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The Role of Law in Social Transformation

Dr.  A. P. Singh#


Everything changes except the rule of change. And the life of a nation or a socio-political system is not an exception to this rule. They are essentially dynamic, living and organic systems. The political, social and economic conditions change continuously. Social mores and ideals change from time to time creating new problems and altering the complexion of the old ones. This change is not essentially always in positive directions, there could always be changes which are not desirable and are essentially negative in character. The vicissitude of life process moves in strangest of ways. But does that mean that human agency just does not have a part to play in this process of change? Does the change process happen independent of the will of human agent?The way law and state have been organized during last two hundred odd years does not give that indication. The law in the broad sense and the whole legal system with its institutions, rules, procedures, remedies, is society’s attempt through state to control this change process and give it a desired direction. This logic puts legal institutions and the state at the core of all social discipline. In theory the sovereign power, the ultimate, legal authority in a polity can legislate on any matter and can exercise control over any change process within the state. Indeed in a highly centralized political system, with advanced technology and communication apparatus, it is taken for granted that legal innovation can effect social change.[i] Roscoe Pound perceived the law as a tool for social engineering. Underlying this view is the assumption that social processes are susceptible to conscious human control and the instrument by means of which this controls is to be achieved is law.

In such a formulation, law is a short term measure for a very complex aggregation of principles, norms ideas, rules, practices and agencies of legislation, administration, adjudication and enforcement, backed by political power and legitimacy. The complex law thus condensed into one term is abstracted from social context in which it exists and is spoken of as if it were an entity capable of controlling that context. Pospisil remarks that “the law of western society traditionally is analyzed as an autonomous logically consistent legal system in which various rules are derived from more abstract norms.”[ii] These norms are arranged in a sort of pyramid derived from a basic norm or sovereign will such an analysis presents a legal system as a logically consistent whole, devoid of internal contradictions whose individual norms gain validity from their logical relationship to the more abstract legal principles implied ultimately in the sovereign’s will and in a basic norm. Needless to say that the legal systems in most Afro-Asian countries, which were colonies of the western systems until very recently, have been designed on these western paradigms with an understanding that whatever undesirable that they have in their systems in terms of outdated traditions, orthodoxies or social conventions that run against the western notions of rationalism, can be changed by way of the instrumentality of law.


This paper is an attempt to understand the limitations of this legal mechanism in handling the change process of dynamic institutional systems like socio-cultural or politico-legal systems. What the paper seeks to aim at is an exposition of social phenomenon which has its own dynamic and any law that seeks to affect certain changes into it without taking into consideration the fundamental realities around is bound to result in failure.

Understanding the Legal Mechanism

A very important point we have to understand is the role of politico-legal structures in the life of a nation. I would figuratively put it in a different format. Law, broadly understood can be talked of in two ways, ‘lead law’ and ‘lag law’. Lead law is one where law determines the nature and direction of the goal towards which the system is to move. Lag law on the other hand would follow the social mechanism and would develop a rule to handle the emerging problem. We at the time of independence proceeded with an understanding that the indigenous model due to variety of reasons has become in-appropriate and is ridden with so much of social rot and therefore has to be given a new direction, the direction determined by the project of modernity. The project of modernity, the product of the western thinking has already maligned the indigenous thinking so much that the generation of political leaders proceeded on the assumptions of ushering into an era of modernity determined by western paradigm. A typical western thinking was typified by Henry Maine’s dismissive remark that much of Ancient India’s wisdom consisted of ‘dotages of Brahmanical superstitions’.[iii] This kind of an attitude towards ancient Indian traditions in law and justice represents the attempts made by the colonial administration to discredit the ideological foundations of Hindu hegemony of ideas. It would be interesting to learn how the so called disadvantaged groups in Indian society willingly accepted their position as part of the Dharmic order of things. India’s genius for accommodation can only be understood against the backdrop of this Dharmic order which holistically encompassed all of the society. This social system was not certainly the rigidified hierarchical structure as it has been presented to be, on the contrary, it was comparatively a dynamic order unparalleled in the contemporary societies and I proceed with an assumption that it still retains a lot of socio-political validity.

