The social evils and superstitions that had crept in the society over the centuries made social reforms imperative for the development of the society and the masses. In the 19th century, the newly educated persons increasingly revolted against rigid social conventions and outdated customs. They could no longer tolerate irrational and de-humanizing social practices. Moreover, the backward features of Indian society, such as the caste system had religious sanctions in the past. Therefore, it was necessary to reform religious practices as well.
The condition of women was pathetic. The various religions practised in India as well as the personal laws based on them consigned women to a status inferior to that of men. Polygamy, sati , ban on widow remarriage, no education for female child, female infanticide, child marriages were some of the evils that had viceâ€”like grip over the society. It thus became necessary to take the women out of this degraded ...view middle of the document...
But child marriages still take place in India. Yet, it is a religious tradition in many places in India and therefore, difficult to change.
Dowry in India, the practice of endowing the groom by the bride's family, is a tradition, which has changed its intentions from giving a gift to demanding for astronomical amounts which has bankrupted lots of families and made many girls either to commit suicide or being murdered. Members of Parliament have not only to represent the society but have also to lead it. Barring this, the caste system, which had its roots in religion, is another curse in society. Though not so rigid in urban areas, it is still practised in rural areas with the same zeal. Caste determines manâ€™s marriage, social circle and profession. The untouchables suffer from numerous disabilities and restrictions. His dresses, food, place of residence, all are degraded. Not only is it humiliating and inhuman and based on anti-democratic principle of inequality by birth, it is a cause of social disintegration. Thus, it has to be fought against.
Another problem that our society faces is the rapid criminalization of the polity, that could be the result of the fact that criminals have understood the mechanics of the electoral process and have themselves become contenders for power. Earlier, politicians patronised criminals and provided them protection from the law-enforcement agencies in exchange for the use of their muscle power during elections. And now it is the opposite-with the criminals themselves taking over thereigns of power and patronising theÂ« politicians and their parties. Of late, there is an increasing exposure of the criminals in the Governing system of the country, to the extent that it alienates the common people for power. The criminalisation of politics is a reflection of, and a factor that aggravates the crisis of the political system. Only a qualitative change that transforms the system from its very roots can resolve this crisis in favour of the people.
It is possible to pass laws that control or place limits on people's behavior, but legislation cannot reform human nature. Laws cannot change what is in people's hearts and minds.