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Popular Struggles in Nepal and Bolivia

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  • Last Updated : 01 May, 2022

Social movements are a collective attempt of people to bring a new change or show resistance against a change. The concept of movements is the involvement of the people in shaping democratic government. Democracy evolves through people’s participation in the form of mass mobilization, and struggles.  

Mobilisation and organisations

In a democratic country, different kinds of organizations play important role in shaping democracy.

  • Direct participation of political parties in running the government which is elected by people’s voting.  
  • Indirect participation by forming an organization called “interest groups or pressure groups” and undertaking activities to promote the interest or views of people.

Pressure groups and movement

These are the organization formed by the people working in common actuation, interest, aspirations, or opinions which come together to achieve a common objective like influencing government policies. A movement a try to shape government policies by indirect participation.  

Example: Narmada Bachao Andolan, the movement for information, anti-liquor movement, women’s movement, environmental movement.

 These groups are divided into two categories namely sectional interest groups and public interest groups:

  • Sectional interest groups: Sectional interest groups aim to promote the interest of a particular section or group of society. This group’s main concern is working for the betterment of its members. Ex: Bolivian organisation
  • Public interest groups: Public interest groups m to help groups other than their own members. The main concern is to help people other than their own members. Example: BAMCEF 

Popular struggles in Nepal and Bolivia

Struggle and movement for democracy in Nepal

Nepal was under the rule of kings until 2006. The protest against kings’ rule and the Restoration of democracy in Nepal is considered one of the most popular struggles and movements in the world. According to records, Nepal won the democracy in 1990, King Birendra remained head of state and real power was exercised by popularly elected representatives. Unfortunately, King Birendra was killed in a mysterious massacre of the royal family in 2001. Soon after his death King Gyanendra became the new king of Nepal. He took the advantage of weakness and unpopularity of the democratically elected Government and started exploiting the people of Nepal. In the month of February 2005, the king dismissed the prime minister who was in power then, dissolving the popularly elected parliament. The movement for democracy began in the month of April of 2006 which was aimed at regaining control over the government from the king.

All the major political parties discuss among themselves and formed a seven-party alliance (SPA). The SPA called for a force day strike in Kathmandu which is the capital of Nepal. The protest was converted to an indefinite strike in which MAOIST sergeants and various other organizations joined. People registered curfew and out industries. Almost a lack of people was gathered every day to demand the restoration of democracy. The security forces found it difficult to control the mob. On the 21st of April the people who gathered to protest reached almost 3 to 5 lacs and demanded an ultimatum to the king. This movement was so strong that the leaders willingly denied the halfheartedly concessions made by the king. They demanded the Restoration of parliament, power to the all-party government, and a new constituent assembly. Finally, on 24th April 2006, the king was forced to accept their three demands.

The SPA chooses Girija Prasad Koirala as the new prime minister of their government. The restored parliament met and passed new laws taking away the most powers of the king. In 2008 Nepal became a federal democratic republic by abolition the monarchy of the king. This struggle of the Nepali people for the restoration of democracy has become an inspiration for the people around the world.

Bolivia’s water war

Bolivia is a poor country in Latin America. Earlier the government was supplying municipality water. Due to the pressure from World Bank, the government sold the rights of water supply for the city of Cochabamba multinational company. On gaining the control the MNC immediately increased the price of water by four times which came up to the bill of Rs 1000 for water alone for a month. Bolivia is a poor country where the average family income is around Rs 5000 for a month. Paying 20% of their income for water alone made their life difficult to survive. This raise to a protest. Labours, human rights and community leaders formed an alliance. A successful four day strike in the city was organised in January 2000. The strike was called off by trusting the government which promised to negotiate the price with MNC. Yet nothing happened. The police started brutal punishment for the people. The alliance called another strike in the April and the government imposed martial laws to stop it. The power of the strike was so strong that the officials of the MNC were run away from the city. The government was forced to accept the demand of protesters. The contractual delegation between MNC and the government was cancelled and the water supply was restored to the municipality at old rates. 

Sample Questions

Question 1: How pressure groups and movements try to shape politics?

Answer:

Pressure groups and moments try to gain public support and sympathy for their cause by sharing the information. Bhai organising strikes and description that try to change the government rules by announcing their demands. 

Question 2: Which was the main reason for movement held in Bolivia in 2000?

Answer:

The moment held in Bolivia was for restoration of water supply to the municipal corporation which was earlier by a  MNC.

Question 3: Explain direct and indirect participation in forming the government.

Answer:

Direct participation is done by political parties to run the government which are elected by people’s voting. Indirect participation is done by forming an organisation and undertaking activities to promote the interest or demands of people

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