Social Issues in India
Every society has some problems, and these are commonly termed as social issues. It is a problem that is affecting a considerable percentage of a nation’s or global population or society.
Social issues (also social problem, social evil, and social conflict) refers to any undesirable condition that is opposed either by the whole society or by a section of the society. It is an unwanted social condition, often objectionable, the continuance of which is harmful for the society.
Social issues are caused by some factors that are beyond the control of a single individual and cause a lot of conflict on the moral grounds.
There are some common characteristics of all social problems. This include:
- Social problems are those situations that have bad and injurious consequences for society.
- Social problems arise when there is a deviation of the people or the nature of society from the ideal situation.
- Almost all social problems have some common origin.
- Many of the social issues are interconnected, and if one is solved, then others also get solved.
- Social problems have a huge impact on society and may affect any section of the society.
- Social issues need a collective approach to be solved.
- Almost all societies in this world have social issues.
India is facing a large number of social issues such as caste system, child labour, illiteracy, gender inequality, superstitions, religious conflicts, and many more. It is high time that the society gets relief from these undesirable social evils.
Major Social Issues: We have prepared a list of major social issues in India. They are briefly discussed below in the following order:
- Caste system
- Child labour
- Child marriage
- Low status of women
- Gender inequality at work
- Dowry system
- Sati practice
- Sanitation and cleanliness
- Religious conflicts
- Juvenile delinquency
1. Caste system
Introduction: Caste system is a system of defining class or assigning status to individuals from the time of birth. In India, the caste system is mainly profession based. India has been a victim of caste system since ages.
The causes, effects and solutions of Caste system in India are discussed below:
Causes: The main reason behind the growth of Caste system in India is the assignment of caste based on job specialization. There were different types of jobs in the society which were done by the people based on their capability. This division of job based on specialization resulted into caste system.
Four classes of Caste system: The four classes includes:
- The Brahmins – the priestly class. They were mainly engaged in religious and priestly activities. They were also appointed as advisors to the Kings.
- The Kshatriyas – the warrior and ruler class. They were mainly engaged in warfare activities.
- The Vaishyas – the trader class. They were mainly engaged in business, agriculture, and trading activities.
- The Sudras – the lowest of the four traditional class engaged as domestic servants and laborers, etc.
Negative effects of Caste system: Caste system has many disadvantages such as:
- Encourages untouchability,
- Promotes Inequality,
- Undemocratic in nature,
- Fake differentiation in superiority and inferiority.
- Increases gap between upper and lower caste people.
People are victimized by caste. There is discrimination which divides the society, and anti-social elements take advantage of this. Caste system is also a danger towards the National integration of the country. Caste system is a major cause for many inhuman and immoral social practices such as untouchability, child marriage, sati system (sati pratha), etc.
- Education will help the people to become aware of the disadvantages of Caste system.
- There is a need for widespread social change in favor of equality of human-beings. Caste system can be discouraged through social education in rural areas.
- There should be special classes at schools that imparts value and moral education to the children.
- Superstitious people are extremely fearful and discourage any change in social norms. Education will help shed away superstition, which in turn, will help shed casteism as well.
- With better education and economic progress, people belonging to diverse caste get opportunity to mix and work together. Many of them become friends while working together on a project.
Introduction: Poverty refers to a situation when people’s basic needs are not fulfilled. When people doesn’t have the necessary food to eat or clothes to wear or shelter to stay then its called poverty. Life becomes very difficult for people with income is below the poverty line (BPL).
Poverty is a vicious circle and is the lack of money or material possessions. Social, political, as well as economic elements, contribute to poverty. It leads to a lack of basic life necessities and comfort. Illiteracy is a major cause and effect of poverty. These people have a low standard of living and poverty is the cause of many social evils.
The causes, effects and solutions for poverty in India are discussed below:
Causes: The major reasons or causes of poverty are:
- People don’t get proper education which leads to poverty. People are poor because they are illiterate, and they are illiterate because they cannot afford education. Illiteracy and poverty stays side-by-side. They both are the cause and effect of each other.