Lead Law : The Instrumentalist Vision

Turning to the ‘lead law’  ‘lag law’ debate for the purpose of understanding the transforming social organism, one has to understand that  ‘lead law’ approach proceeds on the instrumentalist vision of law, treats Law as an agency of power, an instrument of government, in so far as government is centralised in the state. It is seen as an independent agency of social control and social direction, autonomous and separate from the society it regulates. In this sense law acts upon society rather than is an aspect of society.  It is considered to derive its effectiveness from its congruence with popular moves but from the concentration of political power, which the state represents. “Major ages of social change and mobility almost always involve great use of law and litigation”,[iv] writes Nisbet, but in modern societies law’s capabilities have been seen as vastly greater than appeared to be in earlier eras. Putting of law into written form might be considered historically one of the first steps towards developing its potential as a precise instrument of government. Apart from this, accumulation of state power available for enforcement, professionalization of interpretation and application of legal doctrine, instrumentalisation of elaborate adjudicative processes, have helped in consolidating the instrumentalist role of law.

This instrumentalist vision, considers that sovereign power, the ultimate authority in a polity can legislate on any matter and can exercise control over behaviour within the state. Indeed in a highly centralised political system with advanced technology and communication apparatus, it is taken for granted that legal innovation can effect social change.[v] Roscoe Pound, perceived law as an instrument of social engineering. Underlying this vision is the assumption that social processes are susceptible to conscious human control and the instrument by which this control is to be achieved is law. In such a formulation law is a short-term form of a very complex aggregation of principles, norms, ideals, rules practices and agencies of legislation, administration, adjudication and enforcement backed up by political power and legitimacy.[vi]

Lag Law : The Sociological Vision

‘Lag law’ on the other hand relies on sociological vision of law, and looks at the capacity of law as an instrument of social control, as severely limited by emphasizing upon the fact that if the legal rules are not in congruence with social mores they are not only in-effective, but are doomed to stultification almost at birth, doomed by the over ambitions of the legislator. “Law is vital”, writes Nisbet, “but when every relationship in society becomes potentially legal relationship expressed in adversarial fashion the very juice of social bond dries up, and the social impulse atrophies.[vii] For Habermass law is a support, protection and stabilizing structure of life world, within which values motivations and initiatives of individuals are born and nurtured. But as a directing instrument or medium it threatens to crush through violent abstraction the moral subtleties, local meanings and diversity of individual life.[viii]

 Legal consciousness studies with the declared opposition to the predominant position of prevalence of institutional viewpoint and public policy bias in law, emphasizes at the constitutive theory of social action, pointing its attack on the instrumentalist vision of law, what Mc Cann says countering the lead law approach with a bottom up jurisprudence[ix]. According to Evick and Silby, the ways in which the law is experienced and understood by ordinary citizens as they choose to invoke law, to avoid it, or to resist it, is an essential part of Law. The attention of the investigator is directed towards these every day concrete social practices in which legal rules are perceived as constitutive elements of the reality. This emphasis on the routine instead of exceptional, on the social in place of institutional, on mental representations in place of coercive legal system is the common elements in this change of optic[x] from ‘lead law’ to ‘lag law’.

