Popular movements in India................
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Popular movements in India................
A presentation by
Dr. Sujata Mukhopadhyay
Professor and Head
Dept. of Journalism and Mass
HMM College for Women
1. This is the first time that Indian public opinion has
gained such tremendous mileage
2. Instead of 3 main parties there are 4 main parties
fighting elections independently.
3. First time where congress has been steeped in
controversies and scams.
4. Importance of regional parties have gained
5. Cityzen journalism along with mass media played
a great role in social consciousness
6. Role of Social media.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL
In most cases, the relationship between
parties and interest groups is not so direct.
They often take positions that are opposed to
each other. Yet they are in dialogue and
negotiation. Movement groups have raised
new issues that have been taken up by
political parties. Most of the new leadership
of political parties comes from interest or
Sometimes political parties grow out
of movement. For example, when the
Assam movement led by strudents
against the foreigners came to an
end, it led to the formation of the
Asom Gana Parishad. The roots of
parties like the DMK and the
AIADMK in Tamil Nadu can be
traced to a long drawn social
reformation movement during the
30s and the 40s
In some instances the pressure
groups are either formed or led
by the leaders of political parties.
For example, most trade unions
and student organizations are
either established by or affiliated
to one major political party and
most of the leaders are either
activists or leaders of party.
While internet groups and
movements do not directly engage in
party politics, they seek to exert
influence on political parties. Most of
the movement groups take a political
stance without being a political
party. They have political ideology
on major issues. The relationship
between political parties and
pressure groups can take different
forms– direct or indirect.
Business groups often employ
professional lobbyists. Some persons
from pressure groups may
participate in official bodies and
communicatees that offer advice to
the government. They often organise
protest activity like strikes or
disrupting govt. programes. Workers
organisations etc. organise such
movements to put pressure on the
govt to fulfill their demands.
They try to gain public
support and sympathy for
their goals and their activity
by carrying out information
meetings, etc. most of these
groups try to influence the
media into giving more
attention to these issues
before and after
played a great
role in national
Singh has been at
the middle of
portrayed as the
2.Nirbhaya Rape Case
3. Nido Taniam case
4. Saradha Scam
5. Narmada Bachao Andolan
6.Maoist movement in Chattisgarrhh
8. Tehelka Case
9. Asaram bapu case
10. Everyday molestations
As is well known, the Aam Aadmi party is the
brainchild of Arvind kejriwal.
The party was formed after Kejriwal split with
team Anna regarding the question of forming a
The Jan Lokpal Bill was introduced and passed
Arvind Kejriwal became the CM of Delhi beating
Thus started a new movement, a social movement
never seen before.
Educated men and women, mostly from the IITs
joined the movement, which gained heavy
momentum in the different states.
The victims, a 23-year-old woman and a male friend, were on their way home on
the night of 16 December 2012 after watching the film Life of Pi in Saket, South
Delhi. They boarded an off-duty charter bus at Munirka for Dwarka that was being
driven by joyriders at about 9:30 pm (IST). There were only six others on the bus,
including the driver. One of the men, a minor, had called for passengers telling
them that the bus was going towards their destination.The woman's friend became
suspicious when the bus deviated from its normal route and its doors were shut.
When he objected, the group of six men already on board, including the driver,
taunted the couple, asking what they were doing alone at such a late hour.
The partially clothed victims were found on the road by a passerby at around 11
pm (IST). The passerby phoned the Delhi Police, who took the couple to
Safdarjung Hospital, where the female victim was given emergency treatment and
placed on mechanical ventilation. She was found with injury marks, including
numerous bite marks, all over her body. According to reports, one of the accused
men admitted to having seen a rope-like object, assumed to be her intestines, being
pulled out of the woman by the other assailants on the bus. Two blood-stained
metal rods were retrieved from the bus and medical staff confirmed that "it was
penetration by this that caused massive damage to her genitals, uterus and
When the woman's friend tried to intervene, he was
beaten, gagged and knocked unconscious with an
iron rod. The men then dragged the woman to the
rear of the bus, beating her with the rod and raping
her while the bus driver continued to drive. Medical
reports later said that the woman suffered serious
injuries to her abdomen, intestines and genitals due
to the assault, and doctors said that the damage
indicated that a blunt object (suspected to be the iron
rod) may have been used.
That rod was later described by police as being a rusted, L-
shaped implement of the type used as a wheel jack handle.
According to police reports the woman attempted to fight off
her assailants, biting three of the attackers and leaving bite
marks on the accused men. After the beatings and rape ended,
the attackers threw both victims from the moving bus. Then
the bus driver allegedly tried to drive the bus over the
woman, but she was pulled aside by her male friend. One of
the perpetrators later cleaned the vehicle to remove evidence.
