Sunday, December 2, 2007


--Pressure groups are organizations that attempt to influence govt. policies
--They do not directly control or share political power.
--these organizations are formed whith people with common occupation, interest, aspirations and opinions come together in order to achieve common objective.
These pressure groups are of two types.
seek to promote the interest of of a particular section/group of society.
--trade unions, business associations& professional lawyers doctors, teachers etc.
----they are sectional because they represent a particular section of a society.—workers, employees, businessmen followers of religion caste etc.
--the principal concern is the betterment & well being of its members & not of the society in general.
Public interest group:- they represent some common or general interest that needs to be defended.
--they are also called promotional group as they promote collective and not selective good.
--the members of the organization may not benefit from the cause that the organization represent. They aim to help groups other than their own members.
--in some cases the members of a public interest group may undertake activity they benefits them as well as others too.
--Eg.-:in Nepal Human rights was such organization, & in Bolivia FEDECOR, In India also we have BAMCEF
BMCEF-(Backward and Minorities Community Employees Federation)is such an organization that campaigns against caste discrimination, it addresses the problem of its members who suffer discrimination and its principle concern is with social justice and social equality for the entire society.
People’s movement word is used to describe many forms of collective action.
--it attempts to influence politics rather than directly take part in the electoral competition.
--these movements have loose organization.
--their decesion making is more informal and flexible.
--they depend more on spontaneous mass participation than an interest group.
--Eg.-Narmada Bachao Andolan,Movement of Right to Information,Anti-LiquorMovement, Environmental movement.
There are two types of movement groups:
Specific movements:-they are issue specific movements to achieve single objective
They work in limited frame of time and thus have usually short active life.--

Examples-The Nepalese movement for democracy arose with specific objective of reversing the king’s order that led to suspension of democracy.
In India, Narmada Bachao Andolan is also an example of this.
(This movement started with a specific issue of people displaced by the creation of sardar dam on the river Narmada.Its objective was to stop the dam from being constructed. Gradually it became a wider movement that questioned all such big dams.)
General/Generic movement:-these to achieve a broad goal in the long run.
--these are long term & involve more than one issue.
--there is no single organization that controls or guides such movements.
--Example—The Environmental movement and Women’smovements are such examples.
LOOSE UMBRELLA:-Some times these broad organizations have a loose umbrella. Various movement groups struggling on specific issues are constituent of this loose organization which coordinates the activities of a large number of people’s in our country.
Example-NAPM-National Alliance for People’s Movement is an organization of organizations.
Q. How do organizations and pressure groups influence politics?
They exert influence in variety of ways.
1.They try to public support and sy,pathy for their goals and activity by carrying out information campaign through organizing meetings,file petitions etc., they also make use of media.
2.They often organize protest activity like strike or disrupting govt. programmes.Workers organizations,employees associations etc. resort to these methods to force govt. to take notice of their demand.
3.Business groups often employ professional lobbyist or sponser expensive advertisements. Some persons from pressure groups may participate in official bodies or committees that offer advice to the govt. These groups exert influence on the political parties without being a party. They have political ideaology & political position
on major issues.
It can take different forms, direct and indirect:
--In some instances the pressure groups are either formed or led by the leaders of the political parties or act as the extended arms of political parties. for eg.—trade unions and students organizations in India are either established by or affiliated to one or the other major political parties.--most of the leaders of such pressure groups are usually the activist or leaders of party.
--Sometimes political parties grow out of movements. As had happened
in Assam movement led by students against the foreigners came to an end and it led the formation of ASSOM GANA PARISHAD and the roots of DMK AND AIDMK in Tamil Nadu can also be traced to the social reform movements during the 1930 and 1940’s
--They often take positions that are opposed to each other, yet they are in negotiation with each other.
--they do raise issues which are taken up by the political parties.
--most of the new leardership of political come from interest or movement groups.
It may appear that it is not healthy for the groups that promote interest of one section to have influence in democracy.
--A democracy must look after the interest of all, not just one section. Also, it may seem that these groups wield power with responsibility.
--political parties have to face the people in elections , but these groups are not accountable to the people.
--pressure groups and movements may not get their funds and from people. Some times with small public support but lots of money they can highjack public opinion in their favour.
--they have deepened democracy, put pressure on unhealthy activities in democracy.
--govt. can often come under the pressure of rich & powerful group but these public interest groups and movements perform a useful role of countering this undue influence and reminding govt. of needs and concerns of ordinary citizens.
--even social interest groups play a valueable role.
--All groups function actively, no single group can achieve dominance over society.
--if one group brings pressure on the govt. the other will counter pressure.
--the govt. hears about what people want.
--this brings a rough balance of power and accommodation of conflicting interest.

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