Understanding Indian Paradigm

We know India is a huge country, with huger complexities. A thousand million plus population, spread over 3.28 million sq km of landmass, with every kind of an imaginable weather pattern from minus 40 degree Celsius in the greater Himalayan region to 50 plus degree Celsius temperature in the deserts of Rajasthan, 16 well demarcated agro-climatic zones, 18 official languages written in 15 different scripts, around 2000 dialects and almost all religions of the world well and adequately represented. The variety of India is mind-boggling. Jawaharlal Nehru called India the museum of world religions.[xi] India has a hoary past and a very vibrant and continuous culture of more than 5000 years of recorded history. But this is only one side of the picture. It has its bleak side as well. 1000 years of colonialism broke India’s economy and its socio-legal structure as well. Queen Elizabeth’s charter of 1600, authorizing East India Company to trade in the countries of the east and consequent colonization of the land called India (Bharat) marked a complete break with the past in terms of socio-legal structures. A new kind of a system was sought to be introduced and adjustments carried on for 350 years. In mid 20th century India finally broke off the shackles of the colonialism launching itself on the path of Republicanism, liberal democracy and secular state system.

Medieval India under Muslim domination witnessed its social institutions getting distorted and British colonialism broke it economically. In the mid 19th century when freedom struggle in the wake of what may be called the Indian renaissance started, it sought to not only stop the economic exploitation of the country by seeking political reforms but also sought to reform the social structure of the country from within. Indian social system, at this point of time was beset with a number of social evils. Caste system, untouchability, child marriages, widow burning, veil system discrimination against women were some of the most visible problems distorting the face of Indian social system. Caste system was the outgrowth of the Varna system or what may be called the classificatory principles which were scientifically designed principles of social organization. Without going into the polemical aspects of Varna system, I rely on Prof PV Kane,[xii] in stating that Varna System was based on occupation rather than on birth and that there was both horizontal and vertical mobility available within this system. Widow burning and child marriages had their history in medieval wars, when the men-folk used to die fighting in the battlefield, the widows used to burn themselves for the purpose of saving themselves from falling into the hands of the enemy and get violated. In the later years these practices assumed the form of an orthodoxy and social evil.

Facing the Post-Independence Challenges

In 1947, when India finally broke off the shackles of colonialism, the challenges facing the country were enormous. For a legal professional it was a maze of imponderables, a mix of customary law, case law, and some assorted enactments. The social system was equally confused, beset with intractable social evils like caste system, unsociability, discrimination against women, child marriages and dowry system etc. The partition of the country and a senseless violence in its wake had left deep scars on the social psyche and deep suspicions amongst the people banking on divisions were so evident. Thus the challenges for those who were at the helm of affairs were enormous. Modern law, which has come to be recognized a technical instrument of rational governance, freed from its traditional roots in culture and communal values and moral contents was the option. It served a modern urge to remake the world grounded in the discovery of that world’s contingent and changeable character. This law appeared morally and intellectually autonomous both in the sense of its distinctiveness as a governmental tool and its superiority over and independence from other competing normative systems. It also seemed comprehensive as it could be used to cover all contingencies and provide man made solutions to all problems of order; unified and systematic as a body of doctrines linked by its formal rational qualities; a structure of human reason, subduing chaos and contingency and principled as a consistent expression of essential conditions of human life.[xiii]

Lead Law : The Ideal  Option?

With the above ideal view of law in mind the founding fathers of India’s new destiny went on framing a constitution, which was to be the embodiment of all that is rational and modern. Justice, liberty, equality were given the pride of place as the basic organizing principles of the new constitution, caste system and untouchability which were considered the main stumbling blocks in the achievement of social solidarity were now intended to be done away with. Preamble of the Constitution provided the blueprint of the ideals, “We the People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic, republic and to provide to all justice, social, economic and political, equality of status and opportunity, liberty of thought, expression, faith, belief and worship…… .Enact and give to ourselves this Constitution.”[xiv] Article 14 of the Constitution of India, guarantees equality, “The state shall not deny to any person, the equality before law, or equal protection of laws within the territories of India.”[xv] This article provides two different types of rights, first, equality before law irrespective of ones caste, creed, race, religion, sex, place of birth etc and second equal protection of laws, meaning thereby that if there are inequalities existing in the socio-legal system, the law, shall take care of them and shall try to change circumstances by way of protective discrimination in such a way that everybody is treated equally and has the guarantee of a right to equality of respect and concern in the design of political institutions[xvi]. The underlying idea of article 14 is that there is nothing as unequal as the equal treatment of unequal’s.[xvii] And therefore to treat every citizen equally, who are found to be circumstanced unequally the state can resort to equalizing means to protective discrimination.

