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Title: Movement allies : the politics of civil rights activism in India (1960s-1980s)
Author: Pandey, Ankita
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 4183
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is a study of the practices of civil rights groups in Indian politics as a distinct form of collective action. It examines the key aspects-composition, location, tactics, internal debates and collective identity-of civil rights groups in India during 1960s-1980s. Civil rights groups, in the Indian context, are independent and voluntary activist organisations such as the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR). They were formally set up in the early to mid-1970s. Their goal has been to defend the civil liberties and democratic rights of citizens, often, but not exclusively, from official abuse. The scholarship on civil rights groups has classified their collective action as a social movement. However, based on an examination of the history, practices and the narratives gathered from activist interviews during fieldwork, I argue that civil rights groups are better understood as movement allies, i.e., they are allies of, rather than a party to, movement groups. To consider them a movement is to misunderstand and obscure their core features. The thesis is motivated by three research questions. i) What role do civil rights groups play in the domain of social movement politics in India? ii) How is civil rights activism practiced and what are its key aspects? iii) How does the presence of movement allies refine our understanding of democratic politics in India?
Supervisor: Gooptu, Nandini Sponsor: Commonwealth Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available