a social movement’s life.
Social movements often arise with the aim of bringing about changes on a
public issue, such as ensuring the right of the tribal population to use the
forests or the right of displaced people to settlement and compensation. Think
of other issues that social movements have taken up in the past and present.
While social movements seek to bring in social change, counter movements
sometimes arise in defence of status quo. There are many instances of such
counter movements. When Raja Rammohun Roy campaigned against sati and
formed the Brahmo Samaj, defenders of sati formed Dharma Sabha and
petitioned the British not to legislate against sati. When reformers demanded
education for girls, many protested that this would be disastrous for society.
When reformers campaigned for widow remarriage, they were socially
boycotted. When the so called ‘lower caste’ children enrolled in schools, some
so called ‘upper caste’ children were withdrawn from the schools by their
families.  Peasant movements have often been brutally suppressed. More
recently the social movements of erstwhile excluded groups like the Dalits
have often invoked retaliatory action. Likewise proposals for extending
reservation in educational institutions have led to counter movements opposing
them. Social movements cannot change society easily. Since it goes against
both entrenched interests and values, there is bound to be opposition and
resistance. But over a period of time changes do take place.
ACTIVITY 8.2
Try and think of any example that will show
you how society is changed by social
movements and also how a social movement
can lead to other social movements.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


Social
Movements
8
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Change and Development in India
136
      great many students and office-workers around the world go to work only
for five or six days. And rest on the weekends. Yet, very few people who relax on
their day off realise that this holiday is the outcome of a long struggle by workers.
That the work-day should not exceed eight hours, that men and women should
be paid equally for doing the same work, that workers are entitled to social
security and pension – these and many other rights were gained through social
movements.  Social movements have shaped the world we live in and continue
to do so.
ACTIVITY 8.1
Compare your life with your
grandmother. How is it different from
yours? What are the rights you take for
granted in your life and which she did
not have? Discuss.
The Right to Vote
Universal adult franchise, or the right of every
adult to vote, is one of the foremost rights
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. It means that we cannot
be governed by anyone other than the people we have
ourselves elected to represent us. This right is a radical
departure from the days of colonial rule when ordinary people
were forced to submit to the authority of colonial officers who
represented the interests of the British Crown. However, even
in Britain, not everyone was allowed to vote. V oting rights were
limited to property-owning men. Chartism was a social
movement for parliamentary representation in England. In
1839, more than 1.25 million people signed the People’s
Charter asking for universal male suffrage, voting by ballot,
and the right to stand for elections without owning property. In
1842, the movement managed to collect 3.25 million signatures,
a huge number for a tiny country. Yet, it was only after World
War I, in 1918 that all men over 21, married women, women
owning houses, and women university graduates over the age
of 30, got the right to vote.  When the suffragettes (women
activists) took up the cause of all adult women’s right to vote,
they were bitterly opposed and their movement violently crushed.
We often assume that the rights we enjoy just happened to exist. It is
important to recall the struggles of the past, which made these rights possible.
You have read about the 19
th
 century social reform movements, of the struggles
against caste and gender discrimination and of the nationalist movement in
India that brought us independence from colonial rule in 1947.  You are familiar
also with the many nationalist movements around the world in Asia and Africa
and Americas that put an end to colonial rule. The socialist movements world
over, the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s
that fought for equal rights for Blacks, the anti apartheid struggle in South
Africa have all changed the world in fundamental ways. Social movements not
BOX 8.1
A
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Movements
137
only change societies. They also
inspire other social movements.
You saw in chapter 3 how the
Indian national movement
shaped the making of the Indian
Constitution. And how in turn the
Indian Constitution played a
major role in bringing about
social change.
8.1 FEATURES OF A SOCIAL MOVEMENT
People may damage a bus and attack its driver when the bus has run over a
child. This is an isolated incident of protest. Since it flares up and dies down it
is not a social movement. A social movement requires sustained collective action
over time.  Such action is often directed against the state and takes the form of
demanding changes in state policy or practice. Spontaneous, disorganised protest
cannot be called a social movement either. Collective action must be marked by
some degree of organisation. This organisation may include a leadership and a
structure that defines how members relate to each other, make decisions and
carry them out. Those participating in a social movement also have shared
objectives and ideologies. A social movement has a general orientation or way of
approaching to bring about (or to prevent) change. These defining features are
not constant. They may change over the course of a social movement’s life.
Social movements often arise with the aim of bringing about changes on a
public issue, such as ensuring the right of the tribal population to use the
forests or the right of displaced people to settlement and compensation. Think
of other issues that social movements have taken up in the past and present.
While social movements seek to bring in social change, counter movements
sometimes arise in defence of status quo. There are many instances of such
counter movements. When Raja Rammohun Roy campaigned against sati and
formed the Brahmo Samaj, defenders of sati formed Dharma Sabha and
petitioned the British not to legislate against sati. When reformers demanded
education for girls, many protested that this would be disastrous for society.
