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Unpopular and Controversial Laws

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  • Last Updated : 13 May, 2022

Social or government institutions create a set of rules by giving precise definitions after a long-standing debate and enforce them on a human to regulate human behavior. It is also called as art of justice. The law includes the age at which a person can marry, and vote, the age below which he cannot work, the age below which he cannot attend certain powers, etc.

The law once made is applicable to all the citizens of India equally and cannot discriminate against any person on basis of their religion, caste, or gender. The parliament of India places the major role in making laws. There are many ways through which a particular law can be made. Members of the legislative assembly propose certain laws at the Parliament House of India in the form of a Bill. When this bill gets passed in both the legislative assembly, after getting assented by the president of India is considered law.

Unpopular and Controversial Laws

All the laws applies equally to all the people of India. No wealth or power can buy law. Even the president comes under the law. Sometimes even if the law is constitutionally valid and hence legal it can be unpopular and unexpected for people to think that the intention behind the law is unfair and harmful. Naturally, the people might start criticizing the law by holding public meetings, writing about it in the newspapers, reporting it to the TV news channels, etc. The people can show their unwillingness to accept repressive laws framed by the parliament, in a democratic country like India.

For example, if many municipality laws are criticized and fought against. The unused space which comes under municipal limits is often occupied by hawkers and vendors. The municipal corporation has to struggle hard to vacate that place. It is believed that the British colonialists who ruled India for about two centuries were the ones who introduced such laws in India in a larger context.

Sometimes the punishment that is given to the two persons of different communities or religions was not the same. One was harshly punished and the other was left free. as the colonial period begin this unbiased treatment started to reduce. Under such conditions, revolts started against controversial laws.

The sedition act of 1870

Among these revolts, two of the acts were very popular. The first one was against the arbitrary rule of colonial law. This act is called as sedition act of 1870. The purpose of the sedition act was to arrest any person trying to protest or criticize the British government. As it was very discriminant against Indians, the Indian nationalists started to criticize and protest against the arbitrary rule of the British government. They wanted greater equality and were against the law which they were forced to obey unwillingly. At the end of the 19th century, these laws started to snatch the legal rights of Indians. As time went on Indian nationalists also started being part of the legal profession. The role played by Indian nationalists in the evolution of rule of law during the colonial period is important.

The Jallianwala Bagh of 1919

Another popular movement against British arbitrary rule was the Rowlatt act. Rowlatt Act was a legislative council act passed by the imperial legislative council in Delhi on March 18th, 1919. The Rowlatt Act gave powers to the police to arrest any person without any reason. Indian nationalists including Mahatma Gandhi were against the Rowlatt Bills. Even after so much opposition from people the Rowlatt act came into effect on 10th March 1919. In Punjab, the protests against the Rowlatt Act gained more popularity and were more active in the month of April 1919. On April 10th two great leaders of this movement Dr. Satyapal and Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew arrested. A public meeting was held at Jallianwala Bagh on the 13th of April to protest against their arrest. Jallianwala Bagh was having only one entrance. General Dyer entered Jallianwala Bagh with his full troop and closed the only exit. Without giving any precautionary warning he gave the order to his troops to fire. Several hundred people died at Jallianwala Bagh and many were injured including children and women. 

Ways to express people’s discontent against unpopular laws

Though the laws are constitutionally valid and hence are legal they are not accepted by the people and hence are unpopular because the intentions behind these laws are not beneficial and fair. So people should try to criticize and confront these unpopular laws by holding public meetings, writing in newspapers or by reporting the unjust to TV channels. These are some ways to criticize what is unacceptable to people and express their unwillingness.

Sample Questions

Question 1: Explain the law.

Answer :

A set of rules created by social or government institutions to regulate human behavior  by conducting a long-standing debate.

Question 2 : Briefly explain how a law is passed.

Answer :

The parliament of India plays the major role in making laws. There are many ways through which a particular law can be made. Members of legislative assembly propose certain laws at the parliament House of India in the form of Bill. When this bill gets passed in both the legislative assembly, after getting assented by the president of India is considered as law.

Question 3 : Why laws are called as unpopular and controversial laws?

Answer :

Sometimes even if the law is constitutionally valid and hence legal it can be unpopular and unexpected by people thinking that the intention behind the law is unfair and harmful. Naturally the people might start criticizing the law. This is how a law is considered as unpopular and controversial and fought to remove that law.

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