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Day 11 – Q 1. Do you see pressure groups as a genuine mechanism for ensuring broader and more participative democracy? Critically comment. (10 Marks)

  • IASbaba
  • February 10, 2022
  • 0
Governance, GS 2, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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1. Do you see pressure groups as a genuine mechanism for ensuring broader and more participative democracy? Critically comment. (10 Marks)

क्या आप व्यापक और अधिक भागीदारी वाले लोकतंत्र को सुनिश्चित करने के लिए दबाव समूहों को एक वास्तविक तंत्र के रूप में देखते हैं? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।

Approach-

Candidates need to write about the pressure groups and critically comment whether they ensure the broader and participative democracy provide the both alternative sides. 

Introduction

A pressure group is a group of people who are organised actively for promoting and defending their common interest. It is called so, as it attempts to bring a change in public policy by exerting pressure on the government. It acts as a liaison between the government and its members.

Body

Ensuring broader and more participative democracy:

  • Pressure groups are agents of political socialisation of different community and social groups they have role in strengthening the democracy. 
  • Pressure Groups bring the demands and needs of the people to the notice of the decision-makers. The process by which the claims of the people get crystallized and articulated is called interest articulation. e.g. Narmada Bachao Aandolan. 
  • Pressure groups play a vital role in the legislative process, not only as important structures of interest articulation, but also as active agencies engaged in lobbying with the legislators for securing desired laws or amendments in laws and policies of the government.
  • Pressure groups play a leading role in the formulation of public opinion. Each pressure group is continuously engaged in evaluating all such laws, rules, decisions and policies which have a direct or indirect bearing on the interests it represents.
  • For example with the gains made in mass media and education level, various experts and members of these farmers organizations during farm protest who constantly raise their issues and opinions through media, social media and interviews. Through this, they have tried to influence public opinions and government ideas.

Many times instead of serving a useful purpose in the political administrative process, they are reduced to work for narrow selfish interests and hampers the democratic process:

  • Political motive: Instead of the pressure groups exerting influence on political process, they become tools and implements to subserve political interests.
  • Narrow selfish interests: Some Pressure Groups promote narrow selfish interest. Unlike the pressure groups in the developed countries of the West, where these are invariably organised to safeguard economic, social, cultural interests, etc. In India these groups are organised around religious, regional and ethnic issues. Many a time factors of caste and religion eclipse the socioeconomic interests.
  • Misuse of power: Instead of the pressure groups exerting influence on political process, they become tools and implements to sub serve political interests.
  • Instability: Most pressure groups do not have autonomous existence; they are unstable and lack commitment, their loyalties shift with political situations which threatens general welfare. They many a times resort to unconstitutional means like violence. Naxalite movement started in 1967 in West Bengal is one such example.
  • Propagating extremism: Pressure groups can allow too much influence over the government from unelected extremist minority groups, which in turn could lead to unpopular consequences. They many a times resort to unconstitutional means like violence. For example recent Republic Day-Red Fort incidents in Delhi.

Conclusion

Democratic politics  involves  taking decisions through consultation, debate, discussions etc. Pressure groups can form good channel of communication between citizen and government but at the same time their vested interests if any needs to be checked so that true meaning of democracy can be fulfilled i.e. “participative democracy”.

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