Modernisation, as a concept, represents ideologies and values of the industrial, capitalist and democratic societies.
In this way political modernisation is characterised by freedom – (of speech, assembly, faith, movement, etc.)
The example of political modernisation can be seen in India after independence. And now, Nepal is witnessing the process of political modernisation after 1990s.
Political modernization under unfavourable conditions may indeed require considerable government initiative and control. And political turmoil following independence may in some cases leave little alternative to a temporary authoritarian solution. It does not follow, however, that all cases in which freedom is cancelled can be justified on these grounds.
In some of the new or less industrialized nations, a relative lack of political freedom may be only a transitional phenomenon. We may expect the gradual strengthening of democratic institutions as economic and political development proceeds. However, where political freedom has been extinguished, or not allowed to emerge, such optimism is probably misplaced.
In determining the working system and the political behaviour in democratic states, ‘Pressure Groups’ and ‘Interest Groups’ play important role. There are two different concepts. Interest Groups
protect the economic, political, social and cultural interests of their members, while Pressure Groups try to influence the decisions of other groups and authorities through political, economic and social pressure.
The Pressure Group mainly concentrates itself towards retaliation and resistance through influencing the decisions and actions of the various parts of the government. Many such Pressure Groups are active in India. These include the organisations of industrialists, traders, workers, farmers, young people and women. For the last few years, many pressure groups connected with environment and ecology have been active.
The role of Pressure Groups becomes more important during elections. The party, members of parliament, and officials that support these groups get their full support in elections.
In the Indian context, the pressure groups do not work only as the protectors of economic interest. Language, culture, rationality, caste and religion also play an important role in the formation of these groups.
These are associations or groups which have objectives different from those of political parties. Sometimes members of these groups may join political parties but this is much more to further their particularistic interests than out of conviction in the party’s ideology or action programme. Interest group may be based on economic, ethnic, linguistic, religious, regional or other considerations.
Sometimes they would convert themselves into political parties or win over some members of the government and pressure the government to concede their demands. In this case, the group could be considered as a pressure group. Within the legislature, their friends and fellow-travellers could form an informal or even formal groups and may lobby their cause.
Such groups are called Pressure Lobbies. The Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the All India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AIMA) are examples of Interest Groups. At times, when the government introduces a bill or the budget proposal in parliament, the interest group will use their influence and lobby the parliament members to use pressure on the government either to withdraw or to amend it in a form acceptable to them.
Interest Groups and Pressure Groups use a number of strategies including threats of direct action like boycott, threat of holding back essential services, prelist closure of shops and agitations such as street demonstrations and strikes. However, the strategy is decided by the probability of success. Interest Groups play an important part in government decision making.
Caste and Politics
Caste is the basic form of organisation in Indian society and it is natural that politics will find a basis in Indian society by drawing upon caste. It is not surprising therefore, that caste enters in the political system but the fact that politics enters into the caste system.
Caste is mobilised for political purposes when particular caste becomes the vote bank of the particular party. And when political parties takes into account the caste composition of a particular constituency in the selection of its candidates, leaders of caste then emerge as brokers of power between the people and the government. And those castes which are in a numerical majority emerge as the dominant caste in the particular region. All this is inevitable in a nascent democracy in which case is the only idiom which the people understand and in which they can communicate.
The use of caste for political purposes makes caste an interest group of the kind that are found in western society.