For some, pressure groups are a fundamental part of democracy. To others, pressure groups undermine the whole principle of democracy. Democracy is a system of government where decisions are arrived at by majoritarian principles with representatives elected at periodic elections where political equality and political freedom allow the voter an effective choice between competing candidates in a secret ballot. How do pressure groups fit in with this concept?
What Are Pressure Groups
A pressure group can be described as an organised group that does not put up candidates for election but seeks to influence government policy or legislation. They can also be described as ‘interest groups’, ‘lobby groups’ or ‘protest groups’.
Pressure groups enable new concerns and issues to reach the political agenda, thereby facilitating social progress and preventing social stagnation. For example, the women’s and environmentalist movements.
Pressure groups increase social cohesion and political stability by providing a ‘safety-valve’ outlet for individual and collective grievances and demands.
Pressure groups assist the surveillance of the government by exposing information it would rather keep secret, thereby reinforcing and complementing work of opposition through political parties. Pressure groups thereby improve the accountability of decision-makers to electorates.
Group opposition can slow down or block desirable changes, thereby contributing to social immobilisation.
Large-scale demonstrations mounted by any group may lead to unpleasant clashes without the police, sometimes involving militants with their own agenda. This level of civil disobedience cannot be justified in today’s democratic system.
Pressure groups are an essential dimension of any democracy, yet they can endanger democracy if sectional groups undermine the public interest or if the methods they use are corrupt or intimidating.
The pressure groups in India mount up to no significance at all. These partisans have an overall lead of digression rather than solving problems in a direct way. Coordination is lacking as well. There are business, agriculture, caste, etc. based pressure groups who seem to sustain better outlook but in reality, made no real progress or even made into headlines alone.
If they really had a positive impact then we would have known them. In this case, the answer is no. My suggestion would be to disband these partisans as they might clash with PM Modi’s plan of reviving India because these are not coordinated partisans and each has their own agendas but fail to fulfil them as they digress from the problems. My estimate is PM Modi might be clashing with these partisans in a near time to come.