Human life is governed by several laws and regulations. Their purpose is to make life secure and comfortable and also to make sure that we discharge our duties and obligations towards society properly. Human civilisation, right from its start, has progressed and climbed the ladder of growth and prosperity only because of obeying the laws faithfully and in good spirit, in consonance with the set norms and traditions. Safeguarding the rights and duties of an individual are at the core of a good society, from times immemorial.
The solar system, of which our Earth is a small part, exists because certain laws govern its movements and an equilibrium exists between them. This ensures harmonious functioning of the solar system which makes our existence on this earth, as also the existence of other planets, possible. Similar is the case with all living and non-living beings, and humans in particular. Even our own bodies like the bodies of all other living creatures are the outcome of harmonious functions and different biological processes within a well functioning ecosystem.
The theory of evolution and the theory of natural selection propounded by Darwin has been found deficient in some ways, as it did not explain fully certain biological processes and laws. It remains the subject matter of much debate and academic discourse even today. For instance, the natural selection which shapes and moulds the body parts in such meticulous, foolproof, and intricate manner that the veins and arteries and other minute parts of vital organs like heart, brain, kidney, etc, come into being in the way they are couldn’t be possible without some supreme engineering mind.
In today’s context, the laws from the international level to the level of our homes, from government to non-government, from public to private, from collective to individual, etc, are so wide ranging and complex that it becomes impossible to cover them all. A whole set of law-making mechanisms, right from the local panchayat to the UNO is at play, making new laws, amending and scrapping existing ones and grappling with the ever-increasing new challenges all over the world, so as to come up with the appropriate answers and solutions to them. There seems no end to such a mind-boggling situation in which humanity finds itself and is now becoming indifferent to. As such, laws often remain in law books only with little or no implementation on the ground.
In today’s world there is so much clamour for human rights that law books are filled with them. Still there are human rights violations in many parts of the world. Similarly, laws exist for prevention of cruelty to animals and even there exist separate laws for pets and other flora and fauna. Take the case of laws relating to domestic violence and many other such laws which sound very sacred and that have been enacted for noble causes, but their implementation is far from satisfactory.
The vast chunk of our population is not law knowing. The knowledge of laws has been restricted to lawyers and judges only. This has further complicated the matters. There are certain areas in the world which are scarcely populated and are still devoid of modern technological and civilisational breakthroughs. There, the reach of the laws of the land and its judicial system is limited. Law enforcement agencies like police can’t reach every nook and corner of the world. In spite of such shortfalls and drawbacks, there is law and order in such societies.
The fabric of these societies is based on their own customs, traditions, and local judicial systems which have evolved through a period of time and have worked well. This system is self regulatory, simple, instant, and well implemented. Such a self regulatory system is seen existing among species of the animal kingdom also, because of which our wildlife exists. In order to get rid of the shortcomings of our existing judicial system and its limited reach and availability to the whole population, it is imperative that we give serious thought to this self-regulatory mechanism in our judicial system. This can be achieved by making people accountable to their conscience, by building a national character, fear of God, etc. Let us improve upon such systems wherever they already exist and build a society based on culture, tradition and ethics.
The writer is a retired telecom engineer.