NCERT Class 8 Political Science Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice YouTube Lecture Handouts

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  • Govt. makes certain laws – ensure unfair practices are kept minimum in markets

  • Private companies, contractors, businesspersons – work for profit – deny workers their rights (workers are paid on minimum wages)

  • Laws maintain that relation between worker, consumer and producer is not exploitative

  • Power looms are small units with 4-6 looms. Owners operate them with hired and family labour

Examples of Law

  • Minimum Wages Act

  • Worker Safety Act

  • Quality & Standard of Products

  • Pricing of Goods

  • Factory Pollution

  • Law against Child Labor

  • Form Worker Associations

From making laws to implementing (enforcing) laws

Enforcement gets important when law protect weak from strong

Enforce when employers pay workers less than fair wages

By enforcing these laws government can control activities of individual and private companies to ensure social justice

Constitution lays down “no child below the age of 14 years shall be employed to work in any factory or mines or engaged in any other hazardous employment.” – 4 year jail term

But in reality – 12 million children b/w 5 to 14 years (2001 census) employed in hazardous organizations

Bhopal Gas Tragedy

  • 2 December 1984

  • Union Carbide American Factory

  • Gas leakage – Methyl Isocyanide

  • 8,000 people died in 3 days

  • 50,000 people went sick

  • Abnormalities developed

Worker’S Worth

  • Union Carbide plant in India – cheap labour, lower pay, longer working hours, fewer burden for housing facilities – company saves cost and earns more profit

  • In UC plant, every safety device was malfunctioning, b/w 1980 to 1984 crew was cut to half, safety training period reduced from 6 months to 15 days

  • UC plant in USA – had computerized warning and monitoring systems with emergency evacuation facility (lacked in Bhopal), checking pollution was mandatory in USA plant

  • High unemployment in India & worker willing to work in unsafe conditions for wages & safety is ignored

Enforcement of Safety Laws

  • Govt. is supposed to ensure that safety law is implemented

  • Check if Right to Life under Article 21 is not violated

  • India has weak safety laws & that too are not enforced

  • MIC production was objected in 1978 but govt. believed that there is need to provide job – Govt. officials approved the plant despite of repeated incidents of leakage (this is contrast to what a law making and enforcement must do)

  • A travel agency paid Rs. 8 lakh compensation as tourists missed Disneyland & shopping in Paris – why so low compensation to UC factory employees

Laws for Environment

In 1984, very few laws – with no enforcement (environment considered as free entity & any industry could pollute without restriction)

Image of Laws for Environment

Image of Laws for Environment

Image of Laws for Environment

  • Bhopal Disaster – poisonous gases in environment – laws covered individual workers and not people who were injured due to industrial accidents

  • Under new laws – polluter responsible for damage to environment

  • In Subhash Kumar vs. State of Bihar (1991), SC stated Right to Life is a Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution and it includes the right to the enjoyment of pollution-free water and air for full enjoyment of life. The government is responsible for setting up laws and procedures that can check pollution, clean rivers and introduce heavy fines for those who pollute

  • Close industries in residential areas

  • Relocation of factories leads to commuting of workers

  • Polluting factories are moved to outskirts of city

  • 1998: All diesel vehicles to switch to CNG – reduce air pollution & toxic substances in air

  • Advanced countries relocate hazardous waste to developing nations (India, Bangladesh & Pakistan) – pesticides, lead & asbestos

  • Shipping breaking is hazardous – ships contain potentially harmful substances – Alang, Gujarat

Conclusion

  • Govt. must control activities of private companies

  • Make, enforce and uphold laws to prevent unfair practices & ensure social justice

  • Make appropriate laws and enforce it

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