India is a land of wonders! Ours is the third largest country in Asia, the largest country in South Asia and the seventh-largest country of the world! Moreover, our massive 1.2 billion population is a force to reckon with in itself! Coming to the law of the land – ours is the largest and most detailed constitution of the world! However, this archaic system is currently bursting at its seams and is under immense pressure to modernize itself with the changing world.
There are many laws a country as large and culturally diverse as ours lacks. There are many reasons for this; lack of education, religious prejudices and political influence. However, we feel that judicially, we have massive room for improvement when we say that our country is a ‘SOVEREIGN, SOCIALIST, SECULAR, DEMOCRATIC, REPUBLIC’ that promises ‘JUSTICE, LIBERTY, EQUALITY FRATERNITY’ to every Indian citizen.
Here is a list of highly progressive laws from countries that are smaller than India which our country needs to adopt ASAP:
Singapore – People with criminal history are disqualified from contesting elections
With all the corrupt netas and babus, India needs this law the most! Singapore has imposed very strict rules for Parliamentary election candidacy. It bars any person convicted of a serious criminal offense (who has served more than a year in prison) from contesting the elections.
Pakistan – Triple Talaq abolished since 1961
Pakistan had abolished the practice of Triple Talaq when it issued its ‘Muslim Family Law Ordinance’ in 1961. The country had to amend its marital laws after massive protests when the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Bogra went on to marry his secretary without divorcing his wife in 1955. The country has also deemed the practice of Nikah Halala as a crime. In India, on 22 August 2017, the Supreme Court of India declared the practice of Triple Talaq as “un-Islamic, retrograde, unworthy” and said that it “violates right to equality” with a 3:2 majority. However, the law has not been passed since the Triple Talaq Bill is still not ratified by the Parliament. The government is also planning to evaluate the constitutionality of Nikah Halala, but protests from many Muslim factions are hindering its progress in the matter.
Netherlands – Same-sex marriages are totally valid!
Netherlands was the first nation in the world to legalize same-sex marriages in 2001! Many other nations like Canada, Sweden, England, Mexico, U.S.A, Belgium, etc. have since taken a positive step by accepting this rule in their countries as well. India is still stuck on the ‘correct’ meaning of Section 377!
Sweden – Marital rape is a punishable offence
Sweden like many other countries like France, Japan, Switzerland, Malaysia, etc. who have criminalized marital or spousal rape as punishable by death! On the contrary, India is one of those 36 countries of the world where marital rape is still not a designated crime.
The government says that ‘marital rape can’t be made a criminal offence in India because of high illiteracy rate, poverty, extreme religious beliefs and the very ‘sanctity’ of marriage.
Netherlands – Prostitution legalization
Netherlands like Australia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, etc. has legalized prostitution to cut down instances of sex trafficking, drug abuse, corruption, etc. However, India hasn’t done so yet even though this business is one of the most thriving businesses running in our country since ages!
Germany – Free education
Germany like Norway, Czech Republic, France, Austria, Finland, Sweden, etc. charges virtually zero or nominal tuition fees for educational courses. India promises free education under the RTE (Right to Education) Act, but it is relegated only to backward classes. It is high time that India realizes that education is everyone’s birthright.
Cambodia – Marijuana legalization
Marijuana or cannabis has various medicinal properties according to various researches conducted the world over! Cambodia like Canada, Colombia, etc. have legalized marijuana consumption. Other countries like the U.S.A., Belgium, Australia, Argentina, etc. have also legalized the medicinal plant with certain restrictions on public smoking and weed plant cultivation. In India, people smoke it secretly, but a concrete law to legalize its health benefits is still missing.
United States of America – Pet hygiene in public is mandatory
In countries like U.S.A., Australia, Germany, etc. cleaning up after pets is a must! If your pet has pooped on the streets (a common sight you see in India), you are supposed to scoop it up in a baggy and throw it in a public dustbin. In India, the SDMC (South Delhi Municipal Corporation) is thinking of taking such a step, but the proposal is still being mulled upon.
France – Green energy is a norm
France like Germany, China, Japan, Canada (Toronto city) etc. have now made it compulsory for all new constructions in their countries to be covered with solar panels or sport rooftop gardens to cut down on smog and emissions from fossil fuel consumption. In India, solar power is still relegated to large business houses, public installations and the agriculture industry.
Japan – No work life outside the office
Japan like France has a law where work life stays inside the office. To combat over-exhaustion from work, these countries have mandated that no work e-mails are to be answered out of office! It forbids employees from checking their work emails before 9am and after 6pm.
However, such a law in India is still lacking in India where many employees work from home even after the usual 9-to-5.
Germany – Strictest action against child labor
Germany has severe laws that protects all its children from all kinds of child labor under the age of 14. In France, child labor has designated work hours with designated pay scales. These countries also have a ban on child trafficking for bonded labor. In India, you’ll see children working in every other shop and street you visit!
These are some laws that are progressive enough to propel India towards a better future if our country adopts them. The ideal India we always imagine in textbooks and our imagination is possible only if we could make these laws a part of our constitution. That would be the day when India would have its ‘Acche din’, ‘Main nahin, hum’ or the ‘India Shining’ moment!
Let’s take a step in the right direction, shall we?