State is a natural institution. The natural instinct of man has given birth to state. Man cannot live alone. He wants to live with others in a group or in a society. Living together has merits as well as demerits. At times quarrels and disputes arise.
There is the need of an impartial body to settle such disputes, which can take decision as a referee in a match whose decisions will be obeyed by all. This impartial body is state. Another function of state is to provide security to individuals.
It also helps them in their development. Aristotle has aptly observed. “The state comes into existence for the sake of life and continues to exist for the sake of good life.”
Individualists view the state with suspicion; they fear that the state is a threat to the right of individual to freedom. But they also admit that the state is of use to individual to some extent. On the other hand, socialists favour giving more powers to state.
The experiences of recent years suggest that the state has an important role to play in the field of social welfare. How the state promotes the happiness and welfare of the individual has been discussed below.
1. Development of Personality of Individual:
The personality of individual will develop if his innate qualities are developed and that will be possible with the help of state. The state will create conducive conditions for this and remove obstacles from the path.
Man faces danger both from inside and outside, both is his area and the state. He encounters threats from other castes, other religions and other regions. Similarly, he is vulnerable to dangers from inside the country, and from outside it. Neither he alone nor a group he belongs to can protect him from these dangers. It is only the state which can provide him with defense and security.
3. Protection of Rights and Freedoms:
The state grants rights and freedoms to individuals. But the role of state does not and there. The state is also duty-bound to ensure security of these rights and freedoms. Otherwise, left to him, individual cannot defend them.
Individuals, running after own interests, may threaten each other’s right and freedoms. This may result in indiscipline and anarchy. It is only the state which can remove this threat to the rights and freedoms of individuals.
4. Social Indiscipline and Crises:
Different factors cause serious indiscipline and crises in the society. Caste-war, communal violence, the struggle of workers against owners of industries, fight between two regions – such troubles and problems result in a lot of violence.
In 2002, the Godhra fire consumed many Muslims of Gujarat. In Pakistan, Shias and Sunnis attack each other at regular intervals. In several African countries, there occurs violent confrontation between two tribes. It is only the state which can manage such crises and stop such violence.
5. Natural Disaster:
Flood, cyclone and earthquake cause huge loss and destruction. Individual alone is helpless in the face of these catastrophes. Only the state can come to his rescue during such difficult times.
6. Development and Welfare:
It is not possible to achieve good progress in respect of development and welfare without the active support of state. The weaker sections of the society will lag behind if the government does not take special interest in them.
For example, without constitutional reservation, the condition of dalits, tribal’s and members of OBC would have been still worse. The role of state is critical in the fields of education, health, unemployment benefit, old-age pension and social security.