Catch 22 Situation – When Arbitrary Laws Contradict Fundamental Rights

Posted by Hansikha Vohra
April 26, 2017

Self-Published

We the millennials, the children blessed with the highest opportunity rate, are supposed to inherit the land developed or ruined by the so called noble netas of ‘Mera bharat mahaan.’ Albeit, this dynamic world which debates on the need for a wider scope for free speech often leaves us, the bearers of the future, bemused. We are programmed to not say anything non-conformist from a very early age due to our flawed education system which prohibits us from using our voice from stating an opinion other than what is published in school textbooks. Whereas at the same time, we are enshrined with the ideals of a democratic country with fundamental rights and duties.

Schools countrywide apply confining and restricting arbitrary laws which are not there in text but in mind. The education system of a country should foster free speech to be practiced in actuality.

The golden triangle of the constitution of India which constitutes the ever cherished three articles 14 (equality before law), 19 (freedom of expression) and 21(right to life and personal liberty), gets somewhat corrupted with educational arbitrary laws. What is ours rightfully from birth is lost in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Why this infuriates me is because of the low self esteem that paves way into the soul of the student who would think twice before speaking up as an adult. The very basis on which our constitution was drafted would be deemed as void and just in name if they aren’t rightfully made use of, today.

The importance of developing a love for social change should be of utmost priority while burgeoning the youth of the country, which the sole aim of education, in my opinion, is. It is imperative that students are given full freedom in expressing their views and opinions since they are a reflection of ‘how’ the country is and ‘what’ needs to change. If we are held back, the country would be in shambles.

The very fear of getting suspended if one points out a flaw in the education system has made its way into the psyche of the distressed student. Colleges are more liberal in their approach whereas students at school are not allowed to protest or make a statement without getting a notice of suspension from the principal the next day. The very basis of Article 19 which allows every citizen to assemble peacefully and without arms is vitiated to an extent that students doubt the validity of their own fundamental rights which are guaranteed to them. Democracy, as students are taught, is of electing people but not of expressing one’s contention. I agree that arbitrary laws are valid and essential for smooth functioning of institutions, but till what extent ?

Should they hinder a student’s growth and instil fear ? Do they have the right to tamper with a child’s fundamental right ? Should a child wait till getting into college for doing what is right ?

Is this what the makers of the word’s most elaborate constitution wanted ? I guess, not.

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