NCERT Textbook - Law and Social Justice Class 8 Notes | EduRev

Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters

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UPSC : NCERT Textbook - Law and Social Justice Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


Social and Political Life
120
Chapter 10
Do you recall the ‘Story of a shirt’ from your Class VII
book? We saw there that a chain of markets links the
producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the
supermarket. Buying and selling was taking place at
every step in the chain.
Many of the people directly or indirectly involved in
the production of the shirt - the small farmer producing
cotton, the weavers of Erode or the workers in the
garment - exporting factory - faced exploitation or an
unfair situation in the market.  Markets everywhere
tend to be exploitative of people – whether as workers,
consumers or producers.
To protect people from such exploitation, the
government makes certain laws. These laws try to
ensure that the unfair practices are kept at a minimum
in the markets.
Law and Social
Justice
Page 2


Social and Political Life
120
Chapter 10
Do you recall the ‘Story of a shirt’ from your Class VII
book? We saw there that a chain of markets links the
producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the
supermarket. Buying and selling was taking place at
every step in the chain.
Many of the people directly or indirectly involved in
the production of the shirt - the small farmer producing
cotton, the weavers of Erode or the workers in the
garment - exporting factory - faced exploitation or an
unfair situation in the market.  Markets everywhere
tend to be exploitative of people – whether as workers,
consumers or producers.
To protect people from such exploitation, the
government makes certain laws. These laws try to
ensure that the unfair practices are kept at a minimum
in the markets.
Law and Social
Justice
121
Let us take a common market situation where the law is
very important. This is the issue of workers’ wages.
Private companies, contractors, businesspersons
normally want to make as much profit as they can. In the
drive for profits, they might deny workers their rights
and not pay them wages, for example. In the eyes of the
law it is illegal or wrong to deny workers their wages.
Similarly to ensure that workers are not underpaid, or
are paid fairly, there is a law on minimum wages. A
worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage
by the employer. The minimum wages are revised
upwards every few years.
As with the law on minimum wages, which is meant to
protect workers, there are also laws that protect the
interests of producers and consumers in the market.
These help ensure that the relations between these three
parties – the worker, consumer and producer - are
governed in a manner that is not exploitative.
Why do we need a law on
minimum wages?
Find out:
a) What is the minimum
wage for a construction
worker in your state?
b) Do you think the minimum
wage for a construction
worker is adequate, low or
high?
c) Who sets the minimum
wages?
Law and Social Justice
Workers in a textile mill in Ahmedabad. Faced
with greater competition from power looms, a
majority of the textile mills closed down during
the 1980s and 1990s. Power looms are small
units with 4-6 looms. The owners operate them
with hired and family labour. It is well known
that conditions of work in the power looms are
far from satisfactory.
Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice
Page 3


