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Day 12 – Q 5. How do you see the evolution of caste based pressure groups in India’s democratic polity? Is it a positive development? Critically examine. .

5. How do you see the evolution of caste based pressure groups in India’s democratic polity? Is it a positive development? Critically examine. .    

आप भारत की लोकतांत्रिक राजनीति में जाति आधारित दबाव समूहों के विकास को कैसे देखते हैं? क्या यह एक सकारात्मक विकास है? समालोचनात्मक टिप्पणी करें।


A caste based pressure group (PG) is a group where people of same castes are organised actively for promoting and defending their common interest. They try to influence government policies to secure socio-economic benefits.


With Caste system being main feature of Indian society, caste based PG’s have evolved in India. Their evolution can be traced back to socio-religious reform movements of pre-independent India. After independence, various caste based PG’s have evolved to seek affirmative actions, whose position got strengthened in democratic polity where political mobilization of groups takes place for votes. OBC reservation has further fuelled the process.

Positive development in the following way:

  • They provide vital link between the government and the governed.
  • Influence policy decision. Pre-independence PG’s highlighted social issues which led to constitutional provision of securing equality and justice for downtrodden. Towards this pursuit, state came out with affirmative measures like reservation in education and employment.
  • Achieve constitutional ideals- equality, justice and dignity.
  • Strengthen democracy as these PG’s encourage people’s political participation.
  • Voice to marginalised sections as they cannot be ignored in the first-past-the-post electoral system.
  • Help educating group on their rights and form public opinion on important issues.
  • Regional politics origin is also traced to caste based PG’s which entered into political domain. Ex: AIDMK, BSP. This has made national political landscape more accommodative of regional aspirations.

Negative fall outs:

  • Identity politics- caste based politics. Likelihood of minority castes being left out.
  • Fragmented society- reinforcing caste consciousness. Ex: Lingayats in Karnataka.
  • Increased social unrest where people fight each other. Ex: caste based violence bhima-koregaon.
  • Law and order issue with their agitation turning violent. Ex: Jats for reservation, karni sena (padmavat).
  • Violent protests obstructing development through protests.
  • Political class agreeing to illegitimate demands. Ex: reservation for Marathas when they do not meet the criteria of socially-educationally backward class.


Democracy wants people to express their views and interests. Pressure groups provide means to this. In diverse country like ours with multi-caste system, caste based PG’s have so far had both positive and negative fallouts.

Best answer: seema

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