The book explores the interactions of inequalities and law. In pre-colonial and colonial India, inequalities were based on caste, sex and holding of property. Inequalities based on sex and caste, in particular were recognized and enforced by law. The colonial administration took steps to eradicate sati, slavery and female infanticide. But little was done to tackle the other aspects of inequalities imbedded in social and legal structures.
The framing of the Constitution marks a water-shed in the process of ushering in of an egalitarian society. The preamble states the goal of achieving social, economic and political justice to the people. Article 14 guaranteed to a citizen equality before the law and equal protection of laws. Article 38-A introduced by the 44th amendment enjoins, the State shall in particular, strike to minimize the inequalities in income, and endeavour to eliminate inequalities in status facilities and opportunities, not only amongst individuals but also amongst groups of people residing in different areas or engaged in different vocations.
The book explores the use of instrumentalities of law, decisional as well as legislative, in achieving the reduction of inequalities in the society. It considers issues like reservations, sex-based discrimination, inequalities generated by holding of property, inheritances and incomes, the system of bonded labour, and inequalities which affect access to judicial and political institutions.
The book avoids technical legal terminology and is written in a style to enable specialists in other disciplines like economics, sociology etc, and a general reader to follow its contents.
Table Of Contents:
Law and Inequality : The Background in the Pre-independent India
Equality under the Constitution
Inequality : Reservations and Protection of Civil Rights
Inequality and Women
Inequality and Property
Inequality : Inheritances and Incomes
Inequalities : Electoral and Judicial Process