Censuring laws’ failure to stop social evils only is ineffective.
Let’s begin with an explicit assertion and a highly pertinent question. There is hardly any doubt that it’s quite difficult to ascertain what leads to social evils in reality. What is the truest definition of social evils? Perhaps any reader has already started to consider that these two are meant to confound him/her only. But the reason is quite different – this is nothing save a desperate effort to reach or find out the basis of this reality, dampening and also mortifying the spirit of Indian culture for centuries, if not more. What leads to social evils in India is quite difficult to find out after so many centuries but certainly, they have hardly any relation to the religious scriptures.
One of the most dominant and controversial social evils in the Indian scenario has been Sati. Even if this practice has been going on for centuries, it is not sanctioned by the Holy Vedas. On the contrary the Hindu holy scriptures are against it in certain instances. Or else, Raja Rammohan Roy would not have had the vigor to carry out the campaign against the same in the early Nineteenth century and emerge triumphant. Nevertheless, Sati does continue even in these days and the Indian legal scenario seems to be vulnerable to it.
The situation is not limited to this. Dowry system and its rigorous practices giving rise to the death of newly married brides, Honor killing in India under the patronage of Khap Panchayats (becoming common increasingly) are also some social evils that are in full swing at the moment. Even if social activists and media are not leaving no stone unturned to put an end to all these, the governance and legal scenario are equally nervous.
It would certainly be wrong to say that Indian legal system has failed completely. It has been witnessed to bring out legendary judgments like 498A (to stop marital persecutions) but the same is being misused to a large extent. This is also certainly a major social evil. Who can be penalized then? Problem remains with the people then. Hence, before changing the laws to stop social evils, people have to change. Are they ready?