CHAPTEI( VII INTEREST ARTICULATION AND INTEREST 7.pdf interest articulation of' the smaller business

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Transcript of CHAPTEI( VII INTEREST ARTICULATION AND INTEREST 7.pdf interest articulation of' the smaller business



  • 224 CHAPTER - VII


    The function or converting demands into general policy

    alternatives is called interest aggregation, Every political

    system has certain ways o£ aggregating ~Jle 'interests, claims,

    and demands which are articulated by _tJle- interest groups or the polity, Otten the functions of' articulation and aggrega-

    tion overlap, just as do those of' aggregation,recruit9ent,and

    rule-making, In some political systems, such as the authori-

    tarian and the primitive ones, the thrie functions of' articula-

    tion, aggregation, and rule making may be hajdly dit:ferentiated

    from one another.

    In other systems, such as the modern western ones,there

    are a~parent partitions in the process; and separate structures

    or sub-systems with obvious boundaries play a distinctive role.

    In the Anglo-American democracies this three-told division in

    functioru maintains the :flow from society to pali ty and from

    polity to society ( ~rom input to output and again back to


    To assimilate and transform these interests into a

    relatively small number of' alternatives of' policy and personnel,

    a middle range of' processing is necessary, ~ these two

    :functions a"'e per:formed in substantial paY't be~ore the authori-

    tatige governmental structures awe reached, then the output

    functions of' rule-making and rule-application are facilitated,

    and the political and governmental processes become calculable

    and responsible. The outputs may be related to and controlled

    by the inputs. Consequently, the circulation becomes relatively

    free by virtue of' good boundary maintenance or division ot

    labour, But normally this does not happen in the Indian political


    Thus, the distinction between interest articulation and

    aggregation is fluid one. Modern interest groups, particularly

    the •peak• associations, viz, labour, agriculture, business,oarry

    aggregation quite far, sometimes to the point of' speaking tor

    all tb.e classes o£ the society.

  • 225 In this study we reserve the term "aggregation"

    ror the •ore inclusive levels o£ the combinatory process•••

    In £act, the aggregative £unction may be per£ormed within

    all or the eub-s.stems o£ the political system --legislative bodies, political executives,bureaucracy, media o£ communica-

    tion, party system, interest groups or the various types. Parties, factions, lobbies in legislatures! cliques or

    £'actions in political executives; and bureaucracies ,individual

    parties 01· party coalitions outside the legislatures! and

    individual interest groups or adhoc coalitions of' interest

    groups -- all perform an aggregative runction, either by

    £ormulating alternative public policies or by supporting or

    advocating cbanges in political personnel.



    But again it is the party system which is the distinc-

    tively modern structure of political aggregation, In the

    modern, developed democratic political system it regulates

    or gives order to the performance o£ the aggregative function

    by the other structures. As in France, so in India, tarti es

    and interest groups do not constitute differentiated, autono-

    mous political subsystems. They interpenetrate one another,

    There are some parties which more or less,control interest

    groups e. g. the ~mmu.,ist Party and the Communist - domina ted

    trade unions and to a lesser degree the Socialist Party and

    the Socialist trade unions,

    Vhen parties control interest groups they may inhibit

    the capacity or interest groups to formulate pragmatic speci£ic

    demands; they impart a political-ideo-iogical content to

    interest group activity.

    parties t.,ey inhibit the

    When interest groups control ._ the

    capacity o£ the party to combine

    specific interests into programmes with wider appeal, What

    reaches the legislative process from the interest groups and

    through tne political parties thus arl the 1 raw 1 unaggregated

    demanus or specific interests, or the diffused, uncompromising or revolutionary and reactionary tendencies o£ the right or the

  • 226 lef't.Since no interest group is lnrge enough to have a

    maJority, and the party system cannot aggregate dit"f'erent

    interests into a stabLe majority or a coherent opposition, D

    the elac~rport of' large policy decisions. And without

    a strong legislature, special interests and ideological

    te"1dencies penetrate the bureaucracies, and undermine its

    neutral aHJ instrUIDental character •



    Before independence, interests were usually aggregated

    either by the colonial British Government or by the nationalist

    movements. As the nationalist movement grew in size in India j

    and attracted trade unions, peasantry, business, students, and

    the like, its strength t'urther increased. So much so, that

    by 1946 it appeared to be winning support t'rom within the

    military services as well. By the late 1930's the Congress

    Party, in its effort to reconcile diverse movements within it,

    articulated an ideology emphasising a broad socialistic outlook

    which still guides the party.

    After independence, many of these diverse interests

    were aggregated by the Congress Party leadership -- or, more

    accurately by the Congress Yorking Committee 1the eon;ress

    Parliamentary Party and the Council of' Ministers. The Congress

    Party bas constantly been in power and those who wanted to

    int'luence government policy bad to turn to the Congress.

    Autonomous economic interest groups, such as business and

    landlords, tried generally to work within the Congress told

    especially after the 1952 elections.

  • 227 Tl• dwwaada ot· varl0-.1!:1 1lnnisationa.


  • 228 (As we have seen in Chapter IV, how the FICCI aggregates the

    interest articulation of' the smaller business groups)

    In a modern democracy associational interest groups

    usually dominate interest articulation but in Indian political

    system such groups are quite limited, and those too are

    economic in nature. With the help of' the "distribution o£

    resources" such groups finally aggregate in the ruling party

    either by representation or by proxy. The ruling party may

    regulate interest aggregation through policy tormation and

    recruitment (as we have seen in Chapter IV, how the FICCI is

    represented on the consultative bodies and legislatures £or

    f'ormulating the Industrial Policy or the Five Year Plans and

    how does it react if' neglected. Similar is the case with the

    'peak' organisations of' the trade unions); and the Cabinet

    and Parliament may engage in the f'inal rule making choices.

    Thus, the functions of' articulation, aggregation, and rule -

    making of'ten overlap. If' this conversion process is carrid

    out by dif'f'erentiated and specialized structures, the function

    of' interest aggregation be located and analysed(as it has been

    done in Chapter IV). But even otherwise an hypothetieal

    analysis can be made. To illustrate this point a case study

    of' the land ceiling Act has been made in Chapter x. In the course of' its enactment the autonomous economic interest

    group of' the big landlords pertormed the f'unctions of' interest

    articulation, aggregation ( in the legislatures, bureaucracy,

    and Party caucus of' the ruling Congress) and finally the rule

    making (in the .f'orru of' repeated aJBendments f'rom 1971 to 1 74).


    Interest aggregation may be performed within all the

    sub-systems of' the political system. In £act, some degree ot

    aggregation is almost inevitably carried out at all levels

    from individual interest articulation to the final decision

    •aking. But here we have to see1 what structures play the

    major role in aggregating the articulated interests into •ajor

    policy alternatives? From these alternatives the authoritative

    policies f'or the political system are subsequently produced.

  • 229 The nature of the articulated demand• usually

    determines the structure performing the interest aggregation

    function as aleo its consequences, In the Indian political

    culture, which is still an &nalgam of traditions and moderni-

    zation, the articulation is quite limited, The majority of'

    the population, being politically inert and sluggieh 0does not

    formulate autonomous goals or particularietic demands. Secondly,

    more o:ften than not, the articulation of' demands is controlll.ed

    from the Centre( because the single ruling party aggregates most

    o:f the diverse interests). Consequently, the process or aggregating these demands is usually managed successfully by

    a small elite