NCERT Solutions for Class 8 Social Science Social and Political Life Chapter 4 : Understanding Laws

Q:

Write in your own words what you understand by the following sentence on page 44-45: They also began fighting for greater equality and wanted to change the idea of law from a set of rules that they were forced to obey, to law as including ideas of justice.

A:

The British laws were arbitrary and suited their own needs. The best example of British arbitrary rules is the Sedition Act of 1870. Under this act, any Indian who dared to criticise the British government used to be jailed without a fair trial. Thus, Indians were denied justice in their own land.

Indian nationalists wanted laws to be based on the spirit of equality and justice. Many of them took to the legal profession and demanded respect in colonial courts. They fought legal battles to demand justice for Indians. Thus, Indians played a major role in the evolution of rule of law during colonial period.

Q:

State two reasons why historians refute the claim that the British introduced the rule of law in India.

A:

The two reasons why historians refute the claim that the British introduced the Rule of Law in India are –

  • Colonial law was arbitrary, e.g. Sedition Act of 1870.  Any person criticizing British government used to be arrested without proper trial.
  • By the end of the 19th century, the Indian legal profession began emerging and demanded respect in colonial courts. They began to use law to defend the legal rights of Indians. Indian judges began to play a big role in making decisions. Therefore, there were various ways in which Indians played a role in the evolution of the rule of law during the colonial period.

Q:

Write in your own words what you understand by the term the ‘rule of law’. In your response include a fictitious or real example of a violation of the rule of law.

A:

Law is a system of rules, generally imposed through a Government or Institution and is applied to govern people of a nation or region. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways.

The most common example of a violation of the rule of law can be seen on the roads. Traffic rules are broken by motorists and pedestrians. Motorists do not follow speed limits nor do they stop behind the line at traffic signals. Pedestrians hardly use the zebra crossing and cross the road at will which is a cause of danger for themselves and others.

Q:

Re-read the storyboard on how a new law on domestic violence got passed. Describe in your own words the different ways in which women’s groups worked to make this happen.

A:

Women's groups worked hard and untiringly for a new law on domestic violence in the following way –

  • Public protests
  • Hearings
  • Meetings with other organizations
  • Press conferences
  • Petitions to the government to introduce a new reformed bill on domestic violence to include demands like monetary relief and protection against being evicted from the shared household.

Earlier, domestic violence only entailed "injury or harm or threat of injury or harm" by an adult male against a woman. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 extended to include physical, economic, sexual, verbal and emotional abuse.

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