LAW AS A TOOL FOR SOCIAL ENGINEERING IN INDIA
Roscoe Pound introduced the doctrine of “Social Engineering” which aims at building an efficient structure of society which would result in the satisfaction of maximum of wants with the minimum of friction and waste. It involved the rebalancing of competing interests. This article analyses the role of legislations, constitutional provisions and court judgements in the process of social engineering in India.
India, known around the world as a “cradle of civilizations” has always been a queer mixture of various faiths, religions, a place where the cultures of the world meet, constituting an environment of composite culture. It was for this reason that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru called India the “the museum of world religions”. Indeed, the very paradigmatic setting of India
has been pluralist all along. Even today the land mass
called India, spread over 3.28 million sq km of area inhabited by a thousand million plus population, with every imaginable kind of a weather pattern from minus 40 degree Celsius in greater Himalayan region to 50 degree Celsius temperature in the deserts of Rajasthan and temperate weather of coastal regions, 20 official languages written in 16 different scripts, around 2000 dialects, 16 well demarcated agro-climatic zones2 and almost all religions of the world well and adequately represented, presents a mind boggling variety and plurality. And all this has a bearing on India’s liberal, secular, republican, politico-legal system. Under these conditions, it becomes very necessary to have a mechanism for balancing the interests of the individuals, society and the state. India, after independence, adopted the ideal of a socialistic pattern of society and has formulated programmes of social welfare in various spheres. The aim is to establish a social order which would eradicate exploitation, secure equal opportunities for all citizens, ensure that they share just obligations and enjoy social security. The means adopted in achieving these ideals these ideals are peaceful and democratic. The goal is sought to be achieved mainly through the enactment of suitable laws. It is generally recognised that legislation does create healthy conditions for such changes. It is in these circumstances that law comes into play to act as an agency balancing conflicting interests and becomes a tool for social engineering. This article analyses the
Student, 3rd Year, B.A. LL.B (Hons.), Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur. Data teken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India accessed on 31-03-2010
role of legislations, constitutional provisions and court judgements in the process of social engineering in India.
The Concept of Social Engineering
Roscoe Pound was one of the greatest leaders of sociological school of jurisprudence. He introduced the doctrine of “Social Engineering” which aims at building an efficient structure of society which would result in the satisfaction of maximum of wants with the minimum of friction and waste. It involved the rebalancing of competing interests. Roscoe Pound defined the legal order by reference to the end of law: "It [the legal order] may well be thought of as a task or as a great series of tasks of social en-gineering; as an elimination of friction and precluding of waste, so far as possible, in the sa-tisfaction of infinite human desires out of a relatively finite store of the material goods of ex-istence."3
Interests", "desires", "claims", "wants" - for the most part the words are used interchangeably in Pound's writings, although "interests" sometimes serves as the inclusive term.4 He writes, “For the purpose of understanding the law of today I am content with a picture of satisfying as much of the whole body of human wants as we may with the least sacrifice. I am content to think of law as a social institution to satisfy social wants--the claims and demands involved in the...
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