Social Reforms in India
Indian society is one of the oldest societies. It has got its own customs and traditions. Some of them are very old which are being followed for many generations. Majority of Indian society is illiterate and they believe that they should-continue all those customs, which have been transferred by their ancestors. But many customs do not suit the present times. They are required to be changed according to the times and the necessities. Some of our customs are not only useless but are also obstacles in the way of social reform. The older that has no scientific base must be changed giving pace to the new.
There have been good changes in the Indian society for the last 60 years in all the fields. But we still need a tangible progress in this aspect by introducing social reforms. There are numerous defects in our customs and traditions, which are evils for the society. The customs and traditions which are being followed for marriage are required to be changed. Child marriage has no place in social life today. Boys and girls must be given opportunity to select their life partners as per their choice and requirement. We should encourage love marriages which are more successful. The couples contracting love marriages generally lead better and happy married life than the arranged marriages. The dowry is a great evil in the society even today. The boys and girls are not getting suitable match due to dominance of dowry system in our society. This evil in the society is debarring them from natural justice in selection of their spouses. The dowry has become a business these days according to the ability of the bridegroom. It is unfortunate that the shadow of this evil is not only amongst illiterate or the people of rural circle, but it is also deeply rooted amongst the so called higher society. The poor parents and the bride generally become victims of this evil. The requirement of dowry does not end with marriage, but it continues throughout life. It is foremost necessary to rootout this evil from the society through a social reform. There is a requirement to make a strict law to end this evil from the society. The people are to be educated and motivated against the dowry. The social workers, intellectuals, students, youth and volunteers have to come out to fight against this evil and trap the offenders who violate the law. The dowry demands must be treated at par with crimes such as blackmail, extortion, and fraud. The culprits are required to be dealt with strictly. Such drastic measures can only make the society free from dowry.
The literacy rate of women is still less than men. Man and woman are two wheels of the social cart_ Both of them must be equally educated, self-dependent, effective and strong. A special attention is to be paid towards female education. This will increase working hands and will be helpful to remove many evils from society. The condition of women needs to be improved in all the spheres. They are to be made able to work with their capability. The working women will become equal partners with men in the work of development of the country for which India is actually looking for in this modern age.
Casteism and untouchability are other evils in the Indian society. We still treat a large section of people as if they were most inferior. We have to do our utmost to eradicate this social evil. Public opinion should be educated against it. It will be necessary to take concrete steps for upliftment of those people who are the victims of untouchability. Their education is to be increased, vocational training is to be arranged for making them capable to work. Those who are not having any home to live in should be given shelter. The depressed class is to be provided job through reservation under the existing provision by carrying out special drive to bring them at par with others. This is very important in free India if we want social reform and early progress in the country.
The Indian society is a male dominated one. The women are being made victims not only for one reason but there are multiple reasons of their victimization. The main are sexual harassment, criticism, insecurity out-side the home specially for working women, rapes including gang rapes, physical and mental harassment due to social evils and humiliation by men. The rate of victimization in respect of women is greater in urban areas as the activities of women are more in those areas. There is a need to provide security to women. A tough law is to be enacted which could try the offenders severely by awarding exemplary punishment at the earliest possible. Another requirement is that the mind set of male society is to be changed against women by educating the people for eliminating this problem from the society. A big social reform is required to be introduced in this regard to make the female community free from all the crimes. This kind of nuisance should not be passed on to the new generation.
There are some other social evils like drinking, hoarding of food-grains as a regular practice, cow slaughter which causes the communal tension, adulteration in foodstuff, medicine and other consumable items, child labour, gambling and wastage of food and money on wedding and other social ceremonies. The people are required to be educated against these social evils. A legislation may also be passed to check all these things with greatest zeal and efforts to make the society curse free.
Government of India has brought an important legislation for rural jobs under National rural employment guarantee scheme. It is really a pro-poor programme. If it is implemented in the right spirit, it will bring down poverty level and will be most helpful for social reform.
The social reforms are urgently needed in Indian society. Effective laws are to be framed. People are to be educated and motivated against these evils. The administration which has to implement the laws and rules against these evils needs to be strict. That will help positively in bringing the encouraging result for changing the society and forming a modern one.