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Rise of Popular Movements

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Politics In India Since Independence

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Political Science

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Class 10 Class 12
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The Bharatiya Kisan Union is a leading organisation highlighting the plight of farmers. What were the issues addressed by it in the nineties and to what extent were they successful ?

As a result of ‘green revolution’ in the 1960s, sugar and wheat became main cash crops in the region of western UP and Haryana. However, the cash crop market faced a crisis in mid-eighties due to the begining of the process of liberalisation of Indian economy. Under these circumstances the Bharatiya Kisan Union addressed the following issues to protect the interest of the farmers :

(i) Higher government floor prices for sugarcane and wheat;

(ii) Abolition of restrictions on the inter-state movement of farm produce;

(iii) Guaranteed supply of electricity at reasonable rates;

(iv) Waiving of repayments due on loans to farmers;

(v) The provision of a government pension for farmers.

The BKU operated as a pressure group in politics with its strength of sheer numbers. The organisation did manage to get some of their economic demands accepted. The farmers’ movement became one of the most successful social movements of the eighties in this respect.


Some of the statements below are incorrect. Identify the incorrect statements and rewrite those with necessary correction :

(a) Social movements are hampering the functioning of India’s democracy.

(b) The main strength of social movements lies in their mass base across social sections.

(c) Social movements in India emerged because there were many issues that political parties did not address.

(a)Social movements are expanding  the functioning of India's democracy.




The anti-arrack movement in Andhra Pradesh drew the attention of the country to some serious issues. What were these issues ?

The serious issues towards which the anti-arrack movement in Andhra Pradesh drew the attention of the country were as given below :

(i) Increased consumption of a locally brewed alcohol-arrack-by men. The habit of alcoholism had taken deep roots and was ruining the physical and mental health of village people.

(ii) It effected the rural economy. Indebtedness grew with increasing scales of consumption of alcohol and men remained absent from their jobs due to effects of alcoholism.

(iii) There was increase in crime because contractors of alcohol engaged in crime for securing their monopoly over the arrack trade.

(iv)It resulted in the collapse of the family economy and the women bore the brunt of violence from the males in the family, particularly by the husband. The issue of domestic violence was discussed openly.

(v)Attention was drawn towards the nexus between crime and politics around the business of arrack because the state government collected huge revenues by way of taxes and therefore was not willing to impose on ban on sale of arrack. This issue was addressed in the agitation against arrack.

(vi) Attention was drawn towards other issues such as the custom of dowry, sexual abuse at work and public places and inequality in personal and property laws.


Identify the reasons which led to the Chipko Movement in UP in early 1970s. What was the impact of this movement ?

The reasons which led to the Chipko Movement in UP (Now Uttarakhand) were as given below :

(i) The forest department refused permission to the villagers to fell ash trees for agricultural tools.

(ii) The villagers protested against the practice of commercial logging that the government had permitted. The government had allotted the same patch of land to a sports manufacturer for commercial use.

(iii) There were larger issues of ecological and economic exploitation of the region. The villagers demanded that no forest-exploiting contracts should be given to outsiders and local communities should have effective control over natural resources like land, water and forests.

(iv) People demanded that the government should provide low cost materials to small industries and ensure development of the region without disturbing the ecological balance.

(v) There was issue of landless forest workers. The movement demanded guarantees of minimum wage.

(vi) The forest contractors doubled up as supplier of alcohol to men. Women were against this habit of alcoholism and held sustained agitations against it. They joined the movement and broadened the agenda of the movement to cover other social issues.

Impact of the movement : (i) The government issued a ban on felling of trees in the Himalayan regions for fifteen years, until the green cover was fully restored.

(ii) The Chipko Movement became a symbol of many such movements which emerged in different parts of the country during the 1970s and later.


Which of these statements are incorrect:
The Chipko Movement
  • was an environmental movement to prevent cutting down of trees.
  • raised questions of ecological and economic exploitation.
  • was a movement against alcoholism started by the women.
  • demanded that local communities should have control over their natural resources.


was a movement against alcoholism started by the women.