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Protest and Agitation

Protest is a social process of opposition against any person, group or even wider society. It may occur at individual or collective level, manifest or latent level and may involve action or inaction as a tool of protest. Opposition is central in protest while a purpose is central in an agitation. Protest presupposes a prior event against which a protest is done. Protest can also be distinguished on the basis of mode of protest. This could be a candle and torch light procession, use of black cloth, songs, poetry, violence etc. While protest is a reaction to an event that has already occurred, an agitation can also be a future occurrence against any event or incidence. In modern societies frequency of protest varies. In democratic societies, freedom of expression is tolerated and protests are acceptable. Protests also depend upon factors like limited resources, discrimination based on gender, caste, class or religion. Agitation is a social process that involves intense activity undertaken by an individual or group in order to fulfill a purpose. Purpose is central to agitation. Dissatisfaction is also central to agitations while dissent is central to protests. Agitation is manifested through activities like strikes, mass leave, rioting and picketing. It can either organized or unorganized and is generally non institutional .The agitation and protest can be due to actual as well as relative deprivation of agitators /protestors or their affiliate groups. Agitations may also aim to acquire power. Agitations are usually spontaneous. However both protests and agitations can be institutionalized and become social movements.