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MPSE-007: Social Movements and Politics in India

MPSE-007: Social Movements and Politics in India

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2023-24

If you are looking for MPSE-007 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Social Movements and Politics in India, you have come to the right place. MPSE-007 solution on this page applies to 2023-24 session students studying in MPS courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MPSE-007/Asst/TMA/2023-24

Course Code: MPSE-007

Assignment Name: Social Movements and Politics in India

Year: 2023-2024

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Answer five questions in all, selecting at least two questions from each section. Each question is to be answered in about 500 words. Each question carries 20 marks.


Q1) Explain the various approaches to study social movements in India.

Ans) Studying social movements in India involves multiple approaches that account for the diverse nature of these movements and the socio-political contexts in which they emerge. Some approaches include:

a) Historical Approach:

1) Focus: Traces the evolution of social movements in India over time, examining their origins, growth, and transformations.

2) Methodology: Analyses primary historical documents, archives, and narratives to understand the movements' socio-political context.

b) Sociological Approach:

1) Focus: Studies social movements as a response to societal issues, analyzing their structure, goals, and impacts on society.

2) Methodology: Employs sociological theories to comprehend the dynamics, motives, and consequences of movements.

c) Political Science Approach:

1) Focus: Investigates the political dimensions of social movements, including their interaction with the state, political ideologies, and power dynamics.

2) Methodology: Analyses the role of movements in shaping policies, political parties, and governance.

d) Cultural Studies Approach:

1) Focus: Examines the cultural dimensions of social movements, exploring the symbolism, rituals, and narratives used in mobilization.

2) Methodology: Analyses cultural artifacts, media representations, and discourses to understand the cultural aspects of movements.

e) Anthropological Approach:

1) Focus: Explores the grassroots realities, identities, and lived experiences associated with social movements.

2) Methodology: Involves fieldwork, participant observation, and ethnographic studies to understand the social and cultural contexts of movements.

f) Gender Studies Approach:

1) Focus: Considers the gender dynamics within social movements, analyzing the roles, contributions, and challenges faced by women and marginalized genders.

2) Methodology: Employs feminist perspectives and intersectionality theories to examine gender issues in movements.

g) Economic Approach:

1) Focus: Studies the economic aspects of social movements, including issues related to class, labor, land rights, and economic disparities.

2) Methodology: Analyses economic policies, resource distribution, and socio-economic impacts of movements.

h) Globalization Perspective:

1) Focus: Examines how global factors, transnational networks, and international influences shape social movements in India.

2) Methodology: Studies cross-border linkages, global flows of ideas, and international solidarity movements.

Q2) Why ‘new’ social movements are called ‘new’? Write it’s features in brief.

Ans) 'New' social movements emerged in the late 20th century and are labelled as 'new' to distinguish them from earlier forms of social movements. Here are some key reasons why they are termed 'new' and their distinctive features:

a) Reasons for being termed 'new':

1) Temporal Context: Emerged Post-1960s: The 'new' social movements surfaced in the late 1960s and gained prominence in the following decades, differing from earlier movements that arose in the industrial era.

2) Shift in Focus: Moved Beyond Class Struggles: These movements shifted the focus from traditional issues of class struggle and economic demands to diverse concerns, including identity, environment, gender, and cultural rights.

3) Change in Strategy: Employed Non-traditional Tactics: 'New' movements often adopted non-traditional methods, such as grassroots organizing, advocacy, and networking, rather than relying solely on established political channels.

b) Distinctive Features:

1) Identity and Recognition: Emphasis on Identity Politics: They revolve around identity-based issues, including gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights, indigenous rights, and cultural recognition, aiming for social inclusion and recognition.

2) Globalization and Transnationalism: Global and Transnational Outlook: Addressing issues transcending national borders, advocating for global justice, and leveraging international networks and platforms.

3) Emphasis on Cultural and Lifestyle Issues: Concern for Cultural Rights and Lifestyles: These movements often advocate for cultural diversity, challenging dominant cultural norms, and asserting the right to alternative lifestyles.

4) Decentralized and Networked: Embrace Decentralized Organizational Structures: Often characterized by decentralized networks, fostering participation and collaboration across diverse groups and communities.

5) Focus on Environment and Technology: Advocacy for Environmental Causes: Many 'new' movements prioritize environmental sustainability, challenging environmental degradation and advocating for ecological awareness.

6) Inclusivity and Diversity: Embrace Diversity and Inclusivity: Encouraging diverse participation, acknowledging multiple identities, and aiming for social justice and equality for marginalized groups.

7) Intersectional Approach: Recognizing Intersectionality: Understanding that issues like race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect, impacting individuals' experiences and contributing to social inequalities.

Q3) Compare the conditions of the backward classes in north India with those in south India.

Ans) Comparison Between the Conditions of the Backward Classes in North India and South India:


Write a short note on each part of the following question in about 250 words:

Q4a) Political mobilization of dalit

Ans) The political mobilization of Dalits in India represents a significant social and political movement aimed at asserting the rights and representation of the historically marginalized Dalit community. Here are the key points:

a) Historical Context:

1) Dalit Identity: Dalits, formerly known as "untouchables," have faced systemic discrimination and social exclusion for centuries due to the caste system.

2) Ambedkar's Leadership: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar played a pivotal role in advocating for Dalit rights and drafted the Constitution, ensuring affirmative action for the Dalit community.

b) Political Mobilization:

1) Leadership and Organizations: Various leaders and organizations, such as Ambedkar's political party (Scheduled Castes Federation) and later the Republican Party of India, emerged to champion Dalit rights.