Police impounded it the next day.
Protests at Raisina Hill, Rajpath, New Delhi
Public protests took place in New Delhi on 21 December
2012 at India Gate and Raisina Hill, the latter being the
location of both the Parliament of India and Rashtrapati
Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India.
Thousands of protesters clashed with police and battled
Rapid Action Force units. Demonstrators were lathi
charged, shot with water cannon and tear gas shells,
Similar protests occurred throughout the country. More than 600
women belonging to various organisations demonstrated in
Bangalore. Thousands of people silently marched in
Kolkata.Protests occurred online as well on the social networking
sites Facebook and WhatsApp, with users replacing their profile
images with a black dot symbol.Tens of thousands signed an
online petition protesting the incident.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev and former Army chief General Vijay
Kumar Singh were among the demonstrators who clashed with
Delhi Police at Jantar Mantar. On 24 December, activist Rajesh
Gangwar started a hunger strike, saying about the accused men,
"If my death shakes the system and gets them hanged, I am
ready to die".Gangwar ended his fast after 14 days, saying, "My
fight to demand a strict law against rape will be continued in the
future... I have dedicated myself for this cause".
Nido Taniam, a student from Arunachal Pradesh was beaten up
mercilessly near Lajpat nagar in Delhi on January 29th
, 2014. He had
gone there with his friends to a sweet shop, when the shopkeeper
started mocking him for his hairstyle. Nido responded by breaking the
glass door of the shop, and the incident escalated.
This incident started a movement against racism, where other students
from the north east came together and unitedly fought for cause.
However, the severity of the incident proves how the government had
so long neglected the north eastern part of the country. Moreover,
severe state repression was unleashed and racism was promoted in a
The movement gained momentum, as students of the north east vented
out their grievances against the government. This as not an isolated
crime, but a pattern of discrimination was there all through, especially
regarding th people from the north east.
Operation Lalgarh was an armed operation in India
against the Maoists who have been active in
organising a tribal movement alongside a group
called the People's Committee Against Police
Atrocities (PCAPA). The operation was organised by
the police and security forces in Lalgarh, Paschim
Medinipur, West Bengal to restore law and order in
the area and flush out the Maoists.The area of
operation is said to be expanded to 18 police
stations in the three Maoist affected districts of
Paschim Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia
The incident has its root in an incident on 2 November 2008. On the way
back from laying the foundation stone of Jindal steel plant at Shalboni,
the convoy of the chief minister of West Bengal Buddhadeb Bhattacharya
and then central ministers Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitin Prasada came under
a landmine attack by the Maoists. Though the ministers were unharmed, it
hit a police jeep in the convoy and six policemen were grievously injured.
The CPI(Maoist) in a press release accepted the responsibility of the
explosion and stated clearly that they were opposed to the steel plant on
tribal land and that the target of the explosion was Buddhadeb
Bhattacharya. In the aftermath of the assassination attempt, the West
Bengal Police carried out raids across the Lalgarh area. Due to the
influence by ruling party [ [CPI (Marxist)] ], the police atrocities,
indiscriminate raids and brutal beatings, resulting in serious injuries to
many people, mainly women. People have been subjected to beatings,
torture, molestation of women and false cases.
The police quickly understood the extent of mobilization that the adivasis
have made and started making false promises about the imminent release of
those arrested including the 3 school students. The police thought of buying
some time with these lies, hoping that the mass will disperse with time. But
the adivasi crowd around the Police Station only got thicker. Support and
solidarity from surrounding and far off adivasi villages started pouring in.
The otherwise omnipresent leaders of political parties were not allowed to
negotiate. The adivasis were rather happy about this as in the past the
interference of these leaders in any mass protests have always resulted in
confusion and withdrawing of the protests with unknown negotiations
behind closed door meetings. This time the adivasis chose their
representatives from amongst themselves who were communicators rather
than leaders and took no decision on behalf of the mass but only
communicated them. Soon the police understood that the adivasis were in no
mood to return without a result and they disclosed that nothing was in their
hands because the ones arrested had already been transferred to Midnapore
jail the previous day.
