Pressure groups have become a very important part of an administrative system. These groups try to pressurize the administrative and political system of a country either to ensure that their interests are promoted or to see that at least their interests are not relegated to the background. No system can function effectively without taking their views into consideration.
In developing countries like India where there is a scarcity of various resources on the one hand and acute poverty and deprivation on the other, the pressure on the administrative system is bound to be very heavy. They arise in different forms in different walks of life. They provide a stabilizing mechanism and form a crucial component of the structural equilibrium which means that they perform the system maintenance function.
In this article, you will read about what pressure groups are and the different types of pressure groups in India.
Pressure Groups Meaning
A pressure group is a group of people who have banded together to promote and defend a shared cause. It is so named because it tries to influence public policy by putting pressure on the government. It serves as a link between the government and its constituents.
It is critical in building a link or channel between citizens and government. The concerns and sufferings of the people have come to the notice of officials, who change their policies to accommodate them. They assist minorities in raising their voices through coordinated protests, sit-ins, rallies, and other means.
These organisations collect and acquire important information that is needed for making executive decisions since they specialise in certain areas. Members from business organisations, for example, might provide insight into financial choices and the general trend of the business industry.
Furthermore, by keeping a close check on the government’s actions, corruption and other detrimental acts would be exposed. The citizens of the country will be able to keep track of what is going on in government activities as a result of this.
Different Types of Pressure Groups in India
A large number of PGs exist in India but unfortunately, they are not developed as compared to the Western Countries like England, France, and the USA. It can be classified into the following categories. Let’s explain types, what type of pressure group is to stop the war, which type of associations are they, examples of pressure groups, interest groups in India, etc.
The Business group is one of the most important, influential, and organized PGs in India. Examples of business groups- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Associated Chamber of Commerce (ASSOCHAM) – major constituents are the Bengal Chamber of Commerce Calcutta and Central commercial organization of Delhi.
Trade unions cater to the demand of workers and labourers of the industries. Alternatively, they are also known as labour groups. In India, different trade unions represent different political parties. Examples- The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), All India Trade Union Congress (Communist Party of India)
They represent the farmer community of India and work for their well-being. Example- Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, Hind Kisan Panchayat (control of socialist).
Such associations raise the concern of working professionally in India ranging from lawyers and doctors, journalists, and teachers. Examples include the Association of Engineers, Bar Council of India (BCI), and Dental Council of India.
There are various organizations present to represent the causes and grievances of students in India. Examples are the National Students Union of India (Congress), All Assam Students Union (Asom Gan Parishad), Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti (Aam Admi Party).
Organizations based on religion have come to play an important role in Indian Politics. They represent the narrow perspective and are often termed as anti-secular. Examples of these organizations are Rashtriya Swyam Sevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Brahmo Samaj.
Caste has been one of the salient features of Indian Society. However, it has always been one of the ideologies discouraging the aspiration of the people and the constitution of India. The caste factor is always prevalent in elections in India. Examples of caste groups are Marwari Association, Harijan Sewak Sangh.
Tribal in India are prominent in Central India and North East India and are also active in the Central Indian Tribal belt and in northeast India. These organizations include the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, All-India Jharkhand, and Tribal Sangh of Assam
There are 22 scheduled languages in India. However, there have been many groups and movements working for the welfare of languages in India. For example- Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and Tamil Sangh, etc.
Ideology Based Group
Ideology based groups have been recently formed. Some examples of these groups include Environment Protection Groups like Narmada Bachao Andolan and Chipko movement, Democratic rights organization, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Woman rights organization, Civil liberties associations.
Anomic pressure groups refer to those spontaneous groups which are formed with a collective response through riots, demonstrations, assassinations, etc. The Indian government and bureaucratic elite, overwhelmed by the problem of economic development and scarcity of resources available to them, inevitably acquires a technocratic and anti-political frame of mind, particularistic demands of whatever kinds are denied legitimacy.
As a consequence, PGs are alienated from the political system. Some of the anomic PGs are- Naxalite groups, United Liberation Front of Assam, All Assam Students Union, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front.
UPSC Topic – Characteristics of Pressure Groups
Depending on the underlying cause and notice, pressure organisations may work at the local, provincial, national, or even worldwide levels. All interest groups want to influence government policy in order to help themselves or their objectives. They are typically volunteer-run and non-profit organisations.
They try to sway governmental or business decision-makers in order to achieve a stated goal. Individuals that share a similar set of values and views because of ethnicity, religion, political ideology, or a common objective form pressure groups. Individuals who are unsatisfied with existing societal conditions are frequently represented through pressure organisations.
Pressure Groups Characteristics
These are a natural development of the many interest groups that exist in every society. They never form governments or fight elections, but they do have an effect on government or public policy decisions.
They want to make a difference by running for public office, while pressure organisations try to sway political parties. Political groups tend to handle a wide variety of concerns, whereas activist organizations may be better equipped to focus on specific topics. The role of PGs in the political process is well acknowledged.
Functions of Pressure Groups
The pressure group has the following functions:
# They are a part of the administrative system.
# They have an impact on legislation.
# They play a crucial part in the democratic process.
# They make demand and need visible to policymakers and decision-makers.
# They are also involved in the administration of justice.
# Helpful in breaking the cycle of societal stagnation
Part of the Administrative System
PGs are involved in administrative processes on a regular basis. These organisations employ lobbying techniques to achieve their objectives in public policy administration.
Have a Say in the Legislative Process
They are a proactive agency that engages in lobbying with the legislature. They assist political parties in the preparation of manifestos.
