Despite the important role played by pressure groups in governance, their credibility is under scanner due to lack of transparency in their representativeness, funding and relationship with the government. Discuss.

Pressure groups are the groups of like-minded people who come together to impact the legislation, execution in their favour.

Pressure group play important role in governance:

  • In giving voice to the unheard.
  • Strengthening democracy.
  • Representing the deprived, e.g. Mahila Shashaktikaran Morcha.
  • Input to legislative process.
  • Maintaining accountability.
  • Robust policy mechanism.

But there have been some issues in their working:

  • Leadership by communal/religious leaders – based upon narrow interest.
  • Sometimes leadership demands for extra-democratic elections by people.
  • The groups include well-offs and the deprived sections remain under-represented.
  • Funding is often not transparent.
  • These groups sometimes support a desired party through funding.
  • The interest of minority groups is unrepresented. E.g. Samyukta Kisan Morcha is considered representative of big farmers.
  • The process followed is sometimes against the spirit of democracy. E.g. lobbying sometimes favours crony capitalism.
  • Leads to legislation favouring some groups. E.g. trade group ASSOCHAM impacting legislation.

To utilise pressure groups as a way of welfare, some measures can be taken like:

  • Delimiting role.
  • Transparency in funding.
  • Representation of all sections.
  • Presence of different groups in the same interest area.

Pressure groups are important to keep democracy on track; therefore steps are needed to make it more relevant.


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