11 Pressure Groups in India

4 minute read
11 Pressure Groups in India

A Pressure Group is a collection of people organised to advocate for and protect their shared interests. The term is derived from its aim to influence Public Policy by exercising pressure on the Government. Furthermore, Pressure Groups in India are also known as Interest Groups or Vested Groups and they differ from political parties as they do not participate in elections or seek political control. Instead, they focus on specific programs and issues, seeking to protect and advance the interests of their members by influencing governmental decisions.

1. Trade Unions 

Trade Unions are groups that stand up for workers in factories. Moreover, in India, these Unions are often connected to different political parties. Here are some examples:

The first union, AITUC, started in 1920 with Lalaji Lajpat Rai as its first leader. At first, the members of different political groups worked together in AITUC. However, after 1945, they split up based on their political beliefs.

2. Business Group

The Business Groups in India include multiple industrial and commercial entities. In addition, they represent the most sophisticated, powerful, and extensive Pressure Groups in India. These groups are:

3. Agrarian Groups

This Pressure Group, the Agrarian organisations advocate for the interests of farmers and agricultural labourers. Moreover, these groups are as follows:

  • All India Kisan Sabha (the oldest and largest agrarian group)
  • Bhartiya Kisan Union (active in the wheat belt of North India)
  • Shetkhari Sanghatana (operating in Maharashtra)
  • Bhartiya Kisan Sangh (based in Gujarat)
  • United Kisan Sabha (affiliated with the CPM)
  • All-India Kisan Sammelan

4. Student Organisations

There are many Unions that have been established to represent the student community in India. However, similar to Trade Unions, these organisations also maintain affiliations with different political parties. These include:

5. Professional Associations

Professional Associations represent the concerns and interests of professionals such as doctors, lawyers, journalists, and teachers. Moreover, these Associations exert pressure on the Government through methods such as agitation to improve their working conditions. They consist of:

6. Religious Organisations

Furthermore, these organisations rooted in religious ideologies have a significant role in Indian politics, representing specific communal interests. These are:

7. Tribal Organisations

Additionally, Tribal organisations exist in States including MP, Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland, and others. 

  • Their objectives vary from advocating for reforms within the system to seeking secession from India, with some factions participating in insurgency activities. 
  • Moreover, notable tribal organisations are:
    • National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN)
    • Tribal National Volunteers (TNV) operating in Tripura
    • People’s Liberation Army in Manipur
    • Tribal Sangh of Assam
    • United Mizo Freedom Organisation

8. Caste Groups

Furthermore, in this Pressure Group, the political landscape in different States of India usually revolves around caste rivalries such as:

  • Brahmin versus Non-Brahmin in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra
  • Rajput versus Jat in Rajasthan
  • Kamma versus Reddy in Andhra Pradesh
  • Ahir versus Jat in Haryana
  • Baniya Brahmin versus Patidar in Gujarat
  • Kayastha versus Rajput in Bihar
  • Nair versus Ezhava in Kerala
  • Lingayat versus Vokkaliga in Karnataka

Moreover, several caste-based organisations exist which include:

  • Nadar Caste Association in Tamil Nadu
  • Marwari Association
  • Harijan Sevak Sangh
  • Kshatriya Maha Sabha
  • Kayastha Sabha

9. Linguistic Groups

Language holds significant sway in Indian politics and is as an important factor that has prompted the reorganisation of States. Alongside caste, religion, and tribe, language plays an important role in shaping political parties and Pressure Groups. In addition, Linguistic groups are:

  • Anjuman Tarraki-i-Urdu
  • Tamil Sangam
  • Andhra Maha Sabha
  • Nagari Pracharini Sabha
  • Hindi Sahitya Sammelan
  • Dakshina Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha

10. Anomie Groups

Anomie Pressure Groups represent a spur-of-the-moment attack into the political arena from society, hence manifesting in different forms such as riots, demonstrations, and assassinations. 

  • They noted that the Indian Government and bureaucratic elite, grappling with the challenges of economic development and limited resources, tend to adopt a technocratic and anti-political stance. 
  • Consequently, they tend to dismiss demands of any nature as lacking legitimacy, thus leading to the alienation of interest groups from the political system. 
  • Moreover, examples of such anomie pressure groups include:
    • Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)
    • Naxalite Groups
    • Dal Khalsa
    • United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA)

11. ldeology Based Groups

In recent years, diverse Pressure Groups have specific ideologies, causes, principles, or programs. These groups are:

  • Groups focused on women’s rights.
  • Environmental preservation movements like the Narmada Bachao Andolan and the Chipko Movement.
  • Associations dedicated to civil liberties.
  • Organizations advocating for democratic rights.
  • Institutions like the Gandhi Peace Foundation.

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Lastly, we hope you liked our blog and gained an understanding of the 11 Pressure Groups in India. Moreover, you may even read more blogs and empower yourself with knowledge regarding Civics and Polity!

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