Is It Ever Right to Break Law? Essay

“If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it; he is obligated to do so. ” Thomas Jefferson Assignment: Is it ever right to break a law? Law is an ancient procedure. It refers to a system of rules , set by a society to maintain order and protect persons and property. With evolving time its procedure of implementation has varied. It is written by the legislators, enforced by the police and supported by the court and prison systems. Its smooth implementation depends upon the functioning of a righteous legal system. However. certain rules tend to jeopardize independence, the social structure and creativity in any form. . I strongly believe that breaking such laws is justiciable as they restore liberty , bring about a positive social change and give recognition to human creativity which is above fanaticism. Man’s independence is of paramount importance and its jeopardy needs to be dealt with firmly. History is replete with such examples and every leader of such a revolution is a Messiah of sorts. The Civil disobedience movement led by Mahatma Gandhi aimed at breaking and opposing laws imposed by the British rule.

The salt satyagraha, the burning of foreign goods and the call to leave India, was definitely breaking laws. But then the implication was of far greater significance as this paved the way for the freedom of India from the British rule . This movement further inspired so many freedom struggles in the world and quenched the thirst for independence. So breaking such laws was surely justified. At times it becomes very necessary to break a law which directly or indirectly aims at hindering social progress. Slavery was a social crime and without breaking it mankind could not have forgiven itself.

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The Civil War was all about the abolition of slavery. Martin Luther King , the champion of this cause had rightly stated that “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law”. The horrid untold tales of this malady could not have been eradicated had the laws of subjugation imposed by the whites not broken. Surely the abolition led to a society where equality prevailed and color had no room for creating distinction.

The positive social outcome is visible today like never before, with a black man residing in the White House. It is also justified to break laws imposed by religious groups out of sheer fanaticism. Such laws jeopardize expression of art, literature and any form of creativity. The religious fundamentalists impose ban on any persons who dare to be liberal, writers who dare to expose some dark secrets of the tenets of their religion and sportspersons who defy dress codes and so on. Salman Rushdi, noted painter M. F Hussain and Tasleema Nasreen have become victims of such harsh laws.

Daring to break and go against such rules cannot be termed as anything but justified. It is their choice of expression and no law is deemed above their creativity. Laws are to make life comfortable and not to hinder progress of man in any kind. It is the basic religion of mankind to stand above all narrow beliefs and usher in an era of freedom, social equality and real dignity to creative minds. So whenever unjust laws have hindered or attempted to do so, it has been only justified to break such laws. If man fails to do so , it would mean the failure of humanity. Surely such a state can never be thought of!


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