Social and Political Life
120
Chapter 10
Do you recall the ‘Story of a shirt’ from your Class VII
book? We saw there that a chain of markets links the
producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the
supermarket. Buying and selling was taking place at
every step in the chain.
Many of the people directly or indirectly involved in
the production of the shirt - the small farmer producing
cotton, the weavers of Erode or the workers in the
garment - exporting factory - faced exploitation or an
unfair situation in the market.  Markets everywhere
tend to be exploitative of people – whether as workers,
consumers or producers.
To protect people from such exploitation, the
government makes certain laws. These laws try to
ensure that the unfair practices are kept at a minimum
in the markets.
Law and Social
Justice
121
Let us take a common market situation where the law is
very important. This is the issue of workers’ wages.
Private companies, contractors, businesspersons
normally want to make as much profit as they can. In the
drive for profits, they might deny workers their rights
and not pay them wages, for example. In the eyes of the
law it is illegal or wrong to deny workers their wages.
Similarly to ensure that workers are not underpaid, or
are paid fairly, there is a law on minimum wages. A
worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage
by the employer. The minimum wages are revised
upwards every few years.
As with the law on minimum wages, which is meant to
protect workers, there are also laws that protect the
interests of producers and consumers in the market.
These help ensure that the relations between these three
parties – the worker, consumer and producer - are
governed in a manner that is not exploitative.
Why do we need a law on
minimum wages?
Find out:
a) What is the minimum
wage for a construction
worker in your state?
b) Do you think the minimum
wage for a construction
worker is adequate, low or
high?
c) Who sets the minimum
wages?
Law and Social Justice
Workers in a textile mill in Ahmedabad. Faced
with greater competition from power looms, a
majority of the textile mills closed down during
the 1980s and 1990s. Power looms are small
units with 4-6 looms. The owners operate them
with hired and family labour. It is well known
that conditions of work in the power looms are
far from satisfactory.
Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice
Social and Political Life
122
Law Why is it necessary? Whose interests does the law protect?
Minimum Wages Act Many workers are denied fair This law is meant to protect the
specifies that wages wages by their employers. interests of all workers; particularly,
should not be below a Because they badly need work, farm labourers, construction workers,
specified minimum. workers have no bargaining factory workers, domestic workers, etc.
power and are paid low wages.
Law specifying that
there be adequate
safety measures in
workplaces. For example,
alarm system, emergency
exits, properly -
functioning machinery.
Law requiring that the Consumers might be put to
quality of goods meet risk by the poor quality of
certain prescribed products such as electrical
standards. For example, appliances, food, medicines.
electrical appliances
have to meet safety
standards.
Law requiring that the The interests of the poor who will
prices of essential otherwise be unable to afford these
goods are not high - goods.
For example, sugar,
kerosene, foodgrains.
Law requiring that
factories do not pollute
air or water.
Laws against child
labour in workplaces.
Law to form workers By organising themselves into
unions/associations unions, workers can use their
combined power to demand fair
wages and better working
conditions.
Table 1 provides some important laws relating to the protection of these various interests.
Columns (2) and (3) in Table 1 state why and for whom these laws are necessary. Based on
discussions in the classroom, you have to complete the remaining entries in the table.
Table 1
Page 4


Social and Political Life
120
Chapter 10
Do you recall the ‘Story of a shirt’ from your Class VII
book? We saw there that a chain of markets links the
producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the
supermarket. Buying and selling was taking place at
every step in the chain.
Many of the people directly or indirectly involved in
the production of the shirt - the small farmer producing
cotton, the weavers of Erode or the workers in the
garment - exporting factory - faced exploitation or an
unfair situation in the market.  Markets everywhere
tend to be exploitative of people – whether as workers,
consumers or producers.
To protect people from such exploitation, the
government makes certain laws. These laws try to
ensure that the unfair practices are kept at a minimum
in the markets.
Law and Social
Justice
121
Let us take a common market situation where the law is
very important. This is the issue of workers’ wages.
Private companies, contractors, businesspersons
normally want to make as much profit as they can. In the
drive for profits, they might deny workers their rights
and not pay them wages, for example. In the eyes of the
law it is illegal or wrong to deny workers their wages.
