Short Note on Grassroot Movement
According to D L Sheth – Grassroot movements or micro movements have become active in different parts of the country since 70s. They represent the desperate struggle of economically marginalized and socially excluded sections of the society. Many micro movements have combined together to form national level alliance to fight against Indian state on the issues of globalization. There is an impression that Indian state is increasingly getting aligned with foreign capital. Micro movements are countervailing forces against global political and economic power e.g. People protesting against upcoming Nanar,Ratnagiri Oil Refinery in Maharashtra. Protest against Vedanta in TN.
Rajni Kothari mentions the rise of micromovements is a symbol of the disssatisfaction with representational politics and institutional decline. There is a decline of parliament and disconnect between people and their representatives. There is a decline of political parties. Political parties have long abandoned movement aspect of politics and have reduced themselves to the electoral machines. Political parties operate at the grassroot level only at the time of elections. Trade unions in India have been junior partners and bargaining counters of political parties. Thus micromovements led by educated middle class have emerged in India.
Smitu Kothari – According to Smitu Kothari, globalization have revived the grassroot movement around the world because of the destructive forces of development. Globalization have also promoted the growth of movements for peace, human rights and movements against corruption.
Amrita Basu suggests the growth of grassroot movements in India is because of capitalist model of development on one hand and the availability of democratic space on the other hand.
Ranjitha Mohanty has suggested that grassroot movements have served following tasks.
Replaced the exclusionary narrative of state led development with counter narrative of inclusion. Expand non party political spaces for social actions. Public space is constantly democratized. Renegotiating people’s relationship with the state. Site of the reconstruction of modernity through the discourse of citizenship and rights.