It has been observed that though the demands of regional movements may be legitimate but their methods and approaches are often conservative and traditional in nature, generally advocating status-quo in social issues. Critically discuss in context of India.

Regional movements occur as a result of heightened regionalism due to lack of services and deficit in fulfilment of aspirations.

  • These movements can range from niche issues such as grant of statehood to social issues such as reservation.
  • However they face the challenge of being conservative in outlook and thus require a more nuanced approach to handle them.

There are several examples of recent regional movements that portray traditional character and oppose social change, such as:

  • Jat reservation agitation in Haryana – these were traditional de-Sanskritizing movements; aimed at accruing social demands for being backward. The modernity for economic empowerment through self sufficiency was lacking.
  • Gurugram religious conflict movement – these show that how religious groups impose order rather than modernity.
  • Upper caste Brahmin Movement in Uttar Pradesh – against dalits and aimed at institutionalizing status quo.
  • Farmer’s movement – heavily oriented in Punjab and Haryana, opposed the reforms for modernization of agriculture.

Reasons behind opposition to modernity:

  • Perceived harm to social Institutions such as Dalit Bhima Koregaon movement in Pune.
  • Illiteracy leads to uninformed informed decision which fuels traditionalism.
  • Informal pressure group character – thus, they have to rely on traditional identity of caste and religion to mobilize.

However they are a symptom rather than problem:

  • Maratha son of soil movement shows that local employment has been unable to keep up.
  • Reservation based movement show that there is a need to end caste based discrimination.
  • Religious movements show that there is a need to pursue secularism in approach and uplift vulnerable communities.

We need to learn lessons from such movement since the demand can be legitimate even if the methods are traditional.

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