Law as an instrument to social change

Law as an instrument to social change

Law and society are interdependent on each other as law helps the society to change and lawyers play a vital role in it. Being a lawyer not only gives

Law and society are interdependent on each other as law helps the society to change and lawyers play a vital role in it. Being a lawyer not only gives you the opportunity to earn high rewards or get the non-monetary benefit of it but also it provides you the power and authority. Lawyers don’t follow the law, they adjust the law according to them and help change the society. For the example law changing the society let’s see example from the history. In the past there was a tradition in India to burn widows alive with their dead husbands known a Sati Pratha, Raja Ramohan Roy changed this rule, protested against this tradition and made law to prohibit this tradition and see now the society is completely different. Another example is when Mahatma Phule’s wife Savitribai Phule started teaching in school aimed only for girls, the society considered it as something not good. But gradually society started to think relevantly and adopted this fact and started sending girls to schools. This was a positive sign which showed that the society was developing and later it became a law and girls started to go to colleges also. This development was not limited to Hindu society;Aligarh Muslim College also started to reserve some seats for the female students. Not only law changes the society, society also changes the law as per needs. For example, we can look at the “Nirbhaya” case where even the common people started judging and were talking about how law should be and what should be the punishment for the criminals. And this thing compelled the government to consider the sentiments of the common people and the society and the government set up commission to look after it and by this criminal law amendment bill was developed and finally the criminal of this case got punishment.

Some more examples of law as an instrument to social change are,

  • In 1795 infanticide was declared illegal
  • In December 1829, practice of Sati was declared illegal
  • In 1856 Hindu widow’s remarriage act was impossed
  • In 1870 registration of birth was made complusary
  • Early marriages were declared illegal by the Sharda Act 1930
  • Inter caste and inter religion marriages made legal by Special Marriage Act 1954
  • Right of women to inherit property was recognized by Hindu Succession Act
  • Factory act; Industrial Dispute act; Trade Union Act made the life of working class better than earlier

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