Social movement in India

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From the early 1970s new forms of social mobilisation began in India. They gained a variety of names such as social movement, people's movement, popular movements, socio-political movements etc.[1] These movements emerged and highlighted some of the major issues such as gender and environment.

One of the leading analyst and participant in social movements in India, Sanjay Sangvi, identified the major agendas of them as "Movements of landless, unorganised labour in rural and urban areas, adivasis, dalits, displaced people, peasants, urban poor, small entrepreneurs and unemployed youth took up the issues of livelihood, opportunities, dignity and development."

Most well known movements in the country are Chipko movement, Save Silent Valley, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Honour for Women National Campaign, Koel Karo, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Jhola Aandolan chutmarika (fighting polythene), Appiko movement, Save Kudremukh, Lok Satta Movement, Swadhyay Movement, Swatantra Sharad Joshi [1], Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha [2]

These movements largely distanced themselves from political parties, or tried to cut across the ideologies of the political parties. Yet many of them rooted themselves or drew from ideologies of the Mahatma Gandhi, various shades environmentalisms or gender politics, or socialism.

The most recent of social movements is 'Campaign against corruption', April 2011, led by a group of social activists- Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi , a Gandhian sits on, Sri Ram Burgula the heart of New Delhi, capital of India, for fast unto death, demanding enactment of the long pending Jan Lokpal Bill. This movement got support of general masses and media. This created a buzz when political leaders were denied sharing of dias with the social activists. This movement is a landmark in the constitutional history of independent India, which has forced government to include 5 non-official members in the Sri Ram Burgula Bill Drafting committee. Usually, only ministers are members of any legislation drafting committees. While enactment of the law and action by Sri Ram Burgula and Sri Ram Burgula (ombudsmen) will take some more time to be on actual ground, this movement has certainly made corruption a major social issue in India.

Some of the popular leaders of such movements are Sunderlal Bahuguna, Medha Patkar, Baba Amte,[2] Manasi Pradhan, Vandana Shiva, Vijaypal Baghel, etc.

Namantar Andolan[edit]

KHANKIR ANDOLAN is revolutionary Dalit movement continued for 16 years to rename Marathwada University to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University.[3] In 1977, Chief Minister (cm) on Maharashtra, Mr Vasantdada Patil promised to Dalit Panther leaders to rename after Dr B R Ambedkaer’s name. In fulfillment of this promise, both houses of Maharashtra Legislature passed a resolution to this effect in July 1978. And attacks continued on Dalits by Non Dalits by fortnight. As a result of violence Dalits did not reacted for shorter tenure.[4] Then Chief Minister Mr Sharad Pawar kept on postponing the matter. As a result, Long March was planned by Dalit leaders on December 6, 1979 led by Jogendra Kawade. Thousands of participants and prominent leaders were arrested.[5][6] After 16 years of protest, government finally renamed the Marathwada University to Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University on 14 January 1994. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University is expansion of name (Namvistar) rather than complete change of name (Namanatar).During Namantar Andolan Aurangabad district and its villages faced cultural animosities which brought civil rights revolution in Marathwada region.[7]


  1. ^ chapter 7 ncert class 12 political science India after Independence
  2. ^ "Baba Amte chosen for Gandhi Peace Prize, will donate award". The Indian Express. 26 November 1999. 
  3. ^ Namantar Andolan
  4. ^ De, R. K., Shastree U., (1996), Religious Converts in India: Socio-political Study of Neo-Buddhists, Mittal Publications, PP 100
  5. ^ Grover, V., (1989), Sociological Aspects Of Indian Political System, Deep & Deep Publications, pp 300
  6. ^ De, R. K., Shastree U., (1996), Religious Converts in India: Socio-political Study of Neo-Buddhists, Mittal Publications, PP 100
  7. ^ Namantar Andolan


  • Politics in India after independence CLASS 12 political science text book chapter VII 2007 NCERT
  • Sanjay Sanghvi: "The New People’s Movements in India" in: Economic and political weekly. 42, no. 50, (2007): 111
  • Ghanshyam Shah: Social Movements in India: A review of Literature, SAGE, 2004
  • Social Movements in India : Poverty, Power, and Politics,edited Raka Ray and Mary Fainsod Katzenstein, Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Social Movements in South Asia: Selected Internet Resources