The road to Lalgarh from Medinipur and Jhargram had been
blocked at several places with large felled trees. The repeated
liesby the Lalgarh police infuriated the mass who decided not to
depend on the police for any results and to build up a movement to
force the release of those illegally detained. They decided to
prevent the deployment of reinforcement of police and
paramilitary as previously many adivasi movements have been
brutally crushed using paramilitary force. Thus roads were dug up
and blocked at several places by felled trees. This has uncanny
resemblance to the Nandigram movement remained at the
headlines throughout 2007 March to December. The Lalgarh
village is connected with Jhargram and Medinipur towns by roads
which are bordered on both sides by sparse to moderate forests.
the roads have been dug up or blocked by trees at least in 25
The movement had no conventional leadership and often entire village
population sat together and discussed for hours as to the steps to be taken in
the movement. Men, women, youth, students all took part in these grand
meetings. The traditional leaders were not stripped of the respect that they
usually received but were given no more weight than anyone else at the
meetings. A forum was thus launched which had no conventional political color
and which united the entire adivasi society for a common cause after a long
time. It gained immense popularity and most mainstream parties and their mass
bases vanished altogether.
Each Village formed a committee of 10 representatives who would with
committees of other villages to communicate the decision of the masses of one
village to another. Each committee further had two persons who had to be
available at all times in case of urgent meetings at short notices
Adivasi women have come forward in a big way to carry forth this
movement. Each 10 persons committee has 5 women members. This
involvement of women came naturally to the adivasis who have a more
equal society when it comes to gender. The participation of women in
meetings and rallies are also remarkable. The atrocities over the women
of Lalgarh have been excessive, and the women since then never attend
rallies unarmed. They bring along whatever is at hand. Bows, arrows,
knives, swords, scythes, axes, sticks, brooms and so on. The attack on
the dawn of 5 November has been most brutal on the women with one
of them losing her sight, as the butt of a police rifle landed on it. Another
woman of Lalgarh was manhandled and left unconscious in broad
daylight as she tried preventing the police who dragged away her
husband who happens to be a local Jharkhand Party leader while they
were buying medicines. All this adding to the severe torture and
repression of women have led to the present consolidation of the adivasi
women, or so they claim.
The Saradha Group financial scandal is a financial scam that was caused
by the collapse of a Ponzi scheme run by Saradha Group, a consortium of
Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of
collective investment schemes (popularly but incorrectly referred to as
The relatively prosperous rural economy of West Bengal had previously
relied on small savings schemes run by Indian Postal Service. However,
low rates of interest in the 1980s and '90s encouraged the rise of several
Ponzi schemes in speculative ventures such as Sanchayita Investments,
Overland Investment Company, Verona Credit and Commercial
Investment Company. Together, these scams eliminated close to 10
billion INR in investor wealth.
Saradha Group changed its methods of raising capital. In West Bengal,
Jharkhand, Assam and Chattisgarh, it now ran variations of collective
investment schemes (CIS), such as tourism packages, forward travel and
hotel booking timeshare credit transfer, real estate, infrastructure finance,
and motorcycle manufacturing.The investors were rarely informed about
the true nature of the investments. Instead, many investors were told only
that they would get high returns after a fixed period.
Saradha Group also recruited Kunal Ghosh, another Trinamool Congress
Member of parliament, to act as the CEO of the media group. Under Kunal
Ghosh, the group went on a spree of buying and establishing local television
channels and newspapers. By 2013 it employed over 1500 journalists and
owned eight newspapers in five languages: Bengal Post, Seven Sisters Post
(English dailies), Kalom (Bengali daily), Prabhat Varta (Hindi daily), Ajir
Dainik Baturi (Assamese daily), Sakalbela, Azad Hind and Parama
(Bengali dailies). It also owned two Bengali news channels (Tara Newz and
Channel 10), two Bengali general entertainment channels (Tara Muzic and
Tara Bangla) and one FM radio station.
In January 2013, the cash inflow of Saradha Group was less than its cash
payouts for the first time. This outcome is inevitable in a Ponzi scheme that is
allowed to run full course. Although Sudipta Sen tried to calm uneasy
depositors and agents,the tide had irrevocably turned.
In a letter dated 6 April 2013, Sudipto Sen wrote a 18-page confessional letter
to the Central Bureau of Investigation, in which he admitted that he had paid
large sums of money to several politicians.He also stated that TMC leader
Kunal Ghosh had forced him to enter into money-losing media ventures and
blackmailed him into selling one of his channels at below market price.
Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) is a social movement consisting of
adivasis, farmers, environmentalists, and human rights activists against a
number of large dams being built across the Narmada river. The river flows
through the states of Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh in India. Sardar Sarovar
Dam in Gujarat is one of the biggest dams on the river and was one of the
first focal points of the movement. Friends of River Narmada is the unofficial
website of the NBA.
Their mode of campaign includes hunger strikes and garnering support from
film and art personalities (notably Bollywood actor Aamir Khan). Narmada
Bachao Andolan, with its leading spokespersons Medha Patkar and Baba
Amte, received the Right Livelihood Award in 1991.
