Social Movements

Notes on social movements in India and abroad
Thanks to my engagement with campaigns working on hunger, education, corruption, health, peace and other issues, I have had an active interest in collective action and its role in the society. The following articles are based on my experience with these campaigns (mainly right to food and the right to information campaigns in India). There are also a few articles that look at literature on this subject, as well as a selection of interesting talks and documentaries.

Many talks and interviews with well known people are now available online. I’ve put together a series of them that I have specially enjoyed. To see the rest, click here I bumped into a page called the best of google videos at hub pages dot com. The list of videos is interesting and varied, and it’s growing. You may wish to check it out at hub by clicking here.

Best of Google Videos at Hub Pages

Many talks and interviews with well known people are now available online. I’ve put together a series of them that I have specially enjoyed. To see the rest, click here Justice Henderson started as a sports person and with some mentoring graduated in Law. As he was finishing school he had an interesting offer to work in the Kennedy administration on civil rights issues. The interview interlaces Justice Henderson’s biography with the tumultuous years of civil rights activism in USA. The path he took – African American sports person who finally went on to become a Judge in a US […]

Interesting interview on civil rights with African-American Judge – Justice ...

Many talks and interviews with well known people are now available online. I’ve put together a series of them that I have specially enjoyed. To see the rest, click here This is an interview by Harry Kreisler taken in 1983 with Linus Pauling who got two Nobel Prizes, once for chemistry and the second time for peace. The interview is a reflection of the context in which Linus Pauling got into peace activism in the United States. The opinions of Pauling were slightly uncommon to me, atleast from a peace activist. He for example would talk of the importance of […]

The peace movement in historical perspective with Linus Pauling – ...

Many talks and interviews with well known people are now available online. I’ve put together a series of them that I have specially enjoyed. To see the rest, click here In this interview with Harry Kreisler Noam Chomsky traces his works starting from his childhood experiences. The talk is for one hour approximately and could be heard on a light day. This is a part of “Conversations with history” series anchored by Harry Kreisler of UC Berkeley. There have been many other interesting interviews by him, some of which are indexed in this website. Other talks in this series A […]

Webcast of Noam Chomsky interview on Activism, Anarchism and Power

My publications on Tamil Nadu's public services, right to food and other issues.

List of publications

I used to go to the library to listen to this talk earlier – till I discovered it in You Tube. A link is provided below to this great speech. Text of the talk Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic […]

I have a dream – Video of Martin Luther King’s ...

This documentary by Jan Madhyam Productions gives a very good introduction to the right to information campaign in India and on how RTI is used with social audits to combat corruption. In case you have trouble viewing it, please go to the permanalink by clicking the title above, or here

Documentary on MKSS and right to information campaign

Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement Artist: Cesar Chavez Created: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Documentary on grape workers movement – one of the biggest social movements in the history of USA I recently met someone who was involved in the Farm Workers Movement. I was told that it was one of the largest movements in the United States and Cesar Chavez, its charismatic leader was as popular as Martin Luther King at its time. I had to hear that with a certain sense of shame since I had not even heard about the movement till […]

Touching documentary on Farm Workers Movement USA

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow Link Created: Fri, 15 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Producer: PBS One of the best documentaries on the rise and fall of Jim Crow (segregation) laws in USA I have been hearing of Jim Crow laws ever since I came to the US and I decided to check out a documentary on this issue. This four-part series by PBS turns out to be one of the best documentaries on this issue. I have covered just the first part so far that starts from the emancipation and goes till the (in)famous formation of separate-but-equal doctrine […]

Documentary series on Jim Crow America by PBS

Eyes on the prize Link Created: Wed, 20 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Director: Henry Hampton Eyes on the prize is easily one of the best documentary series ever made. It covers the civil rights movement in USA from 1954 to 1965. Black war Veterans returned from fighting in Europe and other continents for ‘freedom’ and democracy to return home to Jim Crow America. Reluctant efforts to desegregate a highly divided society only resulted in mobilising a stiff white resistance. Ku Kulx Klan emerged to terrorise and keep the ‘Negros’ in their place. This time around, African Americans respond with a […]