Similarly to ensure that workers are not underpaid, or
are paid fairly, there is a law on minimum wages. A
worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage
by the employer. The minimum wages are revised
upwards every few years.
As with the law on minimum wages, which is meant to
protect workers, there are also laws that protect the
interests of producers and consumers in the market.
These help ensure that the relations between these three
parties – the worker, consumer and producer - are
governed in a manner that is not exploitative.
Why do we need a law on
minimum wages?
Find out:
a) What is the minimum
wage for a construction
worker in your state?
b) Do you think the minimum
wage for a construction
worker is adequate, low or
high?
c) Who sets the minimum
wages?
Law and Social Justice
Workers in a textile mill in Ahmedabad. Faced
with greater competition from power looms, a
majority of the textile mills closed down during
the 1980s and 1990s. Power looms are small
units with 4-6 looms. The owners operate them
with hired and family labour. It is well known
that conditions of work in the power looms are
far from satisfactory.
Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice
Social and Political Life
122
Law Why is it necessary? Whose interests does the law protect?
Minimum Wages Act Many workers are denied fair This law is meant to protect the
specifies that wages wages by their employers. interests of all workers; particularly,
should not be below a Because they badly need work, farm labourers, construction workers,
specified minimum. workers have no bargaining factory workers, domestic workers, etc.
power and are paid low wages.
Law specifying that
there be adequate
safety measures in
workplaces. For example,
alarm system, emergency
exits, properly -
functioning machinery.
Law requiring that the Consumers might be put to
quality of goods meet risk by the poor quality of
certain prescribed products such as electrical
standards. For example, appliances, food, medicines.
electrical appliances
have to meet safety
standards.
Law requiring that the The interests of the poor who will
prices of essential otherwise be unable to afford these
goods are not high - goods.
For example, sugar,
kerosene, foodgrains.
Law requiring that
factories do not pollute
air or water.
Laws against child
labour in workplaces.
Law to form workers By organising themselves into
unions/associations unions, workers can use their
combined power to demand fair
wages and better working
conditions.
Table 1 provides some important laws relating to the protection of these various interests.
Columns (2) and (3) in Table 1 state why and for whom these laws are necessary. Based on
discussions in the classroom, you have to complete the remaining entries in the table.
Table 1
123
But merely making laws is not enough. The government
has to ensure that these laws are implemented. This means
that the law must be enforced. Enforcement becomes even
more important when the law seeks to protect the weak
from the strong. For instance, to ensure that every worker
gets fair wages, the government has to regularly inspect
work sites and punish those who violate the law. When
workers are poor or powerless, the fear of losing future
earnings or facing reprisals often forces them to accept low
wages. Employers know this well and use their power to
pay workers less than the fair wage. In such cases, it is crucial
that laws are enforced.
Through making, enforcing and upholding these laws, the
government can control the activities of individuals or
private companies so as to ensure social justice. Many of
these laws have their basis in the Fundamental Rights
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. For instance, the
Right against Exploitation says that no one can be forced
to work for low wages or under bondage. Similarly, the
Constitution lays down “no child below the age of 14 shall
be employed to work in any factory or mines or any other
hazardous employment.”
How are these laws played out in practice? To what
extent do they address the concerns of social justice?
These are some of the questions that this chapter will
now go on to explore.
According to the 2001 census, over 12 million children in India aged
between 5 and 14 work in various occupations including hazardous
ones. In October 2006, the government amended the Child Labour
Prevention Act, banning children under 14 years of age from
working as domestic servants or as workers in dhabas, restaurants,
tea shops etc. It made employing these children a punishable
offence. Anyone found violating the ban must be penalised with a
punishment ranging from a jail term of three months to two years
and/or fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. The central government
had asked state governments to develop plans to rescue and
rehabilitate children who are working as domestic servants. To date,
only three state governments, namely Maharashtra, Karnataka and
Tamil Nadu have published these plans. Even today more than a year
after this law was passed 74 per cent of child domestic workers are
under the age of 16.
Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice
Page 5