2) Reservation and Representation: Dalit leaders have strived for political representation and the implementation of reservation policies in education, government jobs, and politics.

c) Challenges and Achievements:

1) Challenges Persist: Despite legal safeguards, Dalits continue to face discrimination, atrocities, and social exclusion in many parts of India.

2) Empowerment Through Politics: Political mobilization has empowered Dalits by providing a platform to raise their voices and demand their rights.

d) Contemporary Scenario:

1) Electoral and Social Movements: Dalit political parties and social movements, such as the Dalit Panthers and Bahujan Samaj Party, advocate for social equality and political representation.

2) Asserting Political Clout: Dalit leaders and parties, by consolidating their vote bank, have influenced electoral outcomes in several states, leading to increased political significance.

e) Conclusion:

The political mobilization of Dalits signifies a struggle against social oppression and marginalization. While significant strides have been made in political representation and empowerment, the movement continues to address persistent social and economic disparities, aiming for an inclusive and equitable society.

Q4b) Politics of reservation

Ans) The "politics of reservation" in India pertains to the system of affirmative action or reservation policies designed to uplift historically marginalized communities, primarily Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). Here are the key points:

a) Historical Context:

1) Ambedkar's Vision: Dr. B.R. Ambedkar advocated for affirmative action to address centuries-old caste-based discrimination.

2) Constitutional Provision: The Indian Constitution, under Articles 15(4) and 16(4), introduced reservation policies in education, public employment, and legislative bodies.

b) Implementation and Controversies:

1) Quota System: Reserved quotas are allocated in educational institutions, government jobs, and legislative seats to ensure representation from marginalized communities.

2) Debate and Criticism: Reservation policies often face debates regarding meritocracy, reverse discrimination, and the perpetuation of caste-based identities.

c) Social and Political Implications:

1) Empowerment: Reservation policies have provided opportunities for education and employment, enabling socio-economic upliftment for historically marginalized communities.

2) Political Significance: Reservation has become a crucial political tool, shaping electoral dynamics, and influencing voting patterns.

d) Ongoing Challenges:

1) Evolving Criteria: The identification of beneficiaries and the criteria for reservation are subjects of continuous debate and revision.

2) Critiques and Alternatives: While reservation aims to address historical injustices, critics propose alternative methods like socio-economic criteria for upliftment.

e) Contemporary Scenario:

1) Expansion and Ongoing Reforms: Reservation has expanded to include more castes and categories, reflecting changing socio-political realities.

2) Calls for Balance: There are ongoing discussions on striking a balance between social justice through reservation and the need for a merit-based system.

f) Conclusion:

The politics of reservation remains a contentious issue, representing the tension between social justice and meritocracy. While reservation policies have uplifted marginalized communities, debates persist regarding their effectiveness, necessitating continuous evaluation and reforms to ensure equitable opportunities for all.

Q5a) Farmer’s movement in India

Ans) The farmer's movement in India represents the collective struggle of agricultural workers and farmers against various issues, including agricultural policies, land rights, fair prices for produce, debt, and rural distress. Here's an overview:

a) Historical Context:

1) Long-standing Issues: Indian agriculture has faced challenges like fragmented land holdings, low productivity, lack of modernization, and inadequate support for farmers' welfare.

2) Policy Reforms: Over the years, government policies on land acquisition, minimum support prices (MSP), loan waivers, and crop insurance have been areas of contention.

b) Key Demands and Protests:

1) MSP and Price Mechanisms: Farmers demand remunerative prices for their crops, often citing inadequate MSP and fluctuating market prices as issues.

2) Debt and Financial Distress: Issues of mounting debts, crop failures, and lack of adequate financial support have led to farmer distress and suicides in some cases.

3) Land Rights and Acquisitions: Disputes over land acquisition for industrial projects and displacement due to infrastructure development have led to protests.

c) Major Movements and Protests:

1) Nationwide Agitations: Farmer unions and associations, like All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU), have organized protests, marches, and rallies to highlight their demands.

2) Land Disputes and Resistance: Movements against forced land acquisitions and displacement, notably in regions like Singur and Nandigram, gained widespread attention.

d) Government Responses and Reforms:

1) Policy Interventions: In response to protests, governments have announced loan waivers, introduced new farm bills (such as the Farm Acts), and initiated schemes for farmers' welfare.

2) Ongoing Debates: The Farm Acts faced resistance and debates over concerns about minimum support prices, contract farming, and the corporatization of agriculture.

The farmer's movement in India reflects the struggles faced by those involved in agriculture and highlights the need for comprehensive reforms addressing issues of agrarian distress, fair pricing, debt relief, and rural development for sustainable growth in the agricultural sector.

Q5b) Growth of Trade Unions

Ans) The growth of trade unions signifies the progression of collective worker representation and advocacy for labor rights in various industries. Originating during the Industrial Revolution, trade unions emerged as a response to the exploitation and injustices faced by workers in industrial settings. Initially focused on addressing issues like poor working conditions, low wages, extended working hours, and inadequate labor protections, these unions gradually gained prominence.

Trade unions played a pivotal role in pushing for reforms, including improved wages, better working environments, job security, and additional benefits for workers. Their evolution encompassed the mobilization of workers to demand fair treatment, collective bargaining with employers, initiating strikes, and collaborating with governmental bodies to establish labor laws and regulations.

Despite fluctuations in membership and influence due to economic shifts and changing labor landscapes, trade unions continue to serve as crucial entities safeguarding the interests and rights of workers. They actively participate in negotiations, advocate for improved labor standards, and strive to create a more equitable and balanced work environment for employees across diverse sectors. The trajectory of trade unions reflects the ongoing struggle for fair labor practices and the assertion of workers' rights within modern societies.

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