iasjnana
Essay
Civil Rights Movements and the effects

Civil liberties:

Civil liberties is associated with basic rights and freedoms that are guaranteed either explicitly identified in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, or deduced through the years by courts and legislators. Civil liberties are personal assurances and freedoms that the government cannot curtail, either by law or by judicial interpretation without due process.
The evolution of civil liberties movement in India can be traced back to pre independence era when the national liberation struggle was stirring up against the British tyranny. Main focus of these movements was on indefinite detention without trial which posed a serious threat to the civil liberties. Hence civil liberty movement got speed as a part of national movement. As a consequence, Indian civil liberty union was established by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1931
Civil liberties include:
- Freedom of speech
- The right to privacy
- The right to be free from unreasonable searches of your home
- The right to a fair court trial
- The right to marry
- The right to vote
Other civil liberties include the right to own property, the right to defend oneself, and the right to bodily integrity. Within the distinctions between civil liberties and other types of liberty, distinctions exist between positive liberty/positive rights and negative liberty/negative rights.
'Social movement' grown in Europe was the period of social disturbance. The political leaders and writers were concerned with the liberation of exploited classes and the creation of a new society by changing value systems as well as institutions and property relationships. Their philosophical orientation is reproduced in their description. Nevertheless, since the early 1950s, various scholars have provided detail account of the notion of social movements. According to social theorists, A social movement is a deliberate collective venture to promote direction and by any means, not excluding violence, illegality, revolution or withdrawal into 'utopian' community. Social movements are thus clearly different from historical movements, tendencies or trends. It is important to note, however, that such tendencies and trends, and the influence of the unconscious or irrational factors in human behavior, may be of crucial importance in illuminating the problems of interpreting the social movement.
Social movements often ascend with the objective to bring about changes on a public issue, such as safeguarding the right of the tribal population to use the forests or the right of displaced people to settlement and compensation. While social movements bring social change, counter movements sometimes arise in defense of status quo.
Scopes of social movements are as under:
  1. Social movements may be nonviolent in nature or they may also turn violent.
  2. The objective of a social movement is to bring about or resist social change in the society.
  3. Social movements lead to the formation of an entirely new social, economic, and political order.
There are many instances of social movement. When Raja Ram Mohan Roy campaigned against Sati and formed the Brahmo Samaj, protectors of sati formed Dharma Sabha and appealed the British not to enact against Sati. When campaigners demanded education for girls, many protested that this would be catastrophic for society. When crusaders campaigned for widow remarriage, they were socially criticized. When the so called 'lower caste' children registered in schools, some 'upper caste' children were withdrawn from the schools by their families. Farmer movements have often been viciously suppressed. In simple term, these movements emerged and highlighted some of the major issues such as gender and environment.
Popular movements in India are Chipko movement, Save Silent Valley, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Koel Karo, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Jhola Aandolan chutmarika (fighting polythene), Appiko movement, Save Kudremukh, Lok Satta Movement, Swadhyay Movement, Swatantra Sharad Joshi, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.

Human rights movements:

Human Rights are described as all those rights which are indispensable for the defense and maintenance of self-esteem of individuals and create conditions in which every human being can develop his personality to the fullest extent. Because of their vast significance to human beings, human rights are also called fundamental rights, basic rights, inherent rights, natural rights and birth rights. All or some of these may or may not be written in the Constitution and laws of a country and denies the autocratic behavior of the legislative body.
In India, the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 stated that "human rights" means the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International treaties and enforceable by courts in India. Fundamental rights include freedom of expression, association, religious freedom, equality before law, and directive principles are related to socio-economic rights, such as, rights to education, equal wages, and dignity of an individual indiscrimination before laws.
One of the many factors which led to the organization of the Indian National Congress in 1885 was the disappointment of Indians to get the Ilbert Bill passed in its original form proposing to give Indian magistrates the power to try British subjects in criminal cases.
It is documented that, ancient history of human rights movement can be drawn from 13th century. Magna Karta 1215 of King John II, the French Declaration of Rights man and citizens 1789, and the Bill of Rights, 1791, were the documents which gave human rights their initial constitutional status. Most of these documents were the result of long scuffles of the people. After the First World War, world population began to show its concern for global mechanisms to shield Human Rights. After the creation of the League of Nations, first international effect was made for human rights in 1948 and  UN embraced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In the year of 1918, the Congress made a declaration of rights submitted to the British parliament. It includes the freedoms of speech, expression and assembly, the right to be tried according to law, and above all, freedom from racial discrimination. Later, the Motilal Nehru committee of 1928 claimed all fundamental rights to Indians 'which had been denied to them'. Though the demands were overruled by the British government, the Congress passed a resolution on fundamental rights in the Karachi session in 1931.
The first human rights group in the country, the Civil Liberties Union was formed by Jawaharlal Nehru and some of his associates in the early 1930s with the aim of providing legal support to nationalists accused of sedition against the colonial authorities. In 1936, Jawaharlal Nehru came forward to form the first civil liberties organization. The Indian Civil Liberties Union (ICLU) was established in Bombay in 1936 with Rabindranath Tagore as its president. Nehru said in his address to the founding conference of the ICLU, that the notion of civil liberties is to have the right to oppose the government. Thus, liberties and rights protected in the Indian constitution were product of the freedom struggle of the people of India.
The human rights movement in the post-independence period is normally divided into two phases:
  1. Pre- and
  2. Post-Emergency.
The major civil liberties movement began in the late 1960s with the cruel attack by the state on the naxalites. The movement elevated the issue of democratic rights of the oppressed sections of society for justice and equality. While detailing the struggle, Kakarala contended that democratic rights are needed by those who have to struggle for justice while the fundamental rights are adequate for the privileged. Denial of democratic rights takes the form of a spasm on the right to assert rights already guaranteed.
In the regime of Smt. Indira Gandhi, the Emergency imposed on 25 June 1975 brought new change to the civil rights movement. She suspended the fundamental rights suing that they were used by the privileged section to prevent her from carrying out programmes in the interest of the ‘majority’. This formed the intellectual and political setting that led to the origin of the civil and democratic rights movement. Numerous recent civil liberties organizations emerged during this period to fight for civil and democratic rights.
It has been observed recently that there are several groups in different states working on human rights. The most important and famous are the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR). They have their formal or informal branches and/or network organizations in many states with the same names, though autonomous.
To summarize, a social movement is a huge movement and a joint attempt of people to bring social change, or to struggle for any change. The notion central to any social movement is that people interfere in the process of social change, rather than remaining mere spectators or passive participants in the web and flow of life. There are many types of social movement. Human Rights are the basic human needs and demands. They are essential for the all-round development of a human being. Henceforth, it is expected that civilized state will incorporate these rights in its constriction and try to guarantee that its citizens can live comfortably.

 

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