Article 15 provided a further guarantee against discrimination only on the basis of caste, class, religion, sex, place of birth or any of them. However it also provided that special provision could be made in favour of women and children and socially and educationally backward classes. Thus the members of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes could be provided with protective umbrella in various sectors of social life, including admissions in educational institutions. Article 16 went a step ahead and provided another guarantee of equality of opportunity in matters of public services or offices under the government. It further provided that special provisions in government and public services could be provided to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe’s candidates. Article 16 (4) provided, “nothing in this article  shall prevent the state from making any provisions for reservation for appointments or posts in favour of any backward class of citizens which in the opinion of  the state is not adequately represented in the services under the state. Article 17 of the constitution abolished Untouchability and made it an offence to treat anybody as untouchables.[xviii]

A brief overview of equality provisions under Indian constitution would make it clear that the social evil of caste system and resulting deprivation of whole class of people weighed heavily in the minds of the framers of the Indian constitution and they sought to introduce not only the measures that would remove the caste disabilities from the Indian social scene, but also sought to provide compensatory measures for these deprived and less privileged sections of society, so that they could compete with the rest of the world on an equal footing. Under these provisions special provisions were made for peoples belonging to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes under which they are nowadays provided 22 percent reservations under government services. In fact in some states in India like Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, the ratio of reservations of jobs in government services is as high as 69 percent.

Another kind of a protective measure provided to scheduled caste and scheduled tribes is the special representations in Parliament and state legislatures under article 334 of the constitution. Initially this particular provision was supposed to be a kind of transitory provision, to remain in force for 10 years. But this has been successively extended by way of constitutional amendments decade after decade. The last such amendment was made in the year 2009, extending it up-to 2020[xix].

‘Lag Law’ Reality of Social Order : Meeting the Contradictions.

Now this system of legal instrumentalism by way of providing lead law rules, was expected to wipe out not only the caste system from the face of Indian social system but also to uplift the deprived sections of the society from the morass of underdevelopment, putting them on the equal footing with other sections of Indian socio-political system. This equality and solidarity amongst citizens was to be the fundamental conception of the political order in India. But the lead law model did not work the way, it was expected to. The reasons are not difficult to find.

There were certain fundamental contradictions in the very approach. First of all, the very idea of law working as an instrument of social reform has its own limitations. Social phenomenon has its own dynamic and any law that seeks to affect certain changes into it without taking into consideration the fundamental realities around is bound to result in failure. Sumner, [xx]talks about the folkways and mores of life, which change gradually as the conditions of life change. There is little scope for changing them fundamentally through any conscious act of legislation. Legislation has to seek standing ground on the existing mores and legislation to be strong must be consistent with the mores. Any law that deliberately separates itself from the mores and values weakens its social base and authority to the similar extent. Law, philosophy, religions and morality have no independent existence, but are various reflections of social dynamic. They are deeply rooted in the process of social development, yet virtually powerless to alter them. Philosophy and ethics too are products of mores and philosophy attempts the impossible when it tries to construe absolutes from the accidents of experience, which shape the mores[xxi].

For Savigny[xxii] too, law is an expression, one of the most important expressions together with language is the spirit of the people (Volksgeist). This mystical idea of law implies that law is much more than a collection of rules or judicial precedents. It reflects and expressed a whole cultural outlook. This does not mean that Savigny did not recognize the importance of legislation.  Legislation is important, first to remove doubts and uncertainties in evolving law and secondly to enact settled customary law, but not in the manner of code which denies the evolutionary nature of law by setting out fixed final and comprehensive principles. Law looses its base and authority as it moves away, becomes detached and remote, loosing roots in the community life, ceasing to be a part of common consciousness of the people.

