Author: Simran, II year of B.A.,LL.B. from Geeta Institute of Law
Co-author: Atul Kundu, III year of B.A.,LL.B. from Geeta Institute of Law
India is a multicultural nation. In India, it is possible to observe several faiths, castes, traditions, dialects, civilizations, and a complex social structure. Indian society has been plagued by various evils as a result of centuries of enslavement to foreigners. Casteism, women's rights, communalism, economic disparity, religious intolerance, and poverty and hunger in particular continue to be social and legal problems in our wonderful nation.
Legal empowerment and the legal system are historical phenomena that have evolved over ages based on shifting cultural situations. Thus, the legal justice system and its application must take social justice into account. As a community develops, the judicial system is called upon to address and attempt to resolve an increasing number of societal challenges. Here, a few of the issues are discussed.
In terms of social, economic, political, and educational rights, all Indian people are guaranteed equality under the constitution. Equal rights apply to all citizens. No citizen may be subjected to discrimination at any level. However, in practice, the nation is still a long way from having this legal entitlement. Even after seventy years of independence, there is still some form of social and legal discrimination against citizens. Ancient India is where the caste system in India first emerged. In ancient India, a person's behavior dictated the norms and obligations pertaining to his life, varna, or caste. All occupations were equivalent. Everyone was treated with respect, but the caste system that was initially implemented by the Mughals and afterwards by the British permanently divided society.
The impact of discrimination on lower castes is very great. It's abusive on a social level. In the interest of social equality, reservations have also been given to the following castes concurrently. It limits upper-class people's rights. This is a major problem. Given their history of discrimination, the lower class seeks stronger rights to resources if the upper class wishes to abolish reservations. There hasn't been a national agreement on this matter despite the country's seven decades of independence. This, in my opinion, is India's biggest social and legal problem.
According to the constitution, men and women have the same rights in every area. After independence, women were granted a variety of rights. Right to vote, right to a valid marriage, right to inherit property, right to a divorce, and right to dowry. In order to give men equal pay, the Equal Remuneration Act was created in 1976. Muslim women now have more protections from triple talaq. Women still face numerous societal problems, however, while having more legal protection on a social level.
Equal pay for equal work only exists on paper. Women work less than males do in the private sector in general. Even if she wins and keeps a job after winning an election in a rural location, her husband or other family members take over her responsibilities. Even still, the number of these Kurutis is declining extremely slowly. Women are entitled to an equal part of the property. But 80% of women in the nation still do not receive a share in the assets owned by their parents.This proportion is higher than 95% in rural areas. Only family members will object when a woman requests her share. Today, women have more opportunities than ever before in fields like the military and the defense industry. But only a small number of places and women can take advantage of this chance. Women still face barriers to education and equal opportunity in rural communities.
3. Economic Disparity
In India, economic inequality is a complex social and legal issue. According to the Global Wealth Report, 10% of India's wealthy individuals control 77.3 % of the nation's wealth. However, just 4.7% of the population, or 60%, owns any real estate. Six percent of these individuals make less than one rupee every day. For two days, millions of people have still been without bread. Meanwhile, only 10% of the population now owns 2/3 of the nation's wealth. The foundation of the nation is destroyed by this inequity. increases unemployment and poverty.
This inequity also brings an end to social peace. As a result, everyone has the right to lead a moral and legal life. But it has a lot of punchdiggies on the ground level. The appearance is different on the ground.
4. Rural and Urban Divide
The fact that 70% of Indians live in villages is a significant social dilemma for the nation.However, there are not even 30% as many facilities as there are in cities. The agricultural sector is continuously backward and youth are migrating continuously to the cities. Agriculture now results in constant loss. In thousands of villages throughout the nation, only the elderly remains to live. The young people have left the villages in search of jobs and better amenities.The reason for this is the lack of facilities in rural areas. The youth who lead a livelihood by farming are troubled. Because of this, the farmers are constantly agitating to obtain more benefits and discounts. In recent days, farmers are agitating all over the country on the issue of support price and free market. Discrimination in urban and rural life continues to be a significant social burden for the nation.