When reformers campaigned for widow remarriage, they were socially
boycotted. When the so called ‘lower caste’ children enrolled in schools, some
so called ‘upper caste’ children were withdrawn from the schools by their
families.  Peasant movements have often been brutally suppressed. More
recently the social movements of erstwhile excluded groups like the Dalits
have often invoked retaliatory action. Likewise proposals for extending
reservation in educational institutions have led to counter movements opposing
them. Social movements cannot change society easily. Since it goes against
both entrenched interests and values, there is bound to be opposition and
resistance. But over a period of time changes do take place.
ACTIVITY 8.2
Try and think of any example that will show
you how society is changed by social
movements and also how a social movement
can lead to other social movements.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Change and Development in India
138
While protest is the most visible form of collective
action, a social movement also acts in other, equally
important, ways. Social movement activists hold
meetings to mobilise people around the issues that
concern them. Such activities help shared
understanding, and also prepare for a feeling of
agreement or consensus about how to pursue the
collective agenda.  Social movements also chart out
campaigns that include lobbying with the
government, media and other important makers of
public opinion.  You will recall this discussion from chapter 3. Social movements
also develop distinct modes of protest. This could be candle and torch light
processions, use of black cloth, street theatres, songs, poetry. Gandhi adopted
novel ways such as ahimsa, satyagraha and his use of the charkha in the freedom
movement. Recall the innovative modes of protest such as picketing and the
defying of the colonial ban on producing salt.
ACTIVITY 8.3
Make a list of different social
movements that you have heard or read
of. What changes do they want to bring
about?  What changes do they want to
prevent?
The repertoire of satyagraha
The fusion of foreign power and capital was the focus of social protest during
India’s nationalist struggle.  Mahatma Gandhi wore khadi, hand-spun, hand-woven cloth, to
support Indian cotton-growers, spinners and weavers whose livelihoods had been destroyed
by the government policy of favouring mill-made cloth.  The legendary Dandi March to make
salt was a protest against British taxation policies that placed a huge burden on consumers of
basic commodities in order to benefit the empire.  Gandhi took items of everyday mass
consumption like cloth and salt, and transformed them into symbols of resistance.
BOX 8.2
138
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


Social
Movements
8
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Change and Development in India
136
      great many students and office-workers around the world go to work only
for five or six days. And rest on the weekends. Yet, very few people who relax on
their day off realise that this holiday is the outcome of a long struggle by workers.
That the work-day should not exceed eight hours, that men and women should
be paid equally for doing the same work, that workers are entitled to social
security and pension – these and many other rights were gained through social
movements.  Social movements have shaped the world we live in and continue
to do so.
ACTIVITY 8.1
Compare your life with your
grandmother. How is it different from
yours? What are the rights you take for
granted in your life and which she did
not have? Discuss.
The Right to Vote
Universal adult franchise, or the right of every
adult to vote, is one of the foremost rights
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. It means that we cannot
be governed by anyone other than the people we have
ourselves elected to represent us. This right is a radical
departure from the days of colonial rule when ordinary people
were forced to submit to the authority of colonial officers who
represented the interests of the British Crown. However, even
in Britain, not everyone was allowed to vote. V oting rights were
limited to property-owning men. Chartism was a social
movement for parliamentary representation in England. In
1839, more than 1.25 million people signed the People’s
Charter asking for universal male suffrage, voting by ballot,
and the right to stand for elections without owning property. In
1842, the movement managed to collect 3.25 million signatures,
a huge number for a tiny country. Yet, it was only after World
War I, in 1918 that all men over 21, married women, women
owning houses, and women university graduates over the age
of 30, got the right to vote.  When the suffragettes (women
activists) took up the cause of all adult women’s right to vote,
they were bitterly opposed and their movement violently crushed.
We often assume that the rights we enjoy just happened to exist. It is
important to recall the struggles of the past, which made these rights possible.
You have read about the 19
th
 century social reform movements, of the struggles
against caste and gender discrimination and of the nationalist movement in
India that brought us independence from colonial rule in 1947.  You are familiar
also with the many nationalist movements around the world in Asia and Africa
and Americas that put an end to colonial rule. The socialist movements world
over, the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s
that fought for equal rights for Blacks, the anti apartheid struggle in South
Africa have all changed the world in fundamental ways. Social movements not
BOX 8.1
A
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Movements
137
only change societies. They also
inspire other social movements.
You saw in chapter 3 how the
Indian national movement
shaped the making of the Indian
Constitution. And how in turn the
Indian Constitution played a
major role in bringing about
social change.
8.1 FEATURES OF A SOCIAL MOVEMENT
People may damage a bus and attack its driver when the bus has run over a
child. This is an isolated incident of protest. Since it flares up and dies down it
is not a social movement. A social movement requires sustained collective action
over time.  Such action is often directed against the state and takes the form of
demanding changes in state policy or practice. Spontaneous, disorganised protest
cannot be called a social movement either. Collective action must be marked by
some degree of organisation. This organisation may include a leadership and a
structure that defines how members relate to each other, make decisions and
carry them out. Those participating in a social movement also have shared
objectives and ideologies. A social movement has a general orientation or way of
approaching to bring about (or to prevent) change. These defining features are
not constant. They may change over the course of a social movement’s life.