Best documentary on American civil rights movement

If i had a hammar Artist: Pete Seeger Duration: 58 Created: Tue, 26 Sep 2006 Category: Documentary Just saw this documentary that reviews some of the major social movements in the US through songs of Pete Seeger. I had not realised that Pete Seeger was the composer of many hugely popular songs including we shall overcome and if I had a hammer. The documentary is weaved by a presentation by Pete himself who takes us through various important social movements including Trade Union movements in various cities, civil rights movement, far workers movement, feminist movement, peace movement and finally the […]

Documentary on Pete Seeger & social movements

This is a reasonably good list of books and articles by my favourite economist – Jean Dreze. These works are ‘academic’ and do not include some of his most interesting works including his diary as a squatter in London, and a set of essays edited by him, Bela Bhatia and Kathy Kelly on the Iraq peace camp. Agarwal, Bina, S. L. Rao, Jean Drèze, Patricia Uberoi, and National Council of Applied Economic Research. The Family in Public Policy : Fallacious Assumptions and Gender Implications. Golden Jubilee Seminar Series. Vol. 9th lecture. New Delhi: National Council of Applied Economic Research, 2000. […]

Books and articles by Jean Dreze: A detailed bibliography (downloadable)

This is a small but growing list on social movements. I’ve included some reviews in the book review section. My other bibliographies can be seen under the bibliography category. Eyerman, Ron, and Andrew Jamison. Music and Social Movements : Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge Cultural Social Studies. Cambridge, England ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. French, John D. Drowning in Laws : Labor Law and Brazilian Political Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004,; ———. The Brazilian Workers’ ABC : Class Conflict and Alliances in Modern São Paulo. Chapel Hill: University of North […]

Bibliography: Social Movements (downloadable)

In this note I have tried to put together some lessons that I learned from the Right to Food Campaign. I have drawn these notes from the activities of the campaign, the discussions we have had, the materials we have prepared for the public interest litigation and for the campaign. The campaign deals with questions that are similar to what we are going to deal with in the seminar viz. ensuring a hunger free India. I have drawn extensively on the materials we have prepared in the campaign, and specially on discussions with the ‘support group’. I would like to […]

Notes from the Right to Food Campaign

This is based on a field trip to Dhaulpur district of Rajasthan to visit child Anganwadis (care centres) in the district. I went with Sudha, a friend and colleague. DAY 1: A Meeting of ICDS functionaries On our first day at Dhaulpur, at the ICDS Project Office, we chanced upon a gathering of about 60 ICDS functionaries, including AWWs, ANMs and primary school teachers. This was their third day of a workshop, where they had been listening to expert speakers on a range of issues including ayurvedic home remedies, malnutrition, AIDS/HIV issues, education, etc. The functionaries were drawn mainly from […]

ICDS In Dhaulpur

I wish to share with you a message of hope in this anniversary issue of Humanscape. As a recent entrant in the world of social action, I have been asking myself whether people’s campaigns are effective at all. Are they capable of bringing the concerns of people into the political centre-stage and affect the way government works? In two short years of my association with such campaigns, I have gained hope that a well-organised and sustained campaign can indeed bring meaningful changes to the lives of poor and marginalized people. I have drawn inspiration from campaigns on several issues; but […]

A Message of Hope

This article was written after a visit to Karnataka with Muthappa and Saraswathi. The mid-day meal scheme had recently started in the State following Supreme Court directions and public pressure. I wrote this article with Jean Dreze and it was published in Hindustan Times. Ten months have passed since the Supreme Court directed the state governments to introduce cooked mid-day meals in all primary schools within six months. Some state governments are implementing the order, but many others are trying to buy time, plead for central funding, or even reverse the order. The court seems determined to enforce the order, […]

Hunger in the Classroom