But the question is what to do with the inhuman practices of the community life, which not only do not fit in any way with the modern liberal ideas of democratic life, but are also degrading of human life?  Should such practices be tolerated in the name of common consciousness of the people? It has been noted above that Indian renaissance had witnessed a whole array of social reform movements. They were basically two streams of reformers. People like Mr. Sharda, Jyotiba Phule, and Agarkar, were in favour of using the instrument of law for affecting social change and as they not only attempted to reform the system from within but also lobbied British colonial administration to enact legislations for affecting social reforms. [xxiii]Thus they had enactments like widow Remarriages Act, Sati Abolition act etc. This tradition of using law for affecting social reform continued even in the post independence period and Civil Rights Protection Act 1955 (prohibiting practice of Untouchability) Dowry prohibition Act, 1960, Child Marriage Prohibition Act 1961, and another Sati Prohibition Act in 1987. But what was the impact of it? Any impartial observer of Indian social scene would testify that this lead law approach of affecting social reform by using the instrumentality of law has not succeeded. Dowry by and large has spread more than it was in pre-1960 period and has turned out to be some kind of status symbol. Child marriages are still performed in plenty within the full knowledge and view of state machinery,[xxiv] traces of caste system still seen and practiced in many parts of the country and Roop Kanwar Sati act is not a matter of too distant past. This clearly shows that the lead law approach of law has not really worked in India. What has, however happened is that either the legislation has been observed in its complete violation in full view of the administration or it has made the practices at which the legislation aims more covert and harder to detect.

It may be noted that right since 19th century, there was seen another stream of social reformers which wanted the things to be done other way round i.e. by way of following the lag law approach. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Gopal Krishan Gokhale, and Mahatma Gandhi, were some of the more prominent figures who represented this stream. [xxv]They were conscious of the fact that political reforms without social reform were not going to be of any avail, however they wanted those reforms to come from within and not be thrust from outside upon the people. They therefore made it a mission of their lives to rouse the people from slumber and awaken them to the past glory of India. Bal Gangadhar Tilak who was the political guru of Mahatma Gandhi, was convinced that education could play an important role in this regard and therefore with the cooperation of Agarkar and Chiplunkar he started some English schools in Poona and also had a long stunt with the press publishing Kesari and Maratha to educate the people.[xxvi] But somehow the traditions of these leaders could not be continued in post-independence period, a kind of naïve belief prospered that social change could be brought about by enacting laws from the top and no account was taken of the ground realities.

Challenges of Social Reforms And the Limitations of Law.

The question still remain unanswered, what to do with the social evils like caste? Madhu Kishwar,[xxvii] is of the opinion that even though, survival of kinship and community loyalties has some negative fallout, the existence of strong community ties provide for relatively greater stability and dignity to the individual, than they have as atomized individuals. This in part explains why the Indian poor, retains a strong sense of self-respect. It is that self-respect which the thoughtless insistence of egalitarianism destroys. The support system provided by kinship ties still provide greater social security than combined effect of all schemes that successive socialist governments have introduced to help the poor.  Mark Tully[xxviii] writes, “one way to discredit a system is to highlight its excesses and caste system has many, what continuous denigration of caste system has done is to add to the sense of inferiority that many Indians feel about their own culture. It could lead to greater respect for India’s culture and even better understanding of it, if it were to be recognized that caste system has not been totally static, that it is adapting itself to today’s circumstances and that this has positive as well as negative aspects. Caste system provides security and community to millions of Indians. It gives them an identity that neither western science nor western thought has provided, because caste system is not merely a matter of being Brahman or Harijan. It is also a kinship system. The system provides a wider support group than family.