Social movements often arise with the aim of bringing about changes on a
public issue, such as ensuring the right of the tribal population to use the
forests or the right of displaced people to settlement and compensation. Think
of other issues that social movements have taken up in the past and present.
While social movements seek to bring in social change, counter movements
sometimes arise in defence of status quo. There are many instances of such
counter movements. When Raja Rammohun Roy campaigned against sati and
formed the Brahmo Samaj, defenders of sati formed Dharma Sabha and
petitioned the British not to legislate against sati. When reformers demanded
education for girls, many protested that this would be disastrous for society.
When reformers campaigned for widow remarriage, they were socially
boycotted. When the so called ‘lower caste’ children enrolled in schools, some
so called ‘upper caste’ children were withdrawn from the schools by their
families.  Peasant movements have often been brutally suppressed. More
recently the social movements of erstwhile excluded groups like the Dalits
have often invoked retaliatory action. Likewise proposals for extending
reservation in educational institutions have led to counter movements opposing
them. Social movements cannot change society easily. Since it goes against
both entrenched interests and values, there is bound to be opposition and
resistance. But over a period of time changes do take place.
ACTIVITY 8.2
Try and think of any example that will show
you how society is changed by social
movements and also how a social movement
can lead to other social movements.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Change and Development in India
138
While protest is the most visible form of collective
action, a social movement also acts in other, equally
important, ways. Social movement activists hold
meetings to mobilise people around the issues that
concern them. Such activities help shared
understanding, and also prepare for a feeling of
agreement or consensus about how to pursue the
collective agenda.  Social movements also chart out
campaigns that include lobbying with the
government, media and other important makers of
public opinion.  You will recall this discussion from chapter 3. Social movements
also develop distinct modes of protest. This could be candle and torch light
processions, use of black cloth, street theatres, songs, poetry. Gandhi adopted
novel ways such as ahimsa, satyagraha and his use of the charkha in the freedom
movement. Recall the innovative modes of protest such as picketing and the
defying of the colonial ban on producing salt.
ACTIVITY 8.3
Make a list of different social
movements that you have heard or read
of. What changes do they want to bring
about?  What changes do they want to
prevent?
The repertoire of satyagraha
The fusion of foreign power and capital was the focus of social protest during
India’s nationalist struggle.  Mahatma Gandhi wore khadi, hand-spun, hand-woven cloth, to
support Indian cotton-growers, spinners and weavers whose livelihoods had been destroyed
by the government policy of favouring mill-made cloth.  The legendary Dandi March to make
salt was a protest against British taxation policies that placed a huge burden on consumers of
basic commodities in order to benefit the empire.  Gandhi took items of everyday mass
consumption like cloth and salt, and transformed them into symbols of resistance.
BOX 8.2
138
© NCERT
not to be republished
Social Movements
139
DISTINGUISHING SOCIAL CHANGE AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
It is important to distinguish between social change in general and social
movements.  Social change is continuous and ongoing. The broad historical
processes of social change are the sum total of countless individual and collective
actions gathered across time and space. Social movements are directed towards
some specific goals. It involves long and continuous  social effort and action by
people. To draw from our discussion in chapter 2 we can view sanskritisation
and westernisation as social change and see the 19
th
 century social reformers’
efforts to change society as social movements.
8.2 SOCIOLOGY AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS
WHY THE STUDY OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS IS IMPORTANT FOR
SOCIOLOGY
From the very beginning, the discipline of sociology has been interested in
social movements.  The French Revolution was the violent culmination of several
movements aimed at overthrowing the monarchy and establishing ‘liberty,
equality and fraternity’. In Britain, the industrial revolution was marked by
great social upheaval. Recall our discussion on the emergence of sociology in
the west in Book 1 NCERT class XI. Poor labourers and artisans who had left
the countryside to find work in the cities protested against the inhuman living
conditions into which they were forced. Food riots in England were often
suppressed by the government. These protests were perceived by elites as a
BOX 8.3
Vimal Dadasaheb More (1970)
Speech by Ankush Kale who was born in a pardhi community at a public meeting
The pardhis are very skilful hunters. Yet society recognises us only as
criminals….Our community has to undergo police torture under the charge of theft. Whenever
there is a theft in the village, it is we who get arrested. The police exploit our womenfolk and we
have to witness their humiliation. Society tries to keep us at a distance because we are called
thieves. But have people ever tried to give us a thought? Why do our people steal? It is this
society that is responsible for turning us into thieves. They never employ us because we are
pardhis.
 Source: Sharmila Rege Writing caste/writing gender: narrating dalit women’s testimonies
(Zubaan/Kali , New Delhi, 2006)
EXERCISE FOR BOX 8.3
Read the narrative above. How is a new shared understanding developed? How is the dominant
society’s perception being questioned?
© NCERT
not to be republished
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