Tue. May 18th, 2021

Laws and Society

Rehan Khan

Rehan Khan

The human being on this Earth has been an active actor in shaping the structures that are befit for his viable survival. The society composed of dynamic members experiences the taste of modification in its structures as the external factors demand compatibility with its variant nature. The fabric of social interaction becomes stronger with the advancement of time. An informal social control develops within the frontiers of that society and it is maintained by the process of socialization. The construction of identities, the taking of roles, the stratification of class and ethnicity, and the social web of interaction emerge that collectively form the backbone of its collective consciousness. The standards of right and wrong, the tendency of social behavior and the expression of speech and conduct are reflected through the prism that is handed over by the collective consciousness. In other words, society acquires the apparatus of mindset that interprets any form of action or conduct and defines its social bindings in terms of punishment or reward.

    Law is the expressive form of egalitarian provision of justice to all individuals. Every society on the face of Earth has established the constitution of laws either in written or in verbal form that has become basis of its social order and social control. Any individual who contravenes the borders of laws would be charged with heavy penalties. The primitive societies were also reinforcing on the establishment of laws but in verbal form. The classical societies of Rome and Greek were rendered on the higher standards of law-abiding hierarchy. Alexander ordered his comrade to shave their beard before any battle that was incorporated as a law. No battle encountered his comrade on the battlefield with beard that mirrors the tenacity of compliance with laws.  The hydraulic societies of Mesopotamia, Turkey, China and Egypt introduced the rational bureaucracy that would ensure compliance to the laws. In Egypt, the deceased pharaoh was mummified with ostentatious ornaments, the body was lavishly adorned with golden jewelry and it was misted with perfuse balm. It was a deep-rooted tradition that was molded into the body of law. None of the pharaohs have been passed whose mummy has not been put under this practice.    These societies were established on strong footings due to the extent of compliance with the

   But, history is not blank of those societies that had the ruthless versions of laws that were befitting to the bourgeoisie and were detrimental to the survival of the proletariats. The deprivation of rights in the name of legislature has been the blemish on the face of our historical archives. A dive into the historical accounts of Babylonia reveals upon us a fact that defies every moral code. The predominance of patriarchal stream led to the legislation of laws that were serving as a lethal injection to the matriarchal stream. The brunt of sin or the misdeed enacted by a male was laden on the petite shoulders of female and was forfeited on behalf of her husband.  This law was in full operation across the length of Babylonia and was the depiction of power that was used with pure aggression and prejudice.

     The land of Arab was the graveyard of female infants who were buried alive just on the sin that they accounted for the feminine version of the human being. Husbands were flogging their wives, torturing them to insanity and were pricking their conscience on every step of life. They were the beasts of burden who were the buffer stock for the gratification of lust. The deprivation of inheritance was the mildest of injustice meted out to them in their social life. This law was practiced in every nook and corner of Arab society. The male dominance was the sole factor that enabled them to legislate laws that were negating the standards of morality and modesty. It was nothing but the exploitation of a body, degradation of a soul and the deprivation of an entity. In the colouful screen of pride, they were promoting soul trafficking and black marketing.

   The Indian history is the reflection of torture administered to the wives of those who breathed their last. They were put into fire alive with impunity. Indians were feeling the extreme pride in consigning widows to the flames of fire without an iota of hesitation. The sheer precision associated with the practice of burning a living body is the glaring testament to the raging anger fed by the river of such inhumane laws propounded by the minds of powerful miscreants.

   In medieval ages, the capitalism was staggering to its pinnacle. The narrowed circle of landlords was sucking the blood of dilated circle of tenants. The Landlords were steering the vehicle of economy that was fueled by the blood of the poor. They were deprived of basic rights and were condemned to live a life of torment independent of dignity and honour. One who had the power of money was the king of hundreds and thousands of fiefs and vassals and the one who had access to meager amount of money was subject to social torture. The concentration of money was centered on the first level of social pyramid and the rest of levels were left like the residues.  A time came in Africa that resulted in mass slavery of innocent human beings by enacting concocted laws. About one-third population of Sudan, Ghana, Mali and Segou were enslaved including females and children. IN 19th century half population of Cameron was tightened in the shackles of slavery. How come such laws remained for such long period of time had there been any form of justice? Weren’t these laws the reflection of pride and arrogance of potent symbols of power?

