60 REVOLUTIONS — NAV NIRMAN MOVEMENT
The 1974 Gujarat Nav Nirman or reconstruction movement was the collective outcry of people against corruption in public life. This was the first and last successful agitation after Independence that ousted an elected government. It inspired Jayaprakash Narayan to launch the “total revolution” movement, the outcome of which was the Emergency and not a resurgence of public morality. Chimanbhai Patel became the chief minister of Gujarat in 1973, his reputation for corruption winning instant protest from students and teachers. READ MORE:
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Expectations for radical politics were running high at the time, courtesy Indira Gandhi’s Garibi Hatao campaign. The urban middle class was unhappy because of the high price of essential commodities while the countryside was demanding minimum wages and food security. But what sparked off the agitation was student protests in Ahmedabad in December, 1973 because of the high mess bills and poor quality of food. There were clashes between the police and students, and the students’ committee, later known as the Nav Nirman Yuvak Samiti, was formed to voice grievances. An indefinite strike in schools and colleges was called from January 7. Their demand was reduction in educational fees, more campus facilities, distribution of quality food and arrest of black marketeers. Students protest in Ahmedabad in 1974
The call for Patel’s resignation now became vociferous. The Ahmedabad and Vadodara bandh of January 10 turned into widespread riots for two days. On January 25, the day of the Gujarat bandh, the government imposed a curfew in 44 towns and the agitation spread throughout Gujarat. Dissident leaders of the ruling party also openly supported the agitation. Under mounting pressure, Indira Gandhi asked Patel to step down. He resigned on February 9. The governor suspended the state assembly and President’s rule was imposed. While agitators were celebrating Patel’s resignation, another section insisted on the dissolution of the assembly. Uprisings spread to the countryside. Opposition parties led the demand for dissolution, with leaders like Ravishankar Maharaj and Jayaprakash Narayan showing support. The resignation of 15 Congress (O) MLAs triggered the next phase of the agitation. By March, students had got 95 of 167 to resign. Morarji Desai, leader of Congress (O), went on an indefinite fast on March 12 in support of the demand. On March 16, the assembly was dissolved. Nav Nirman was a buzz word for students and their mentors. But their value system was no different from the politicians they were combating and the agitation had no effect on arresting corruption. Patel became chief minister again with BJP support in 1990, emerging as an icon of Gujarat’s development, while the agitation provided Narendra Modi, who was working as an organiser of RSS and ABVP during the movement, an opportunity to carve out his political space. In hindsight, Nav Nirman provided ground for reactionary forces to flourish.
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nav Nirman Andolan (Re-invention or Re-construction movement) was a socio-political movement that occurred in 1974 in Gujarat. It was students and middle class people's movement against economic crisis and corruption in public life. This was the only successful agitation that resulted in dissolution of an elected government. Contents [hide] * 1 Incidents * 1.1 Early student protests * 1.2 Political incidents * 1.3 Consequences * 2 After effects * 3 Significance * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 Further reading
Chimanbhai Patel became the chief minister of Gujarat in July 1973 replacing Ghanshyam Oza. There were...
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