- In case where the resources and opportunities are limited and the population is high, there arises a situation of joblessness which ultimately leads to poverty.
- When a large number of people live in poverty, there is limited scope for the development of country’s economy.
- Some natural and environmental problems such as lack of rainfall, drought, etc. often lead to poverty. There are many other reasons also like caste system, unemployment, etc.
Effects: The negative effects of poverty are mentioned below:
- Poor people will always have to depend on others to survive.
- Low quality foods may leads to bad nutrition.
- Poor people have less liberty for the choice of profession.
- Poverty may affect the moral and self-esteem of people living in extreme hardship.
- Poverty also results in building stress which ultimately affects the relationship of people.
- The low standard of living prevails among poor people.
Solutions: The solutions for poverty are discussed below:
- Poverty can be checked by increasing job opportunities. It will decrease the rate of unemployment which ultimately results in decrease of poverty in economy.
- Government should take more steps towards charity, trusts and have some transparency while spending money in those social institutions.
- There is a need for initiatives of paid leave to the workers.
- The education system should be reformed and initiatives should be taken to bring more children to schools.
3. Child labour
Introduction: Child labour is a system of involving children in any economic activity. Children at the age of playing engage themselves into economic activity for their family. Child labour can be seen throughout the country in a wide way.
Child labour means getting children who are minors of age to do work. Even if children are paid for the labour that they perform, child labour is still deeply wrong.
The causes, effects and solution of Child labour are briefly mentioned below:
Causes: The major causes of child labour in India are:
- Illiteracy, and
- Low standard of living.
If the above problems can be resolved from the Indian society, then the country will have less social issues.
When a family is poor, they often have no choice but to send their children out to work. If the child’s parents or other relatives are sick, or poor, more pressure will be put on children to go out to work to provide for themselves and their families.
Due to unemployment of the parents, children do not get proper education and are forced to get involved in child labour. Educated people are less likely to engage their child as child labours. In general, educated people want to keep up a certain level of standard and live a respectable life. On the contrary, illiterate people are not even aware of the evil effects of child labour.
Effects: The negative effects or major disadvantages of child labour include:
- Child labour is an inhuman practice. The mental growth of the children engaged in child labour is checked.
- Children get less time and opportunity to go to school. They are unable to participate fully in education. They are deprived from education which makes them illiterate.
- Child labour obstructs personal growth. The standard of living of people remains low.
- Child labour destroys their childhood. Child labour does not only limit children’s ability to grow emotionally and to relish a period of carefree innocence before they are launched into adulthood.
- Child Labour deprives children of the ability to play, to make friends, to daydream, to relax, and to enjoy all of the key aspects of a normal, desirable childhood.
- Children are the future pillars of the economy and involving them into child labour will only make those pillars weak. Ultimately, child labour affects the country’s growth.
Solution: The main solution to child labour is:
- Imparting education and knowledge to children.
- If incomes of the parents can be increased then it is possible for the children’s to get education.
- Government will have to take more steps towards proper enforcement of labour laws.
- People who are employed and are above the poverty line should take steps towards replacing child workers with adult workers. It will benefit not only the society, but the country at large.
Child labour is an extremely sad and worrying phenomenon that unfortunately still needs to be eradicated in many parts of the world, including India.
4. Child marriage
Introduction: Child marriage refers to the marriage of individuals below the prescribed limit of age. Marriage is to be considered legal as per the Indian Law, when the groom’s age is 21 and above and bride’s age is 18 and above.
Though, child marriage has caused problems to both and boys and girls, the most severe victims of the evil practice are the girls.
The causes, effects and solutions for the social problem of child marriage are given below:
Causes: The causes or the main reason behind the child marriage is the poor economic condition of the family of the marriage parties.
Besides there are other reasons also for child marriage like illiteracy, providing security to their daughters by marrying them to secured person, child trafficking, etc.
Negative effects of child marriage: The negative effects of child marriage include the following:
- Due to child marriage, the girls become pregnant at an early age. Since their bodies are not properly developed to have kids, it may lead to early maternal death. In many of the cases, the infant baby’s health doesn’t seem good.