 After the break-down of Ottoman Empire, the utter misuse of power was displayed by the forces of that time. The disintegration of Ottoman Empire gave shape to various nations that were distributed among the powerful forces on laws that were contrived on purest form of injustice. Did those powerful forces go by the will of consensus among the masses of beleaguered nations in shaping laws? With all the burden of shame, they least bothered about the aspirations of masses and drew the lines of borders keeping the general public at the edge of sword. Those nations fought for their liberty and snatched their lands from the jaws of powerful forces. Who made those laws that enabled Britain, Spain and other countries to domineer the masses of those nations? Were those laws engineered on the standards of morality? Didn’t they ridicule the sanctity of human lives by putting them into the state of social limbo?

  In some countries of Europe, even today talking about the event of Holocaust is considered a felony and is sentenced to jail. This law is implemented in full spirit. How can such a law be made that discourages the revealing of truth?

  The apartheid imposed in South Africa by the British government in order to marginalize the black underclass is the glimpse of laws that are inhumane in any human planet. The powerful forces have always been active in sucking the blood out of the depressed classes.

 Our country Pakistan is also the forum where the stage for the competition of power is set for the exhibition. The political parties devise laws that add to their vested interest and seldom sustain the durability once another party gets position at the helms of affairs.  Laws have been a tool of extracting the benefit from the current political dynamics. They are made on choices, revamped on whims and abrogated on personal preferences. The recent incident of fake degrees sums up the whole scenario. An educated but misled dictator legislated a law that denies political certificate to those who are not qualified bachelors in order to exempt some of his opponents. To add more shades to the mockery of law, the recent semiliterate govt attempts to abrogate this law for the retrieval of those non-bachelors. Recently, America has made a law that discriminately exhorts some countries’ citizens to undergo a stripped screening. The sanctity and honour of a respected citizen are brushed off due to the brimming pride of being the Super Power.

   On global forum, the so-called United Nations has merely been a shoulder used by powerful forces to shot at the victims with the muscle of laws. The invasion of America into the territories of Iraq on excuse of discovering Weapons of Mass Destruction has been a flat slap on the workings of United Nations. How can USA remain the permanent member of Security Council after contravening the basic constitution? The minimum penalty against the ruthless onslaught of America on Iraq would have been its dismemberment.  Can any nation justify the killing of thousands of people just on account of an excuse that is imbued with lameness? Isn’t this the exploitation of power for the acquisition of vested interest? The whole world is struck by surprise at the deafening silence of UN on the usurpation of rights in Kashmir. India is inflicting an array of atrocities on the unarmed masses of Kashmir since 1948, but the international laws remain in the state of inefficacy. In addition, American announcement in favour of India to vote for the permanent seat in Security Council is an act of adding salt to the gaping wounds of Kashmiris and a measured step to provoke their deep-rooted sentiments simmering against the illegal occupation of Kashmir. Can a thief be entrusted with the responsibility to safeguard the treasure of bank? The power game on global arena is not beyond the shot of our eye.

       The rise of communism in order to mitigate the onslaught of capitalism was rapid due to its desirability in the world. The Russian Empire embraced this system for the dismantling of social stratification based on class. Later on, it spread like the flames of fire across the globe and took roots in countries like Cuba and China. The structured injustice was countered by communism and the stage of power play was shut down. However, nowadays the laws are made by the powerful in excess of their convenience and they exploit the poor in order to satisfy their needs. The class difference in our society is still prevalent and the one who is on the apex of power makes others follow his directions.

The contributor is a student of A-Levels. He edits Gilgit – Baltistan Times. He can be reached at rehanbinnazeem@gmail.com 

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