India is one of the most ancient civilizations of the world which boasts of as the largest democracy of the world. Beauty of India lies in the variedness of its cultures, diversities in the patterns of food habits and clothing, mushrooming of multiple schools of thought not only in the domain of philosophy but also the coexistence of people practising different religions. The most intriguing feature regarding the Indian society however is the concept of equality. Being a stratified society which consists of hundreds of castes and thousands of sub-castes of different religions, the craving for inter-group equality becomes the epicenter of most of the socio-political transitions in the present day India. While we are nostalgic about a past glorified with the existence of earliest democratic republics, and an ancient society that is said to have treated the concept of womanhood with a kind of respect that is attributed to the divinity, we also find the reports of lower caste people, women and minorities struggling for getting the basic existential rights. The debate has assumed more significance in post- Independent India which purposefully went for a written constitution that placed equality of law and equality before law as the testing ground of a vibrant democracy. The journey of democracy in India is basically the journey of different social groups. The story of Indian democracy, is hence, bound to reverberate around the attempts of different collectivities to get a pie in the process of development. And, a development, that is not limited to economic progress, but one that has implications for equality in political, social, religious, cultural and educational rights. The present paper is an attempt to understand complex interaction between the social structure, social-cultural idiosyncrasies and the cravings for equality mediated by a rational-legal governance system and a codified constitution.
Cite this article:
Bimal Chandra Nanda. Equality, Law and Societal Norms: Contesting Domains of State and Society in India. Int. J. Rev. and Res. Social Sci. 2019; 7(1):161-164. doi: 10.5958/2454-2687.2019.00012.1