Open Forum

Colonial Era Laws: Reason for unhealthy Democracies and low Human Development

Colonial laws have been acting as clogs in the wheel of development and democracy in South Asian Countries. On the International Day of Democracy, it's important to rethink about the existence of colonial laws.

Sep 19, 2018
Colonial laws have been acting as clogs in the wheel of development and democracy in South Asian Countries. On the International Day of Democracy, it's important to rethink about the existence of colonial laws.
 
Recently, Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone, two Reuters Journalists, were found guilty by the Myanmar’s court for breaching the colonial-era Official Secrets Act. Till recently, the LGBTQIA community faced innumerable problems in the world's largest Democracy, The Republic of India. Most of such laws in South Asian Countries particularly, which outrageously take away human rights, are those of Colonial Era.
 
Why follow such laws, then?
The Colonial Era laws are absurd. They were created so as to discourage dissent, discourage something that's against the whites' principles. Their understanding of history, culture, art of South Asian Countries is skewed and thus went on to reinstate their rules, their culture. They considered this job as “white man’s burden”, as if the South Asians are not aware of how to live.
 
Everyone at present consider the colonial rule a ruthless practice, which instated greed in the Europeans and also, colonialism was to most extent responsible for the World Wars to be fought. This practice also downgraded the United Nations as and when it was formed.
 
 The Decolonization committees are formed for quick remedy and to help decolonise the colonies. These erstwhile colonisers are now the most progressive countries in terms of Human Development. There was a path breaking change in the Policy Formulation of these European Countries which left them with greater democracy and greater development. Because South Asian countries, which are previously colonised, are preoccupied with more important tasks, of ensuring food security, economic security, dealing with Inflation,etc.,the focus on Human Development is very much non-considerable. The pre-existing laws are followed without making much or any changes.
 
The Imperialists cleverly distinguished genders, religions which is ultimately and
subconsciously accepted by people in the colonies. The future politics were based on these distinctions that had their part to play in low human development in erstwhile Colonies.
 
Need for a change!
 
The decision to strike down a part of Section 377, which criminalises homosexuality, in India is a historic day of showcasing the freedom from the shackles of Imperialists laws. Colonial laws have been acting as clogs in the wheel of development and democracy in South Asian Countries. On the International Day of Democracy, it's important to rethink about the
existence of such colonial era laws.
 
(The author is a member of Global Youth India, She can be contacted at vipanchikasahasri@gmail.com)

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