5. Religious Fundamentalism
India was formerly a nation where all castes and religions coexisted peacefully and equally. However, for a number of years, religious extremism has put the nation's integrity and unity in jeopardy. India's reputation has been damaged by maw leaching cases, religious riots, and terrorist attacks. Legally, governments must deal with criminals who have been inspired by fundamentalist ideology, yet religious segregation in all 50 states presents a significant obstacle. Caste sharing is a significant concern as well.For instance, there was a nationwide outrage when the Supreme Court altered Section 3 a few years ago. Police have the authority to make an arrest without first conducting an investigation following a Scheduled Caste Scheduled Tribes report. It was only after an investigation that it was the target of an arrest. However, the reform was unpopular, and there were ferocious protests all over the nation. Numerous issues continue to be social and legal concerns for the nation. In addition to this, India has seen a rise in social legal challenges. Even centuries later, problems with labour rights, children's rights, the dowry system, unemployment, illiteracy, and starvation persist.
6. Linguistic Diversity
As I already stated, India is a diverse nation. There are 121 or so significant languages that are widely used. Each state has its own mother tongue in addition to the languages listed in the Constitution's Eighth Schedule. More than one million people speak speakers of 60 different languages. This is both a problem for the nation's cohesiveness and part of the country's charm. Hindi is the national language of India. But in South Indian states, Hindi is strongly opposed. The level of the protest is such that there will be a commotion if the names of banks, public buildings, or train stations are inscribed in Hindi.South Indians in North India and North Indians in South India do not feel at home. The same is true for those who live in the North Eastern Indian states.
Recently, it was suggested that Hindi be taught in primary schools when the central government developed an education policy. The states of South India responded strongly. The Centre had to make it clear that this was optional. This attitude is towards the Marathi of Maharashtra, the Bengali of West Bengal, and the Oriya of Odisha. Additionally, there is linguistic radicalism in the linguistic states of Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and Assamese. India was never able to unite its linguistic diversity as a result.
I'm a Chhattisgarh native. Naxalism's resurgence in Chhattisgarh is the state's main problem. Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand, and Andhra Pradesh, which border Chhattisgarh and Chhattisgarh, are all severely impacted by naxalism.Thousands of individuals have already died as a result of Naxal attacks. It is a legal and socioeconomic conflict. Even though they reside in India, Naxalites do not respect the Constitution. They urge that the local population be granted complete rights to the area's water, forest, and land. There, make decisions.There ought to be power for them. Particularly the tribal peoples ought to have authority over and control over the natural resources. It is against the Indian Constitution. As a result, the Indian government has stationed roughly 50,000 paramilitary soldiers in Chhattisgarh alone. In addition, border states have more than 30,000 soldiers on duty.
Native Americans perish in a conflict between jawans and Naxalites. To date, hundreds of soldiers have died as martyrs, and Naxalites have also perished. These deceased individuals are all Indian citizens. But because of disputes about the legislation, this tension has persisted. This social-legal issue continues to be a significant barrier to India's growth.
8. Separatism and Terrorism
The Kashmir terrorist attack is also a social and legal concern. There, a number of locals oppose India's power. He never stops pleading for his kingdom's independence. However, terrorism in Kashmir has significantly decreased as a result of the recent repeal of Article 370. However, it is not yet entirely under control.Small factions’ conflict with governments due to animosity in various Northeastern states. They have regional demands. They also continue to want total freedom on a social level.The United Liberation Front of Assam and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland in Assam continue to call for the creation of a separate state. Extremist groups are engaged in numerous states, including Manipur, Tripura, and Nagaland, regarding their demands. These groups consider themselves to be a separate nation based on linguistic, cultural, and geographic grounds. The central government has always allowed for moderate power use and communication with these organizations, nonetheless. As a result, several extremist groups have developed a strategy to achieve their goals while still present in India. But the nation continues to face these challenging social and legal concerns.
Social problems affect a nation's average citizen, and as justice is a cornerstone of the Indian democracy and constitution, lawmakers and enforcers of the law must take initiative to address social injustice and disparities from time to time.
Our history, customs, and cultural stereotypes may contain social issues. And just as India does, every nation in the globe deals with a variety of societal problems like racism, illiteracy, inequality, etc. India, an ancient culture with frequent changes of rulers, has its unique societal problems. Unfortunately, more than 29% of Indians live in poverty in the current era. Therefore, it is everyone's responsibility to uphold the true values of social justice.
Last but not least, social issues can cause unhappiness, disruptions, and violence if they are not resolved. Social law issues will take on different forms and shapes as we all transition to a new millennial generation where technology has become the new norm. We must be ready to approach the same challenges as before.