Chapter 8: Competition and Framing in the Women’s Movement in India
Mayumi Murayama* INTRODUCTION India is considered one of the richest reservoirs of social movements. The presence of a large social movement sector is a salient feature of India. In comparison, other South Asian countries, namely, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, have active non-governmental organization (NGO) sectors engaged in development activities, but social movement organizations (SMOs) other than development-oriented NGOs seem to be few in number or, at most, not very visible in the society.1 A contrasting example to India is Bangladesh. The country is known for having large and efficient NGOs along with numerous smaller NGOs. Nevertheless, their activities are confined to economic and social development mainly in the form of projects and programs. Although there are occasional acts of protest or public debates against the government, those actions have not transformed into social movements, which entail a certain degree of sustained action. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to examine the reasons for the low profile of social movements in Bangladesh.2 Here, what I wish to highlight is that in India there are multiple strands of organizations, including both SMOs and NGOs, whose activities cover a wide range of issues; and, as will be discussed below, they are perceived somewhat as being competitive rather than cooperative in a particular social movement industry (SMI). The women’s movement is one of the most active SMIs in India. In terms of its visibility and volume of related literature, the women’s movement in India is far more active than those in...
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