Play an Important Part in the Democratic Process
In a democracy, political parties play an essential role. These organisations aid in the removal of the government’s monopolies, the protection of the interests of various groups, and the attainment of social equality. As a result, the country will become more democratic.
Bring Policymakers’ Attention to the Demands and Needs
PGs are a key source for achieving social equality because they draw policy makers’ or decision-makers attention to the problems that particular populations face. They utilise a variety of tactics, including hartals and bandhs, to attract the government’s attention to them. These pressure organisations have been known to utilise aggressive tactics that are damaging to society.
Serve a Vital Part in the Administration of Justice
These organisations also play an essential part in the administration of justice. They have the right to go to court if they believe their interest or even need is not being met, to seek redress for complaints, and to resolve a dispute.
Assist You Get Out of a Rut in Your Social Life
These groups, on occasion, take their group’s demands and bring them into the light. This aids in the alleviation of societal stagnation. This aids social cohesiveness and political stability as well.
Roles of Pressure Groups UPSC Topic
In the sense that they impact people’s attitudes toward the political process, pressure organisations are agents of political socialisation. They have a vital function in the transmission of cultural values as well as in influencing people’s political behaviour. They are elements of the political system’s social and psychological surroundings.
Members of diverse groups participate in political involvement through participating in group activities and affecting the character of the political process. Furthermore, these organisations serve as essential two-way communication conduits between the public and the government.
A constant series of contacts between political groups and pressure groups occurs in a political system. The latter is always working to sway the policies and actions of a political party or parties in order to protect their own interests.
Pressure Groups Roles
By their very nature, pressure organisations are apolitical. These play an important role in elections in an indirect way. When political parties choose their candidates, these organisations strive to sway the outcome.
They work to have beneficial provisions included in political party election manifestos. Following elections, lobbying organisations attempt to sway the selection of ministers from among the members elected.
Pressure groups play a significant part in the legislative process, not only as key institutions for articulating interests but also as proactive lobbying organisations working with lawmakers to get desired legislation or modifications to laws and legislation.
Pressure groups are actively engaged in the maintenance process. It is common knowledge that organised organisations, unions, and trade unions of government workers play an essential role. Civil servants are the backbone of the executive body, managing the government’s day-to-day operations and policies.
Growing Influence of Pressure Groups
The inclination in India to politicise any problem, whether it be of social, economic, or cultural importance, limits the breadth, efficacy, and reach of pressure organisations. Instead of generating influence on the political system, pressure groups become means and instruments to serve political goals.
The conditions that stifle the formation of sound civic awareness also stifle the establishment of healthy and functioning PGs as a valid method of projecting citizens’ legitimate socio-economic-ethnic-cultural interests.
Key Points to Remember for UPSC Exam
# It is critical for a functioning democracy to create public opinion in order for the policy in issue to be supported or criticised.
# PGs serve as an unstructured source of information by assisting in the education of people, the compilation of data, and the provision of the particular information to politicians.
# The active constructive engagement of various groups in polity aids in the reconciliation of public interests with the interests of particular groupings. Pressure organisations played a significant effect in shaping public opinion. Each pressure group is constantly examining all laws, regulations, decisions, and policies that affect the interests it represents, whether directly or indirectly.
# It has aided in bringing the benefits and drawbacks to the notice of not only its members but also the broader public in order to elicit public support as well as the attention of the government.
# Some organisations play critical roles in formulating policies and resolving difficulties in specific situations or for specific objectives. Anti-dowry, for example, or anti-sati.
Issues Related to Pressure Groups
The term “pressure group” refers to a collection of individuals who have a shared interest and seek to defend and prevent that interest. Trade unions, language organisations, caste groups, business groups, and other PGs exist in India. These organisations serve in the legislative, judiciary, and administration. They also aid in the democratic transformation of the country and the establishment of socioeconomic equality.
They may have skewed interests that are confined to a few members. Except for commercial groups and large community groups, most pressure groups do not have their own existence.
They are insecure and uncommitted; their allegiance fluctuates according to political circumstances, endangering the public welfare.
They frequently use unconstitutional methods such as violence. One such instance is the Naxalite movement, which began in West Bengal in 1967. And, because pressure organisations are not elected, it is not fair for them to make important policy choices in a democratic society.
In India, organised organisations have a greater effect on the administrative process than on policy formation. This is risky because it creates a disconnect between policy development and execution.
Many times, caste and religion have taken precedence over socioeconomic concerns. As a result, they are relegated to working for narrow selfish interests rather than performing a constructive role in the political administration process.
Furthermore, because of a shortage of resources, many of the groupings have a limited lifespan. This explains both the mushrooming of pressure organisations and their wilting when it becomes impossible to maintain the attention of those who were first drawn to establish these PGs.
Pressure Groups in India & the UK
In India and the United Kingdom, pressure organisations operate in similar ways. The goals they pursue are identical, as are the tactics they employ to attain their goals—demonstrations, campaigns, and coordinated protests. Pressure groups, on the other hand, can be claimed to be structured differently.
Outsider or insider pressure organisations might exist in the United Kingdom. Outsider groups get no official backing and rely on press coverage to spread their messages, while insider groups receive government attention and support and are frequently consulted for guidance.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is an instance of an insider group; they do not participate in demonstrations or marches. Instead, they labour quietly behind the scenes. When compared to the pressure organisations that exist in India, it is considerably more organised.
Pressure groups are a vital link between the government and the governed. They keep governments more responsive to the wishes of the community, especially in between elections.
They are different from the political parties in that they neither contest elections nor try to capture political power but their activism influences public policy. These groups promote a specific issue and raise up the political agenda or may have more general political and ideological objectives in mind while campaigning.
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