While the pressure groups play a constructive and positive role in deepening democracy and enhancing liberties, they are often criticized on various grounds. Discuss.

The pressure groups are collective of individuals who come together to secure their own as well as public interest through various ways, such as:

  • Electioneering – Placing candidates disposed in their favour on key political posts.
  • Lobbying – Indirectly and directly influencing the holders of official posts, who may not be initially in their favour, to act in furtherance of their interest.
  • Mobilizing – Use public opinion to indirectly influence the position holders.

Owing to these, pressure groups play a stellar role in strengthening and deepening democracy and electoral participation.

Pressure groups may be regional, sectional or common. For instance:

  • Narmada Bachao Andolan – aim to secure rights of displaced persons and rehabilitate.
  • Farmers pressure groups – further their own interest such as income security, waiver, etc.
  • NSUI – political mobilisation of students.

Despite their importance, they have come under scanner:

  • Suspicious role – favour their interest over others/national interest. E.g. Pressure groups for linguistic separatist state would threaten national unity and integrity.
  • Resorting to violent methods.
  • Indulging in corrupt practices.

Thus, pressure groups must take proactive steps to secure their legitimacy by not resorting to illegal and anti-national activities.

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