We all have an image of what our ideal India would look like. We've dreamed of it every time we felt our country fell short in giving us the freedom we know exists... Somewhere.
And while this is unquestionably a great country, there's always room for improvement. And we've got a few ideas for said improvement.
P.s. Guess who gave us these ideas? Our next-door-neighbour - The world.
Here are some amazing laws from around the world that we know could make ours the best nation of them all.
1. Same-sex marriages
While Netherlands was the first one to do so in 2001, a host of countries have joined them including Belgium, Canada, Spain, Sweden, Mexico, England and most recently, the U.S.A.
Homosexuality is a truth of human nature and it's about time modern India stepped into the future and embraced love - in its every form.
2. Marijuana legalisation
All over the world, cannabis has not only been found to have medicinal properties, but even recreationally it's deemed safer than most other chemical drugs. It is widely popular among many youngsters in India The drug is easily available in most cities where dealers thrive through an underground network.
Legalising it will take off the exotic sheen and make it taxable commodity. Not only this, it will also make way for a law to help those suffering from abuse.
3. Marital rape made illegal
Sweden is only one of the many, many countries (including Malaysia, Brazil, France, Finland, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, to name a few) that acknowledge the uncompromisable importance of consent in any sexual union. Also, known as spousal rape, this offence is criminally punishable by death in some parts of the world.
It is appalling that our constitution still doesn't recognise marital rape as a criminal offence and some of the ridiculous reasons given in its defence include, "It will shake the very foundation of families".
The Swiss government recognises an individual's right to end their own life, and it certainly is a step towards ensuring complete liberty for the citizens. The processes involved in assisted suicide are severe as they should be - a thorough evaluation of their mental stability and awareness of the consequences of their decision.
But withholding this option from people is not in coherance with the Indian democratic way.
5. Requirements for politicians
Apart from citizenship and minimum voting age, Singapore, Canada and a few other countries of the world have stricter requirements for candidates contesting Parliamentary elections. Persons convicted with a criminal offence and who have served a prison term over a year are disqualified from contesting.
God knows we could use a bit of that strictness in Indian politics.
6. Prostitution legalisation
Prostitution is one of the most thriving businesses in the country and unfortunately, since it is not legalised, there is no way to assist those caught unaware in the business. Legalising the trade can help bring down trafficking, corruption and a host of other social evils prevalent in the country.
7. Child labour laws
While we have several laws protecting children against labour, they are ambiguous and easy to work around. We recommend taking the example of Germany and countless other developed nations of the world that treat child labour and trafficking with as hard a hand as it really deserves.
8. Minimum drinking age
Why are we allowed to embark on the life-changing jurney of marriage at 18 but not allowed to consume alcohol until we're 25 (except in Goa, where the minimum age already is 18)?
Reducing the minimum legal drinking age would reduce the amount of sneaking around youngsters go through in our country, and contrarily, trusting them with their own bodies would make them more responsible.
9. Freedom of speech
Imagine a country where nobody got arrested or even killed for having made a joke about a religious or political personality. Marvellous isn't it? And the only way to make that a reality is if the Indian constitution stepped away from ambiguous hurt-sentiment laws and protected our right to free speech like the American government does for its citizens.We all need a law that would help all the nation's drama queens calm down, and our nation grow a sense of humour.
10. Labour laws
This one is for every time your boss has asked you to work late or called you up at 2am and you felt obliged to do exactly as they asked. The government of France stepped into the professional arena and helped its citizens separate their work and personal lives.
What blessing it would be if the Indian government did the same for us!
11. Free education
While on paper, India provides free primary education to all children as well, we are all well aware of the questionable quality of education given at government institutions.
Czech Republic, among countless other countries, takes the onus of educating its youth (all the way upto college) and they have well-defined parameters of what constitutes a complete and rounded education. That is what India needs.
12. Cleaning up after pets
How many times have you accidentally stepped in poop walking down Indian streets? Granted, sometimes it may belong to one of the innumerable animals that roam our streets. But if pet owners took it upon themselves to clean up after their buddies, as is required by law in Australia and several other countries, it's bound to make a difference.
13. Right to natural light
According to England's 'Right to Light', an owner of a building is legally entitled to "sufficient light according to the ordinary notions of mankind". Which means new structures cannot be built if they obstruct an existing structure's access to natural light.
A government thinking about the importance of natural light in its people's lives - now that's the kind of involvement any population hopes for from their leaders.
14. Eco-friendly initiatives
A revolutionary new initiative towards keeping the planet green, France recently made it compulsary for all new structures to be built with either a rooftop garden or covered with solar panels.
With the ever-increasing and immensely threatening levels of pollution in India, a similar initiative is not something any of us would say no to.
15. Culinary freedom
Beef may only be banned in certain locations in the country, but truth be told, the ones of us who ate it, miss it. A so-called secular government has no business dictating what its citizens eat. Enjoying good food is one of life's simplest pleasures and it feels outrageously unjust for it to be taken away from certain parts of the population.
There you have it. And boy if we could, we'd make it all happen in a heartbeat. So people who can make change happen, are you listening?
Awesome designs by Vineet Kumar