Q.1. Who were the MNCs? Why were people in Bolivia protesting against them?
Ans. The MNCs were the multinational companies in Bolivia. Bolivia was pressurised by the World Bank to give up its control of municipal water. They sold these rights to a multinational company (MNC). The company increased the price of water by four times and people had to pay huge amounts. This led to a spontaneous popular protest.
Q.2. Explain the difference between the two protests in Nepal and Bolivia.
Ans. The movement in Nepal was for establishing a democracy in the country, it was about the foundation of the country’s politics. In Bolivia, people were demanding their rights from an elected government; it was about one specific policy.
Q.3. Describe the Maoist party.
Ans. It is a Communist Party which believed in the ideology of Mao, the leader of the Communist revolution in China. They believe in overthrowing the government through an armed revolution to establish the rule of peasants and workers. The Maoists were already involved in an armed struggle against the Nepalese Government. They controlled large parts of Nepal.
Q.4. Why and when did the movement start in Nepal?
Ans. King Gyanendra, in February 2005, dissolved the Parliament, dismissed the democratically elected government and seized power. This led to a movement in 2006, to take away the power from the king.
Q.5. In what way was the movement different in Bolivia?
Ans. In Bolivia, no political party led the movement which was against the government’s move to privatise water. An organisation called FEDECOR was formed comprising various interest groups or pressure groups. These groups were local professionals, engineers, environmentalists, federations of farmers, factory workers’ unions, middle class students of the University of Cochabamba and the homeless street children of the city. Only in 2006, when the Socialist Party gained power, a political party supported the movement.
Q.6. What conclusions do we draw from popular struggles in Nepal and Bolivia?
(i) Democracy evolves through popular struggles. It is possible that some significant decision may take place through consensus and may not involve any conflict at all.
(ii) Democratic conflict is resolved through mass mobilisation.
(iii) These conflicts and mobilisations are based on new political organisations.
Q.7. Differentiate between a pressure group and a people’s movement.
Ans. Both pressure groups and movements attempt to influence the government’s policies rather than directly take part in electoral competition. But unlike the pressure groups, movements have a loose organisation. They depend much more on spontaneous mass participation than an interest group.
Q.8. What is the difference between a sectional interest group and public interest group?
Ans. Sectional interest groups seek to promote the interests of a particular section or group of society. Their principal concern is the betterment and well-being of their members, not of society in general. Public interest groups aim to help groups other than their own members. They promote collective rather than selective good.
Q.9. Is the influence of mobilisation and movement groups healthy? [HOTS]
Ans. It may initially appear that it is not healthy for groups that promote interest of one section to have influence in democracy. However, pressure groups and movements have deepened democracy. Putting pressure on the rulers is not an unhealthy activity in a democracy as long as everyone gets this opportunity. 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.