This brief account shows that legislatures in India, in their enthuse of using lead law approach to affect reform in India has not worked well. There can be no gainsaying of the fact that social evils like caste system have got to be wiped out, at least humanized if possible, but that is possible if the behavioural patterns of the people, deeply embedded in customs and traditions is properly understood and proper help provided to them so that they may cop up with the modern realities of life, rather than changes thrust down from above. Roscoe pound put it this way, “for many reasons, including problems of proof, law cannot attempt to control attitudes and beliefs but only observable behaviour”.[xxix]  For Teubner, the primary problem in laws pathological effects is bureaucratizing social relations and moral environment and misinterpreting and so creating disruption in contexts previously regulated by extra legal norms….. law can be effective but they must take into consideration the context which was previously regulated by extra legal norms. “Law can be effective but this effect may be to create uncertainty, chaos, distrust or hostility rather than to regulate properly.”[xxx] And this is precisely what has been done by the lead law approach of law-making in India’s Social environment. A High Court judgment[xxxi] has put it beautifully, albeit in a different context, “bringing constitutional law and legal norms into such matters, is like bringing a bull into the Chinashop”. What is necessary therefore is to quote Teubner again, “To find appropriate relationship between law and other normative orders to prevent this”.

There have been substantial numbers of studies about the main factors that make social control through law effective. For example Yehzkel Dror distinguishes between direct and indirect uses of law in promoting change, Dror accepts that seeking social change through lead law approach is fraught with danger, but he emphasizes that law can and does play an important, albeit indirect role in fostering social change in many ways. First it can shape various social institutions, which in turn have a direct influence on the rate or character of social change. For example law structuring a national education system and providing for a national curriculum for schools influence the scope and character of educational institutions, which may help in affecting social change. Secondly law provides institutional framework for agencies specifically set up to exert influence change. Thus for example setting up boards, agencies of various kinds may be resorted to charged with promoting particular policy goals and finally creation of legal duties to establish situations in which change is fostered.

American sociologist, William M Evans,[xxxii] writing in the light of American experiences, shortlists some basic conditions, which may provide a framework of such a system of rules that may lead to social change. First source of new law must be authoritative and prestigious. Secondly the rationale of the new law must be expressed in terms of compatible and continuity with established cultural and legal principles. Law in fact can be powerful force for change, when the change derives from a principle deeply embedded in our heritage. Thirdly pragmatic models of compliance must be identified. The underlying idea of this condition is that law must not appear utopian but practical in its aims. Another important condition that Evans talks of is the element of time in legislative action. But this condition appears to be rather unenlightening answer to a complex question. The appropriate timing and strategy depends on the extent and complexity of change that law seeks to bring about.


The above analysis of an Indian paradigm case of trying to affect social change by a way of lead law should make it clear that in the final analysis the law can not be seen abstracted from the social reality. Effectiveness of law in the ultimate sense must derive from the law as an instrument of social change working in tandem with social and cultural life of the people.  This is what has wanted throughout the post-independence phase in India. There is no gainsaying of the fact that transformation of social system according to the need of the times and in accordance with the modes and mores of the people is a matter of necessity. However, this would require coordination of variety of efforts being made by researchers all across the country for providing an alternative policy frame. At the same time one has to keep on experimenting with the supposedly indigenous models, for which, I have put earlier, enough of scope is available at the grass-root level.

We must lay our site at the vibrant civil society that exists in India, and also the structures in terms of Panchayati Raj Institutions which can be used by social entrepreneurs and civil society organizations to make effective interventions and meaningful contributions in the process of governance. We have a very encouraging social terrain, with vigilant public opinion, vigorous press and vibrant non-governmental organization sector, which can be used for making new experiments of laws in the governance process at the grass-root level. We also have unutilized and under-utilized potential of millions of youth which can be used for making effective improvements in the developmental administration. However, what we lack is the political will to make use of opportunities available. What is needed is a kind of new dynamic of developmental politics to grow in the country and there we have the challenge well chalked out for willing social entrepreneurs to make use of and conduct experiment in the supposed models of indigenous law. What would be the shape of such experimentation is something which would require another full-fledged research paper. The only thing that can be kept in mind is there is a scope available and there is also a need for conducting experiments at the grass-root level of our political process in trying to balance the ‘lead law’ and ‘lag law’ approaches in the process of transformation of the social organism. This balancing between instrumentality of law and the folk ways and mores of the people or between lead law and lag law would really pave the way for real justice in action preparing the fundamental conception of a long lasting political order in India.


