e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Hugging the Trees for Life: Implicating Bitzer in the Non-violent Rhetorical Situation of the Chipko Movement

Shahreen Mat Nayan

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 21, Issue 2, June 2013

Keywords: Non-violent rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, social change, social movements

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This essay examines the non-violent rhetorical situation of the Chipko movement in India. According to Kirkscey (2007), Lucas (2006) and Gorsevski (2004), efforts to understand non-Western movements and non-violent rhetoric have long been sidelined in comparison to understanding movements in the West and those that are more aggressive in manner. This study hopes to fill in the gap in scholarship by highlighting the non-violent approach employed by the Chipko movement using Bitzer's (1968) rhetorical situation as a theoretical framework. The essay looks into the rhetorical situation of the movement, focussing on its exigency, audience and constraints. Later, an assessment of the Chipko movement's response as rhetor is offered. How Satyagraha (Gandhi's non-violent form of protest) influenced the movement's method will also be considered. The analysis suggests that the Chipko movement's non-violent tactics of saving the trees proves to be fitting and effective.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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