ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Revolution, Reform, or Protest? A Study of the Bihar Movement—III

The Bihar Movement (1974-75) under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan did not aim at merely bringing about fete changes here and there; it aimed at a 'Total Revolution' in the country. Any revolutionary movement, more so such a 'Total Revolution, presupposes an ideology which presents a profile, general or specific of the future social order; programmes and strategies which concretise that ideology; personnel — leaders and cadre — who carry out the programme; and an organisation linking the revolutionaries at various levels through communication and action. The present study examines the Bihar Movement with reference to these prerequisites. This, the third and concluding part, examines the Sarvodaya ideology and movement, specifically its attitude towards such concepts as parliamentary democracy and planned economic development. The study shows that despite Sarvodaya's disenchantment with these concepts as enunciated and practised by the Congress, the movement's relation with the Congress party and government has been generally close and even excellent except in recent years, Attitude towards the Congress Party has been a crucial factor shaping Sarvodaya ideology, and the Bihar Movement in fact split on this question. The achievements and failures of the Bihar Movement are summed up. The author finds that despite the claim of being part of a 'Total Revolution", the Movement was essentially a protest movement, aiming at certain limited reforms of the existing order. 

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