- Child marriage also leads to illiteracy and poverty. A girl who is married at an early age is deprived of opportunities for education and personal growth.
- Due to less compatibility and understanding, relationship between the couples hampers.
Solution: Education is the only and the best way to stop child marriage. Educated people from society should raise voice against child marriage.
Gender equality and women education is very important to stop the evil practice of child marriage. The girls become extremely dependent upon her parents because of lack of education. As such, she is not in a position to speak against the will of her parents. If a girl gets equal opportunity to get educated, then she will be in a better position to decide, what that is best for her future.
Government should take steps to enforce the laws on child marriage. The problem of child marriage can be solved by raising awareness about the disadvantages of child marriage.
Introduction: Illiteracy refers to the inability to read and/or write. The problem of illiteracy is a major social issue in India. The problem has spread through-out the country in a wide way. It is one of the most dangerous obstacles in the economy’s growth. People with no education find it difficult to get jobs and remain poor. They are at risk of poor diet, manual jobs, worse physical and mental health. It impacts their social situations too.
The major causes, negative effects and solutions of the problem of Illiteracy in India are discussed below:
Reason: The major reasons of illiteracy in India are discussed below:
- Since many adults in India are illiterate, they don’t understand the importance of getting education for their children.
- Due to the problem of unemployment and poverty, children get little opportunity for proper education.
- Many people stay illiterate due to some physical or mental disabilities.
- Other social evils like caste system, gender inequality also cause illiteracy.
Negative effects/ Disadvantages:
- One of the major cause for crimes is illiteracy. Due to illiteracy issue, rates of crime are gradually increasing and health, productivity and growth of the country is gradually decreasing.
- Most illiterate people are unaware of the benefits of maintaining cleanliness and hygiene.
- Illiterate people find it very difficulty to secure a good job and earn livelihood. If a person is looking for a means to earn and work, but is not getting it then it is known as unemployment. This social problem leads to frustration.
- Overpopulation is a huge increase in the number of people, and it is caused by some factors out of which illiteracy is a major one.
Solution: The only and the best way to eradicate illiteracy from the society are by education.
The scheme for mid-day meals at schools is a welcome step.
Government should take steps to promote free education for the backward class of the society in government schools.
Government also look at the matter that people get fair payment for their work. Appropriate steps should be taken to create more employment opportunities for adults, so that they can educate their children by sending them to school.
6. Low status of women
Introduction: Low status of women refers to the inferior position of women (in comparison to men) in the society. This reflects the narrow mindset of the society. It is seen all over the country, but widely prevalent in the backward areas.
The causes, negative impact, and solutions of the problem of low status of women are briefly discussed below:
Causes: Narrow mindset of the society is the main reasons behind this problem. Women in India are considered inferior than men since ages. A large part of the society believes that men are more capable to earn more than their women. It is widely seen that the male members of the family try to control the activities of the female members, which leads to the low status of women.
Negative impact: The negative impact of the lower status of women are:
- Women do not get the adequate chance to do something to contribute to the society.
- Since the status of women in society is low, people want a boy child instead of a girl child. This intensifies the problem of female foeticide.
Solution: The solution to the problem is:
- The empowerment of women is of utmost importance for solving the problem.
- Awareness must be created to change the narrow mindset of the society. Campaigns must be launched to acknowledge the role and contribution of women in the society.
- Education can also help to solve the problem of low status of women in the society.
- Mass-media campaigns should be promoted.
7. Gender inequality at work:
Introduction: Inequality at work refers to any type of discrimination in working environment based on caste, gender, race, color, etc. But gender inequality at work means discrimination or unequal treatment between male and female workers.
Causes: The main reason behind the issue of gender inequality at work is the mindset and culture.
The ego of male members prevents the female members to enjoy equal position at work places. People also do this because of un-awareness.
Impact and effects: The main impact of gender inequality at work is that society gets shrink and deprived of the minds of the female worker. It also gives rise to low status of women issue in the society.
Solution: The solution for social issue of gender inequality at work is in the hands of people themselves. People should start training and impart proper education for gender equality.