Post-1947, investigations were carried out to evaluate mechanisms for using
water from the Narmada River, which flows into the Arabian Sea after
passing through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat. Due to inter-state
differences in implementing schemes and sharing of water, the Narmada
Water Disputes Tribunal was constituted by the Government of India on 6
October 1969 to adjudicate over the disputes
Medha Patkar noticed was that the people who were going to be affected
were given no information but for the offer for rehabilitation. Due to this, the
villagers had many questions from why their permission was not taken to
whether a good assessment on the ensuing destruction was taken.
Furthermore, the officials related to the project had no answers to their
questions. While World Bank, the financing agency for this project, came
into the picture, Patkar approached the Ministry of Environment to seek
clarifications. She realized, after seeking answers from the ministry, that the
project was not sanctioned at all and wondered as to how funds were even
sanctioned by the World Bank. After several studies, they realized that the
officials had overlooked the post-project problems.
Thereafter, she organized a 36-day solidarity march among the neighboring
states of the Narmada valley from Madhya Pradesh to the Sardar Sarovar
dam site. She said that the march was "a path symbolizing the long path of
struggle (both immediate and long-term) that [they] really had". The march
was resisted by the police, who according to Patkar were "caning the
marchers and arresting them and tearing the clothes off women activists"
While Medha Patkar established Narmada Bachao Andolan in 1989, all these
groups joined this national coalition of environmental and human rights
activists, scientists, academics and project-affected people with a non-violent
Using the right to fasting, she undertook a 22-day fast that almost took her life.
 In 1991, Patkar's actions led to an unprecedented independent review by the
World Bank. The Morse Commission, appointed in June 1991 at the
recommendation of World Bank President Barber Conable, conducted its first
independent review of a World Bank project.
She undertook a similar fast in 1993 and resisted evacuation from the dam site.
 In 1994, the Bachao Andolan office was attacked reportedly by a couple of
political parties, where Patkar and other activists were physically assaulted and
verbally abused. In protest, a few NBA activists and she began a fast; 20 days
later, they were arrested and forcibly fed intravenously.
Amongst the major celebrities who have shown their support for Narmada
Bachao Andolan are Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy and Aamir Khan.
1994 saw the launch of Narmada: A Valley Rises, by filmmaker Ali Kazimi. It
documents the five-week Sangharsh Yatra of 1991. The film went on to win
several awards and is considered by many to be a classic on the issue. In 1996,
veteran documentary filmmaker, Anand Patwardhan, made an award-winning
documentary: A Narmada Diary.
Tehelka means sensationalism. It was started in 2000 by Tarun Tejpal and
First came out as a newspaper and then as a magazine from 2003.
Gained im portance after the Sting operation of different cricketers in the
match fixing scandal.
The again the operation West End where a fake arms deal was unearthed.
In 2013 December Tejpal resigned from editorship for a period of 6 months
due to a sexual harrassment allegation against him by an intern.
THiNK Fest" was started in 2011 as an annual literary festival and promoted
as an event of Telekha. This program is run by an organisation called
Thinkworks Pvt Ltd, a company owned by Tejpal, his sister Neena and
Chaudhury. The organisers said that it was "India's most thought-provoking
platform for ideas from across the globe" which brought together brilliant,
cutting-edge minds from across all the key disciplines that impact human
affairs.It features Bollywood actors, global thinkers, sessions on new
In 2007, they released footage, which was filmed over six months, showing
several BJP politicians admitting they had a role in attacking the Muslim
community during the 2002 Gujarat violence. In the video, the right-wing
organisation Bajrang Dal convener Babu Bajrangi, said that a mob which he had
led, killed 91 Muslim men and women at Naroda Patiya; they then raped a
pregnant women, slit open her womb and threw both the foetus and her into a
On 23 July 2009, when police in Manipur claimed they had killed a suspected
militant who had shot at them, Tehelka released 12 photographs which proved
that it was a fake encounter. Those showed the police pushing an unarmed
person, who was their suspect, into a pharmacy and later carried him out dead.
In 2010, they captured on camera, right-wing organisation Sri Ram Sena leader
Pramod Muthalik and other members, where Muthalik agreed vandalise an art
exhibition in exchange for money. The organisation was seen accepting
INR10000 (US$160) as a donation from a Tehelka reporter, who posed as the
artist wanting publicity.
The sexual assault allegations against
Tejpal in November 2013, received intense
public attention and media scrutiny because
Tehelka had previously been involved in
highlighting the issue of sexual violence in
India, including in a special issue on the
topic in February 2013.There were protests
against Tejpal by supporters of the BJP and
its allies.Shoma Chaudhury's handling of
this case was also criticised