Q.1. Give the reasons, events and results of the Movement of April 2006 in Nepal.
Ans. Causes : King Birendra of Nepal had accepted to be the constitutional head instead of an absolute monarch. But he was mysteriously killed in 2001 and the new king, Gyanendra, did not accept democracy. He dissolved the Parliament and sacked the Prime Minister. The movement of April 2006 was against the actions of King Gyanendra, and to seize power from him.
Events. All major political parties formed a Seven-Party Alliance and they called for a fourday strike in Kathmandu (the capital of Nepal). They were joined by Maoist insurgents and various organisations. People poured into the streets of Kathmandu, defying the curfew and the police found it impossible to deal with more than a lakh people involved in it. On April 24, 2006, the king finally gave in and he was forced to concede all three of their demands. Girija Prasad Koirala was chosen as the new Prime Minister.
Results : Most of the powers of the king were taken away. The SPA and the Maoists agreed about the new Constituent Assembly, and how to elect it.
Q.2. What is a Movement? Explain the difference between a Movement and a Pressure Group.
Ans. A Movement is a form of collective action which also tries to influence government policies or politics. Like a Pressure Group, it also does not seek power and does not take part in elections. But unlike the pressure groups, it does not have a strong organisation. They have a loose organisation which is both informal and not rigid. They depend on spontaneous mass participation rather than interest groups supporting them. Examples : Women’s Movement, Narmada Bachao Movement, etc.
Q.3. How have Pressure Groups and Movements deepened democracy?
Ans. In a democracy, sometimes politics is influenced by a small but rich and powerful group. Public interest groups and movements play a very important role in exerting such an influence. They make the government aware that it should think of the needs and concerns of ordinary citizens and not of a few rich groups.
Pressure groups also help the government in getting the views of different sections of the population. They do not allow the government to listen and follow the views of one single group and allow it to dominate the policies. In this way a rough balance of power is achieved and many conflicting views are heard and accommodated.
Q.4. Describe Bolivia’s water war.
Mention any three features of the Bolivia Water War. [2011 (T-2)]
Ans. The government of Bolivia sold the right of municipal water supply of the city of Cochabamba to a multinational company. The company immediately raised the price of water by four times. This led to a popular protest and in January 2000, an alliance of labour, human rights and community leaders organised a successful four-day general strike in the city. The government agreed to negotiate and the strike was called off. Instead of resolving the issue, the police resorted to brutal repression and the government imposed martial law. But the power of the people forced the officials of the MNC to flee the city and made the government concede to all the demands of the protestors. The contract with the MNC was cancelled and water supply was restored to the municipality at old rates. This came to be known as Bolivia’s water war.
Q.5. Compare and contrast single-issue movements with general or long-term movements.
Ans. Single-issue movements are issue-specific movements that seek to achieve a single objective within a limited time frame. These movements have a clear leadership and supporting some, organisations. But their active life is very short. The Nepalese movement for democracy and Narmada Bachao Andolan are good examples of single-issue movements.
Long-term movements are general or generic movements that seek to achieve a broad goal in the long terms and involve more than one issue. There is no single organisation that controls or guides such movements. The environmental movement and the women’s movement are examples of such movements. Environmental movement is a label for a large number of organisations and issue-specific movements. All of these have separate organisations, independent leadership and often different views on policy related matters. Yet all of these share a broad objective and have a similar approach.
Q.6. ‘Pressure groups and movements have deepened democracy.’ Discuss.
Ans. In democracy, putting pressure on the rulers is not regarded as an unhealthy practice as long as everyone gets this opportunity. Public interest groups and movements perform a useful role of countering the undue influence of a small group of rich and powerful people, reminding the government of the needs and concerns of the ordinary citizens.
Even the sectional interest groups play a valuable role. Where different groups function actively, no one single group can achieve dominance over society. If one group brings pressure on government to make policies in its favour, another will counter pressure not to make policies in the way the first group desires. The government, thus, gets to hear about what different sections of the population want. This leads to the accommodation of conflicting interests and thus deepening of democracy.
Q.7. Describe any two features each of sectional and promotional or public interest groups is India.
What are sectional interest groups? How do they watch their interests? Explain. 
What are public interest groups? How do they look after the public interests? Explain. 
Sectional interest groups
(i) They represent a section of society : Workers, employees, business persons, industrialists, followers of a religion, caste group, trade unions, business associations and professional bodies (lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc.) are some examples of sectional interest groups.
(ii) Their principal concern is the betterment and well being of their members, not society in general.
Promotional or public interest groups
(i) They represent some common or general interest that needs to be defended. The Bolivian organisation, FEDECOR is an example of this kind of group.
(ii) In some instances, the members of a public interest group may undertake activity that benefits them as well others. For example, BAMCEF (Backward and Minorities Community Employees Federation) is an organisation largely made up of government employees that campaigns against caste discrimination. It addresses the problems of its members who suffer discrimination. But its principal concern is with social justice and social equality for the entire society.
Q.8. Keeping in mind some of the social and economic problems existing in our country, think about an ‘interest group’ you would like to set up. Give the reasons to justify your decision. [HOTS]
Ans. Self Attempt.
[Hints : You can take the issue of child labour.]
|1. What are some examples of popular struggles and movements in history?
|2. Why do popular struggles and movements arise?
|3. What role do leaders play in popular struggles and movements?
|4. How do popular struggles and movements bring about change?
|5. What are the challenges faced by popular struggles and movements?