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Day 12 – Q 2.Are pressure groups good for a vibrant democracy? Don’t they promote vested interests of a particular group or community? Critically examine with the help of suitable examples.

2. Are pressure groups good for a vibrant democracy? Don’t they promote vested interests of a particular group or community? Critically examine with the help of suitable examples. 

क्या दबाव समूह एक जीवंत लोकतंत्र के लिए अच्छे हैं? क्या वे किसी विशेष समूह या समुदाय के निहित हितों को बढ़ावा नहीं देते हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की मदद से समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।


In the pluralist model of democracy, pressure groups play an essential role. Political parties cannot provide adequate representation for the full range of diverse interests and opinions in a modern democracy because their key function is to aggregate interests into a coherent political entity capable of governing the country.

Pressure groups to promote vested interest:

  • Pressure groups enable particular interests and causes to be heard and to exert influence in public decision and decision-making.
  • Yet it is precisely the representation of specialist interests and of single issues which may give cause for concern, both in terms of the methods used to achieve objectives and of the undue power and influence which particular lobbies can exert.
  • Pressure groups do to an extent promote democracy in creating another channel in which people can partake in politics and offering a variety of sources in which people can keep in touch with issues which affect society other than just the main political parties and the media. E.g. ADR, Watchdog, etc.
  • Trade Unions – AITUC, INTUC, HMS, CITU, BMS etc. which are working for the interests of the workers for positive atmosphere.
  • Agrarian Groups- All India Kisan Sabha, Bharatiya Kisan Union etc. working on the plight of the agrarian problems.
  • Student’s Organisations- ABVP, AISF, NSUI etc.
  • However, because there are so many pressure groups out there all battling for the attention of the government, the ways in which they try to exert an influence can become underhand and undermine parliamentary democracy, and if pressure groups are given too much voice, this leads to minority groups having a greater influence than society as a whole.

Other side of pressure groups:

  • Pressure groups improve participation, but in an unequal way, benefiting the well organised but disadvantaging the weakly organised. In this sense, they work against not in favour of the public interest. For .e.g. green peace from USA, as per IB report they protested with vested interest and they work against development.
  • Pressure groups themselves may not be representative of their members. Their officers are not usually elected.
  • Few groups have procedures for consulting their members. As a result, the views expressed by group officials may not be shared by the group’s members.
  • Although the views of pressure groups may sometimes be considered, they are likely to be ignored if they do not confirm with the ideology or agenda of the decision makers.
  • There is also news about the presence of foreign lobbies in parliament e.g. lobbying by US companies in case of FDI.
  • 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.

Best answer: Manu

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