As President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed different forums on Sunday with observations about India’s legal system, a common thread ran through the two sets of comments: Both stressed the need for laws to cater to India’s inclusive and equitable agenda.
That is no doubt commendable: Given India’s dismal record of delivering justice, the poor and disadvantaged are more often than not the ones underserved.
One way to solve this is to sign more welfare schemes into law, creating the semblance of inclusivity which political parties so value. But that hardly solves the problem. As long as implementation of laws exists on paper only, pro-poor laws cannot help the poor. The solution lies elsewhere— in making the executive accountable and work for the poor. Only then will laws meant for the poor actually deliver the goods.