People should also change their perception that women will get less salary in comparison to men. For that, people should introduce successful business women as the role model at their workplaces.
8. Dowry system
Introduction: Dowry is one of the most evil practices that are prevalent in the Indian society. Dowry system is actually the transfer of money, property and other valuable assets of bride’s family to the groom’s family on the eve of marriage.
Reason: There are several reasons of prevailing dowry system in the society like:
- Tradition of asking for dowry at the time of marriage.
- The greed among the family of groom for quick and easy money.
- People also ask for dowry for maintaining status.
Disadvantages: The major disadvantages of Dowry system in the society is:
- The bride’s family who generally belong to middle and low-class has to face the bitter-side of it. Bride’s family spend lavishly during the marriage. Because of this social evil, some families lose huge money.
- Parents often take loan for their daughter’s marriage.
- In many cases, by watching the poor situation of their parents, bride becomes mentally affected.
- Sometimes, the mental torture due to dowry leads to suicidal tendencies.
- Many cases of dowry deaths have been seen in past years.
- Emotional torture and divorce are other evil effects of dowry system.
Solution: The solution to stop the practice of this evil system is in our hands only.
- People should stop discrimination between a boy and a girl.
- Girls should also be allowed to have their education and proper knowledge.
- Awareness must be created and for these people with the help of media.
- Last, but not the least, parents should change the thoughts of dowry from their mind and children should stand against their family for doing this.
9. Sati System (Sati Practice)
Introduction: Sati system or pratha is one of the cruelest, evil, inhuman and immoral social practices prevailing in our country.
Sati system refers to the act of committing suicide by the widowed women on the funeral pyre of his husband. This is an inhuman act.
In 1987, Roop Kanwar committed sati at the age of 18. After this incident, both the State and the Central Government enacted acts to abolish the Sati system.
Disadvantages: The main disadvantages are:
- Sati System in itself is an inhuman practice.
- Women are deprived of their basic right to live their life.
- Sati system also shows the domination of men over the women.
- Sati system reduces the self-respect of women and brings down the status of women in the society.
Causes: The causes behind the Sati system are:
- To maintain the status: As people of high caste were not allowed to marry with low-caste, so after the death of her husband, she was burned alive only to save the status
- Sati was also committed to save her sexuality with the other member of the society.
- Sati was also practiced by women to show her love and devotion towards her husband.
- In the backward areas where widows were treated as untouchables were forced to commit sati.
Solution: The solutions for the evil practice of sati are:
- Educating the people through mass communication.
- Bringing a change in the perspective of the people that a widow person cannot marry with anyone.
Government has already enacted the Sati Prevention Law. Sati Practice is illegal in India. The evil is rapidly diminishing from the Indian Society. However, awareness has to be created to stop the sati practice completely.
Introduction: Superstition refers to the irrational beliefs of supernatural forces. Superstition is one of the major social issues affecting the entire country.
It’s a belief of human beings that there are some supernatural causes behind the bad events. Science doesn’t believe in this type of supernatural causality because science always tries to give scientific explanation for every event. But, deep down inside human beings have their own belief.
There are many superstitions prevailing in the country. Human beings have the tendency to believe bad before the good.
Reason: The main reason behind superstitions is:
- Fear: Fear is the main obstacles for everything. Superstition arises due to human fear.
- Lack of Knowledge: Basically superstition arises due to lack of knowledge.
- Religion, tradition and social practices are others causes of superstition.
Disadvantages: The major disadvantages of being superstitious are:
- Fear: People start to think less broadly and always develop constant fear in mind. This fear affects not only the individual but also his family and society.
- Waste time and energy: People waste of much time and efforts.
- People stop for few seconds whenever they sneeze. All these arise due to human fear and imagination.
Solution: The main solution is to get knowledge and education because knowing nothing causes fear in mind which ultimately arise superstition.
By adjusting or gaining knowledge, mind can develop the reason behind the occurrence of superstition and one can understand very well that these things doesn’t affect anybody’s life.
Also by being always positive, one can get rid of those superstitions.