Social and Political Life
120
Chapter 10
Do you recall the ‘Story of a shirt’ from your Class VII
book? We saw there that a chain of markets links the
producer of cotton to the buyer of the shirt in the
supermarket. Buying and selling was taking place at
every step in the chain.
Many of the people directly or indirectly involved in
the production of the shirt - the small farmer producing
cotton, the weavers of Erode or the workers in the
garment - exporting factory - faced exploitation or an
unfair situation in the market.  Markets everywhere
tend to be exploitative of people – whether as workers,
consumers or producers.
To protect people from such exploitation, the
government makes certain laws. These laws try to
ensure that the unfair practices are kept at a minimum
in the markets.
Law and Social
Justice
121
Let us take a common market situation where the law is
very important. This is the issue of workers’ wages.
Private companies, contractors, businesspersons
normally want to make as much profit as they can. In the
drive for profits, they might deny workers their rights
and not pay them wages, for example. In the eyes of the
law it is illegal or wrong to deny workers their wages.
Similarly to ensure that workers are not underpaid, or
are paid fairly, there is a law on minimum wages. A
worker has to be paid not less than the minimum wage
by the employer. The minimum wages are revised
upwards every few years.
As with the law on minimum wages, which is meant to
protect workers, there are also laws that protect the
interests of producers and consumers in the market.
These help ensure that the relations between these three
parties – the worker, consumer and producer - are
governed in a manner that is not exploitative.
Why do we need a law on
minimum wages?
Find out:
a) What is the minimum
wage for a construction
worker in your state?
b) Do you think the minimum
wage for a construction
worker is adequate, low or
high?
c) Who sets the minimum
wages?
Law and Social Justice
Workers in a textile mill in Ahmedabad. Faced
with greater competition from power looms, a
majority of the textile mills closed down during
the 1980s and 1990s. Power looms are small
units with 4-6 looms. The owners operate them
with hired and family labour. It is well known
that conditions of work in the power looms are
far from satisfactory.
Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice
Social and Political Life
122
Law Why is it necessary? Whose interests does the law protect?
Minimum Wages Act Many workers are denied fair This law is meant to protect the
specifies that wages wages by their employers. interests of all workers; particularly,
should not be below a Because they badly need work, farm labourers, construction workers,
specified minimum. workers have no bargaining factory workers, domestic workers, etc.
power and are paid low wages.
Law specifying that
there be adequate
safety measures in
workplaces. For example,
alarm system, emergency
exits, properly -
functioning machinery.
Law requiring that the Consumers might be put to
quality of goods meet risk by the poor quality of
certain prescribed products such as electrical
standards. For example, appliances, food, medicines.
electrical appliances
have to meet safety
standards.
Law requiring that the The interests of the poor who will
prices of essential otherwise be unable to afford these
goods are not high - goods.
For example, sugar,
kerosene, foodgrains.
Law requiring that
factories do not pollute
air or water.
Laws against child
labour in workplaces.
Law to form workers By organising themselves into
unions/associations unions, workers can use their
combined power to demand fair
wages and better working
conditions.
Table 1 provides some important laws relating to the protection of these various interests.
Columns (2) and (3) in Table 1 state why and for whom these laws are necessary. Based on
discussions in the classroom, you have to complete the remaining entries in the table.
Table 1
123
But merely making laws is not enough. The government
has to ensure that these laws are implemented. This means
that the law must be enforced. Enforcement becomes even
more important when the law seeks to protect the weak
from the strong. For instance, to ensure that every worker
gets fair wages, the government has to regularly inspect
work sites and punish those who violate the law. When
workers are poor or powerless, the fear of losing future
earnings or facing reprisals often forces them to accept low
wages. Employers know this well and use their power to
pay workers less than the fair wage. In such cases, it is crucial
that laws are enforced.
Through making, enforcing and upholding these laws, the
government can control the activities of individuals or
private companies so as to ensure social justice. Many of
these laws have their basis in the Fundamental Rights
guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. For instance, the
Right against Exploitation says that no one can be forced
to work for low wages or under bondage. Similarly, the
Constitution lays down “no child below the age of 14 shall
be employed to work in any factory or mines or any other
hazardous employment.”
How are these laws played out in practice? To what
extent do they address the concerns of social justice?
These are some of the questions that this chapter will
now go on to explore.
According to the 2001 census, over 12 million children in India aged
between 5 and 14 work in various occupations including hazardous
ones. In October 2006, the government amended the Child Labour
Prevention Act, banning children under 14 years of age from
working as domestic servants or as workers in dhabas, restaurants,
tea shops etc. It made employing these children a punishable
offence. Anyone found violating the ban must be penalised with a
punishment ranging from a jail term of three months to two years
and/or fine of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000. The central government
had asked state governments to develop plans to rescue and
rehabilitate children who are working as domestic servants. To date,
only three state governments, namely Maharashtra, Karnataka and
Tamil Nadu have published these plans. Even today more than a year
after this law was passed 74 per cent of child domestic workers are
under the age of 16.
Chapter 10: Law and Social Justice
Within three days, more than
8,000 people were dead.
Hundreds of thousands were
maimed.
Most of those exposed to the poison gas came from poor, working-class
families, of which nearly 50,000 people are today too sick to work. Among
those who survived, many developed severe respiratory disorders, eye
problems and other disorders. Children developed peculiar abnormalities,
like the girl in the photo.
The world’s worst industrial tragedy took place in Bhopal 24 years ago. Union
Carbide (UC) an American company had a factory in the city in which it produced
pesticides. At midnight on 2 December 1984 methyl-isocyanite (MIC) -
a highly poisonous gas - started leaking from this UC plant....
Remembers Aziza Sultan, a survivor: “At
about 12.30 am I woke to the sound of my
baby coughing badly. In the half-light I saw
that the room was filled with a white cloud. I
heard people shouting ‘run, run’. Then I
started coughing, with each breath seeming
as if I was breathing in fire. My eyes were
burning.”
Mass cremations
A child severely affected by the gas
The next morning
Bhopal Gas T Bhopal Gas T Bhopal Gas T Bhopal Gas T Bhopal Gas Tragedy ragedy ragedy ragedy ragedy
Read More
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