#  M.A.Eng, (Meerut University); LL.B. (Poona University); LL.M.  (Constitution)  (M.D.S. University, Ajmer); Ph.D. ( Rajasthan University Jaipur); LL.M. (Legal Philosophy) European Academy of Legal Theory, Brussels, Belgium; Professor,Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

[i] Sally Falk Moore, Law as a Process : An Anthropological approach, 1993, Routeledge and Kegal Paul, London.

[ii] Quoted by Norbert Rouland, in “Legal Anthropology”, 1994, Athlone press London.

[iii] S. S. Dhavan, Indian Jurisprudence and the Theory of State in Ancient India, Mussorie, National Academy of Administration, Printed Lectures, 1962

[iv] As quoted in Roger Cotterrel’s Sociology of Law: An Introduction, Butterworth’s, 1992.

[v] Sally Falk Moore, Law as a process, (1993) Routeledge and Kegan Paul, London.

[vi] Sally Falk Moore, supra, f.n. 1

[vii] Roger Cotterrel, supra, f.n. 4

[viii] Legitimation crisis, Heinemann, London, 1976

[ix] As quoted in Maurice Garcia, Villegas, “symbolic Power without symbolic violence? Critical comments on Legal Consciousness Studies in USA, Droit a Societe, no-53/2003

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Discovery of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, Oxford University Press, 1976

[xii] History of Dharmashastras, Prof. P V Kane, Bhandarkar Research Institute, Pune, 1968

[xiii] Rogger Cotterrel, op.cit.f.n. 4

[xiv] Preamble to Constitution of India, 1950, (The Constitution of India, was adopted on 26th November, 1949 and came into force, on 26th January, 1950

[xv] Article 14, Constitution of India, 1950

[xvi] Constitutional Law of India, V. N. Shukla, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow, 2000

[xvii] Indian Constitution, H.M. Sheervai, N.M. Tripathi, Bombay, 1993.

[xviii] Civil Rights Protection Act of 1956 was passed to reinforce the declaration made in Article 17 of Indian Constitution, which made Untouchability a penal offence. Glanville Austin in his celebrated work “Indian Constitution, the cornerstone of Nation” has written in this context, that Indian constitution is more of a social than political document.

[xix] 95th Constitutional Amendment, 2009

[xx] As quoted in Roger Cotterrel, supra f.n.1

[xxi] Ibid.

[xxii] As quoted in Roger Cotterrel, supra f.n.4

[xxiii] Freedom Struggle, Bipan Chandra, Oxford University Press, 1990

[xxiv] There is an auspicious day, called ‘Akha-teej’ which is the third day of Vaisakh month according to Hindu calendar, (Vikram Samvat). On this particular day many child marriages are celebrated in full knowledge of the administration.

[xxv] Freedom Struggle, Bipan Chandra, Oxford University Press, 1990

[xxvi] Supra f.n. 22

[xxvii] Madhu Kishwar, Seminar, 1989

[xxviii] There are no full Stops in India, Mark Tully, Penguine books, 1992

[xxix] Roscoe Pound, as quoted in Roger Cotterrel, supra f.n. 4

[xxx] G. Teubner, as quoted in Roger Cotterrel, supra f.n. 4

[xxxi] Harvindar Kaur v. Harminder Kaur, AIR, 1984, Del 66

[xxxii] As quoted by G. S. Sharma, in Law and Social Change, 1971, Indian Social Science Research, New Delhi.


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