11. Sanitation and cleanliness
Introduction: Sanitation and cleanliness is a basic problem and one of the important social issues of our country. People should clean their areas and take care of personal hygiene to stay healthy and away from any diseases.
People should clean the areas of keeping food; clean their area of staying to promote cleanliness. People should maintain adequate sewage disposal system so that the public health is not put at risk.
Disadvantages: There are many casualties of not having sanitation and proper cleanliness.
- People suffer from various diseases such as diarrhea, malnutrition, dengue, malaria and many more.
- It also suffers children’s development.
Reason: The major reason behind this is the carelessness and laziness of people themselves. The people themselves create the problem of dirt and unhealthy environment.
People think of their own only and do not think of others. People do not mind to throw garbage in open areas which may negatively affect the environment.
Solution: The solution is in the hands of the people itself.
- People have to start to make their area clean and stay healthy.
- People should make a proper area for sanitation so that public health will not suffer.
- Mass awareness programmes are already initiated by different institutions, organisations and government bodies to save human race.
12. Religious conflicts
Introduction: Religious conflicts are among the most harmful social issues of today. Sometimes violence, war, conflict, etc. arises because of religious fanaticism.
Causes: The causes are briefly discussed as follows:
- Difference in beliefs: People belonging to different religions have difference in their beliefs. This difference often leads to conflict.
- Lack of education: Illiterate people can be easily mis-guided by people who want to spread violence in the name of religion.
Negative effects: Sometimes conflicts between communities leads to violence and crimes. People become fearful and it affects the overall progress of the country. The lack of communal harmony in society leads to disunity.
Solutions: The solution for religious violence is in the hands of the people only. People should gain proper knowledge and develop better understanding. By removing the thoughts of cruelty, one can correctly judge what’s right or wrong. Awareness must be created and for this media will be very useful.
Introduction: Beggary is another social problem in our country. People who are in extreme situation of need and poverty are called beggars. The state of being a beggar is called beggary.
Causes: There are many causes behind the beggary problem in India. Some of the reasons behind beggary are poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, social customs, physical disability, mental state, disease and many more.
Impacts and effects: The main disadvantages of beggary is that
- Beggars largely depend on what they get from the people and this is in fact a big problem because they start to depend totally on this and stop finding any other source of income.
- Now, they have become burden to the society and they in fact forcefully made their children to do the same.
- The cruelest part of beggary is that they sometimes allow doing anything to their own body for money. They are sometimes forced to cut their hands or legs.
Solution: Government has to take large initiatives to remove the problem of beggary from the society like providing job security, recruiting more employees in the Governmental sectors and many more. Beggary problem can also be in control if the children who are begging can be put in the Govt. schools for education because education is the main key to eradicate any social problem.
14. Juvenile delinquency
Introduction: Juvenile delinquency is also termed as Teenage Crime. Basically, juvenile delinquency refers to the crimes committed by minors. The crimes by teenage boys or girls are generally done without having proper knowledge of it as they know very little about the world.
Negative effects: The crimes by minors affects not only the children but to the family and the society. Children’s are the future generations of the country. Education of the children is hampered and the status and reputation of the family also goes down. People become less secured and there is always a sense of tension and distress.
Causes: There are numerous reasons behind Juvenile delinquency, such as:
- Lack of knowledge: They know very little about the outside world. They sometimes commit crime unknowingly.
- Trauma: Trauma of any childhood or teenage incident may have negative effect on mind.
- Violent films and movies: Watching any stuff like murder, violence, etc. may again negatively affect the mind of the teenager.
- Family Disturbance also cause for the crime.
Solutions: There are many organisations who deal with the problem of Juvenile delinquency. They are established to help those children who are involved in it. They increase their thinking ability and decision-making skills. They start to understand the meaning of Juvenile delinquency and the results of it. There are rehabilitation centres and consultancies also run by the Government who treat those children and make them a good person.
Social problems can be solved by society itself. These issues serve as a barrier to the progress of society, and hence we should strive together to end them. If we do not unite against them, then these social issues will continue to rise. It can be solved only by mass awareness, education, humanity, and positive attitude.