India is a country filled with a diversity of cultures, languages, traditions, and more all coming together. This country stands as the epitome show of unity with diversity. While the uniquely marvelous qualities are worldwide famous about India, what can not be denied is that there are persistent social problems that exist here too. Social problems are not only a hindrance to the overall social development of the country. Major social problems cause economic and financial instability in the short and long run. Most of all, social problems which continue to exist in India are immoral, barbaric, and inhumane in nature. Let’s discuss more about the thirteen current social problems that still exist in India and why they need to be eradicated at the earliest.
1) Social Inequality- Casteism and Untouchability
One of the major social problems that continue to persist in India is social inequality in society on the basis of caste. Despite decades of efforts from activists, government, and non-government organizations to eradicate these practices of severe inequality based on caste, no significant results have come. Untouchability, perhaps the most grotesque prejudiced and callous practice that exists in Indian society is actually a result of this social inequality based on caste. Untouchability stems from the belief that certain castes, as mentioned in the Hindu scriptures, are higher in the hierarchy than others. Thus, lower caste people are subjected to torture and reduced to doing menial jobs, passed down from generations for their survival. Social inequality based on caste and its resultant untouchability must perish from current modern society. As Mahatma Gandhi said,
“If untouchability lives, humanity must die.”
Reservation or quota system for jobs and education were introduced in Indian institutions to socially, economically, and mentally uplift those who have been disadvantaged for centuries. These disadvantaged classes mainly belonged to the lower caste of the Hindu religion. As a result of previously mentioned social inequality, people from lower caste were limited to unpaid or menial labor for survival. In the name of progression, reservation of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and minorities was announced. Though this act was done in good faith and affirmative action, sensing the trend in the last couple of years, we have noticed these policies have not actually benefitted those who need it the most. People in secluded villages are still unaware of their rights and those who fall in the creamy layer of society are actually the ones gaining from this policy. These reservation act has also lead to numerous youth unrest in the country.
3) Hygiene and Sanitation
Hygiene and sanitation have been major problems in Indian society for centuries. We often see people defecating on the railway tracks and or loitering on the streets. These are some of the unhygienic and unsanitary habits that have not been kept in check in the past few decades. Take Japan for instance, where hygiene and sanitation are taught and practiced from a young age from home. India should take inspiration from these Japanese values and try to teach them to our future generations. Though the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has brought on remarkable improvement and increased the accessibility of washrooms to thousands of households, there is still a large room for development.
Education is often the only way most Indian generation can improve their current social and financial situation. Unfortunately, inaccessibility to education institutions a reason why most young children can not avail the fruits of education and knowledge, thus preventing them from walking on the path of development. Education must be must accessible to all. Primary level education is still a dream for many young kids in rural India. Parents and children must be collectively made aware of the boons of education and how they can use it to improve their current social situations.
5) Honor Killings
One of the most sadistic forms of familial torture comes in the name of honor killing. Honor killings are homicides done by family members to save the ‘honor’ of the family. Honor killing often happens in Indian society as a result of an act done by a family member which is considered taboo in their neighborhood. To prevent further stigmatization and shame from coming on the family members, they kill the alleged criminal in the name of ‘honor’. These honor killings often result in aftermath of disobedience, inter-caste marriage, marrying someone from a different religion, or killing the rape victim to prevent further ‘dishonor’ on the family. Though the Supreme Court of India and the Government of India have often introduced and subjected strict laws and punishments on the culprits of honor killings, the local governments must be made aware of the same and perform more actions to prevent honor killings.
6) Cyber Crimes
Cybercrimes are a new phenomenon that has descended upon society since the invention of social media. Cybercrimes have various forms but perhaps the most damaging ones that pose social problems at present are hacking of personal data, leaking of private photographs, and pornography. We perform most of our important tasks through the web at present which has made most tasks easier and fast. What can not be denied is that our data is constantly under threat. You also can not disagree with the fact that there are far fewer restrictions on the distribution of nudity on social media. Half of this scandalous content does not have the consent of the person featured in it, which most of the time is a female. Also though strict laws exist in place to punish these culprits behind cybercrimes, the process to catch these criminals must be made quickly to prevent anxiety and self-harm within victims.
7) Acid Attacks
Acid attacks are vicious and you will be shocked to know this, they are done most of the time by a person close to you or your family members. The majority of acid attack victims are females, and these attacks pose a social problem because their numbers have been rising in the past few decades. Numerous women are constantly given the threat of acid attack due to rejected marriage advances from a male or revenge. Most acid attacks’ intimidations stem from ‘crimes of passion’ and they destroy the lives of people within minutes. The local law enforcement must take acid attack complaints from victims seriously and also provide enough security and surveillance to secluded spots where a female may come under a threat of an acid attack.
Communalism, also what is known as the bitter relation between two religions is on the rise in India. Communalism poses a social problem in the current world because two of the major religions have caused quite unrest and incidents of violence in all most every state of India. The followers of two of the most prominent religions in India, Hinduism, and Islam are often seen confronting each other on numerous occasions every day in different parts of the country. These incidents of brawls and violence are on the rise at present in India. The government and common people must take proper precautions and prevent disputes of the basis of religion from erupting.
9) Child Abuse
You might have often seen children of age 6 or 7 working under ghastly conditions in eateries, stores, and other places. These children, other than working in unsanitary conditions and being severely underpaid or unpaid, have to suffer the wrath of their employers. According to the National Crime Record Bureau in India, more than 100 children face abuse in some form every single day. Many cases of child abuse often go unreported, that is why we must practice vigilance and make the immediate law enforcement aware of any kind of child abuse taking place in the neighborhood.
10) Drug Abuse
Although a less severe form of self-inflicted abuse in India, drug abuse is still very obvious to be considered a social problem. Thanks to the efforts of the Indian government, only a minuscule number of people in India suffer from drug abuse resulting from that severe form of drug abuse such as cocaine, ecstasy, and meth. The pre-eminent kind of drug abuse that is present in India in reality results from pharmaceutical drug abuse. You might have often seen in the news how the state of Punjab suffered from the trend of drug abuse among the youth. Drug abuse incidents are still noticeable in India on a large scale among the youth aged from 15-35. Strict and swift actions must be taken to combat the drug abuse problem at the earliest.
A few of the other social problems that exist in India are violence against women, corruption, unemployment, and more. Stricter and efficient actions from law enforcement and the Government of India to combat these social problems are welcome. In the near future, we hope these social problems will be eradicated from Indian society.