Monday, May 11, 2009

Enforcing Laws

A couple of months ago, I met with some of my grade school friends and was trying to look for pictures of our group from back then. It was difficult to find pictures, especially with me in them because our school was very conservative and boys and girls were not allowed to be in pictures together unless it was the whole class group. I remember on school retreats we were not allowed to bring our own cameras. One of the teachers brought her camera and took requested pictures at her discretion. She would refuse to take pictures of boys and girls together. However, this one time when I was in high school we went on a weekend retreat and some of the older kids brought their own cameras and took pictures they wanted to take. Although students were not allowed to bring their personal cameras, there was no way the teachers could enforce a ban on cameras. They could not check every single item of luggage students brought with them, neither could they track every single student's moves during the weekend. So in effect the ban on personal cameras was ineffective because of a lack of enforcement. 
This is true about so many Indian laws that simply have no enforcement. Even when they are enforced its the enforcer's discretion rather than rule based. In short there is very little respect for the rule of law in India. So a bunch of hoodlums can go and beat up women in a public place and get away with it. The reason is not just bad laws, but also lack of incentives to enforce them. 

1 comment:

arjun said...

"lack of incentives" u mean lack of proper training and motivation (not only incentives) . But then u r an econ student.
Arjun