Legitimization is the process of
convincing the target group and the public that the movement objectives are
morally right. The ideal would be making a case for the movement as a moral
imperative. Leaders of the movement might use theological, philosophical,
legal-technical, public opinion paths to establish the tenability of the
movement’s objectives. Legitimization is a continuous process. Before launching
the program, the leaders justify their actions. Subsequently, as the conflict
exhilarates to higher stages and as the leader adds new dimension to their
programme, further justification is added, and fresh arguments are put forth.
Such justification is not done by leaders alone. During their participation,
followers too, contribute to the legitimization process. Following are the
three approaches to legitimization:
1) Theological and religious approach to
legitimization: Gandhiji, used this approach during the freedom movement. He
appealed to serve dharma by revolting against the injustice of Britishers.
approach to legitimization: People associated in the Campaign Against Child
Labor, through peaceful rallies, persuasive speeches, use of media, organizing,
drawing competition among school children, have helped to create an environment
against child abuse in the country. As a result, employing children in any
occupation is considered morally wrong and it becomes moral obligation to all
conscious citizens to make sure that all children below the age of 14 years go
to school instead of earning a livelihood.
3) Legal-technical approach to
legitimization: People engaged with the ‘Campaign for People’s Right to Health’
have based their argument on the human rights issues, fundamental rights, and
government’s commitment to ‘Health for All’. It gives credibility to the
2-Principle of Dramatization:
Dramatization is the principle of mass mobilization by which the leaders of a
movement galvanize the population into action by emotional appeals to heroism,
sensational news management, novel procedures, pungent slogans, and such other
techniques. Almost every leader mobilization the masses, uses this principle of
dramatization. Tilak, Marx, Guevara, Pereyra and the Assam agitation leaders,
resorted to this principle. Some of the mechanisms of dramatization could be:
Use of songs: Catchy songs, which put forth the cause of a movement, create a
dramatic effect. During freedom struggle, at Bartoli, local talent was tapped
to compose songs to stimulate the enthusiasm of the people. Several choirs were
trained, and they travelled from village to village in a bullock cart to sing
satyagraha hymns at numerous meetings.
Powerful speeches: This is also a crucial way of motivating the masses and
creating drama-effect. Gandhiji’s appeal to sacrifice and martyrdom was
thrilling and it had a special appeal for the youth to work for this cause.
Role of women: Making prominent women lead marchers was a technique which gave
a dramatic effect to the movement. At Rajkot, Kasturba Gandhi herself
inaugurated the civil disobedience movement by courting arrest first.
4) Boycott: Boycott is also an effective way
of influencing public opinion both when the effort is successful and when it is
crushed. Picketing and ‘hartals’– voluntary closure of shops and other
organization, were used by Gandhiji to dramatize the issue.
Slogans: Bharat chodo, Jal hi Jeevan, say no to Drugs, HIV/AIDS– knowledge is
prevention, etc. are some of the slogans used to give dramatic effect to
various social movements.
3-Principle of Multiple Strategies:
There are two basic approaches to development: Taking the main thrust of a
programme, one can classify it as political, economic, or social. The basket
principle indicates the adoption of a multiple strategy, using combined
approaches and a combination of different types of programmes. Zeltman and
Duncan have identified four development strategies from their experience of
community development. These have been framed for use in social action. They
Educational strategy: In this strategy, the prospective participants are
educated at the individual, group, and mass level. This is one of the basic
requirements of social action. People or target groups are given necessary
information about the issue. By creating awareness people are motivated and
persuaded to participate in the movement. During campaign against child labor,
a network of NGOs working with children was developed and these NGOs in tune
created awareness in their respective areas through educational strategy.
Education by demonstration is an important aspect of this principle.
Demonstration has deep impact on the knowledge retention of the target
2) Persuasive strategy: Persuasive strategy is
the adoption of a set of actions/procedures to bring about changes by
reasoning, urging, and inducing others to accept a particular viewpoint.
Gandhiji used this strategy by constantly seeking opportunities for dialogue
with his opponents. At every rally, stress was laid on winning new converts by
oratory and gentle presentation of arguments.
3) Facilitative strategy: This refers to a set
of procedures and activities to facilitate the participation of all sections of
society in the mass movement. The programme Gandharans devised was often so
simple and devoid of any risk that even illiterate children could imitate them
and participate in the National Liberation Movement. In salt satyagraha,
Gandhiji did not go into the technicalities of salt making. He simply asked the
followers to make consumable salt by boiling the seawater. Its simplicity did
facilitate greater participation. 4) Power strategy: It involves the use of
coercion to obtain the desired objectives. The forms of coercion may vary.
Gandhiji used social ostracism as one of the techniques of power strategy.
of Dual Approach:
Any activist must build counter-systems or revive some unused
system, which is thought to be beneficial to the mobilized public on a
self-help basis without involving the opponent. This is a natural requirement
consequent upon the attempt to destroy the system established/maintained by the
opponents. Gandhian constructive work program performed such a function, in a
small measure, together with conflictual programs of satyagrahis. This
cooperative effort indicates that Gandharans adopted or attempted to a dual
approach in their mobilization. Principle of Manifold Programmes: It means
developing a variety of programs with the ultimate objective of mass
mobilization. These can be broadly categorized into three parts: Social,
Economic and Political program. Dr. Rajendra Singh has taken up the issue of
water conservation as a composite of manifold programs. His water
conservation helped the villagers, particularly women, who had to go miles to
fetch water. It helped in better development of crops, better animal husbandry,
implying more economic benefits. During the movement, there were direct and
indirect conflict resolutions with the local leaders, panchayat bodies, and