Social Justice: Some Basic Thoughts

When any nation or any society is built up, one of the basic pillars is the justice. In other words, justice is one of the reasons for which nations are built up. It is a responsibility of nation that each and every individual gets the justice.

Many thinkers have tried to define justice; so here I am putting a brief focus on what justice in reality means. These are different definitions widely accepted for the term justice:

  1. Treating each and every person equally
  2. Treating  people with equal features equally
  3. Treating people according to their abilities and their needs.

Here I will now discuss each and every definition with some details.

Treating each and every person equally

This definition simply means that there should be no distinction between two persons on any basis. Each and every person should be treated with equal dignity. To say honestly, this justice itself will be the greatest injustice. People are born with different qualities and if we all put them in equal box, this is really an injustice to those people who stand above. This will create a chaos- that if everybody is being treated equally, why should I strive for excellence? Also when the situation comes where we have to choose 3 people out of 5, we will have to do injustice to 2 people. This whole society or rather this existence cannot grant this type of justice because this will stop the whole cycle of existence.

Treating people with equal features equally

This definition also, though it seems much wiser one, is very cunning. This definition simply gives the ruler too much of freedom. If we accept this definition of justice, then it also asks us to define what ‘features’ are. Feature on which justice should be imparted can be anything like wealth, respect, color, intelligence. Now who is going to decide what feature we should accept as a basis? If we accept wealth as the basis, then it will be injustice. If I am born in a poor family; what can I do about it? Should it mean that I must not get equal treatment? Justice based on castes and colors have been imparted for ages and any one will accept that it is the most cunning system ever created. It is not in the hands of an individual to decide his features. Someone may be a born dumb but may be reach and another person may be intelligent but not reach. Now who will decide and on what basis he will decide that which feature should be preferred more? So, this definition also should be discarded.

Treating people according to their needs and their abilities

This definition though it sounds to be most perfect and most justifying, will not work because of the human nature and the social parameters. We are talking about treating people according to their needs. Here I will like to put up a question –

What if a person needs that he should be treated more specially than others?

This is a point to be thought upon. This is basic human psychology that ‘I should be treated specially.’ Treating people on their abilities is also a very lame and very superficial approach. If we are going to do justice based on the abilities, then at first we must take care that each and every person gets equal chance to develop his abilities. A person’s family background, economical conditions, mental backup all things affect the abilities he develops. If these factors are not provided equally, how can justice be imparted based on abilities?

After considering all these factors, I conclude that humans cannot get justice whatever system of definition we build up. So while imparting justice, we must consider following factors while doing the justice:

1. No one should get less than what he deserves.

2. Anyone can get more than what he deserves if it is not taxing others.

3. To impart total justice is almost impossible so we must take care to doing less injustice.  


More by :  Mandar Karanjkar

Top | Perspective

Views: 3336      Comments: 1

Comment I think treating everyone according to their needs and ability is real justice..
because many time someone is in badly need of something but cant get it due to reasons like reservation / other things....
agree with the mandar...

14-Nov-2010 08:42 AM

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