Chapter 5: Popular Struggles and Movements
Exercise (Page 69)
Question 1: In what ways do pressure groups and movements exert influence on politics?
Pressure groups and movements exert influence on politics in a variety of ways.
(i) They try to gain public support and sympathy for their cause by carrying out information campaigns, organising meetings, filing petitions, etc.
(ii) By organising strikes and disruptions, they seek to make the government take note of their demands.
(iii) They also influence decision-making by lobbying.
(iv) The issues raised by them often influence the policies of political parties.
Question 2: Describe the forms of relationship between pressure groups and political parties?
The relationship between political parties and pressure groups can take different forms.
(i) Pressure groups are often formed and led by politicians and political parties. Most trade unions and students’ organisations in India are either established by, or affiliated to one or the other major political party.
(ii) Political parties sometimes grow out of movements. Parties like DMK and AIADMK were formed this way.
(iii) Many a times, the issues raised by pressure or movement groups are taken up by political parties, leading to a change in the policies of the parties.
Question 3: Explain how the activities of pressure groups are useful in the functioning of a democratic government.
Pressure groups are important in the functioning of a democratic government as they provide an opportunity for marginalised people to voice their opinions. In some cases, the government’s opinion might be biased by a small group of rich and powerful people. It is here that pressure groups step in and force the government to make policies which will benefit certain other sections of society as well.
Question 4: What is a pressure group? Give a few examples.
A pressure group is an organisation which attempts to influence government policies through protests and demonstrations. Pressure groups are formed when people with similar opinions get together for similar objectives. Examples of pressure groups are FEDECOR and BAMCEF.
Question 5: What is the difference between a pressure group and a political party?
Question 6: Organisations that undertake activities to promote the interests of specific social sections such as workers, employees, teachers, and lawyers are called _____________ groups.
Question 7: Which among the following is the special feature that distinguishes a pressure group from a political party?
(a) Parties take political stances, while pressure groups do not bother about political issues.
(b) Pressure groups are confined to a few people, while parties involve larger number of people.
(c) Pressure groups do not seek to get into power, while political parties do.
(d) Pressure groups do not seek to mobilise people, while parties do.
Question 8: Match List I (organisations and struggles) with List II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:
|LIST I||LIST II|
|1. Organisations that seek to promote the interests of a particular section or group||A. Movement|
|2. Organisations that seek to promote common interest||B. Political parties|
|3. Struggles launched for the resolution of a social problem with or without an organisational structure||C. Sectional interest groups|
|4. Organisations that mobilise people with a view to win political power||D. Public interest groups|
Question 9: Match List I with list II and select the correct answer using the codes given below the lists:
|LIST I||LIST II|
|1. Pressure group||A. Narmada Bachao Andolan|
|2. Long-term movement||B. Asom Gana Parishad|
|3. Single issue movement||C. Women’s Movement|
|4. Political party||D. Fertilizer dealers’ association|
Question 10: Consider the following statements about pressure groups and parties.
Α. Pressure groups are the organised expression of the interests and views of specific social sections.
Β. Pressure groups take positions on political issues.
C. All pressure groups are political parties.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) A, B and C
(b) A and B
(c) B and C
(d) A and C
Question 11: Mewat is one of the most backward areas in Haryana. It used to be a part of two districts, Gurgaon and Faridabad. The people of Mewat felt that the area will get better attention if it were to become a separate district. But political parties were indifferent to this sentiment. The demand for a separate district was raised by Mewat Educational and Social Organisation and Mewat Saksharta Samiti in 1996. Later, Mewat Vikas Sabha was founded in 2000 and carried out a series of public awareness campaigns. This forced both the major parties, Congress and the Indian National Lok Dal, to announce their support for the new district before the assembly elections held in February 2005. The new district came into existence in July 2005.
In this example what is the relationship that you observe among movement, political parties and the government? Can you think of an example that shows a relationship different from this one?
From the example of Mewat, we can infer that movements take up issues which have been ignored by political parties. Political parties may then be influenced by these demands when they frame their own manifestoes. Finally, the party which comes to power ends up implementing steps which fulfil these demands.
The six-year long Assam movement (1979-1985), led by the All Assam Students Union (AASU), was aimed against the infiltration of foreigners from Bangladesh into Assam. At the end of this movement, the State Assembly was dissolved, the government was dismissed, and fresh elections were held. The Asom Gana Parishad, formed out of the AASU, contested and won the elections, forming the Government of Assam. In this example, we see a political party being formed out of a pressure group, which then goes on to form the government.