Need of special privileges
If poor children were not provided with adequate education and proper health care, we are raising hue and cry. We give our voice for justice.
First, let us understand what we accept and which we refuse. If a person is treated with great respect on the basis of his caste, language, or race, we may not tolerate the reputation.
If a person wants to achieve in a field like music and if he is denied opportunity on the basis of caste, religion, gender, and race that is injustice.
Why this kind of discrimination and divisive tendencies exists? We have to understand the reasons. If the opportunity is denied along with social identity, that is absolute injustice in society.
This creates inequality among people. Regardless of caste, gender, religion, and other differences, people should be provided with appropriate opportunities to prove their talent and capacities in individual life.
In socio-political theories, the distinction between the difference between individual and socio-cultural differences exiting among them is considered as an important aspect.
Individuals should receive respect and reputation on the basis of their achievements and talents. It should not be on the basis of social identities.
Inequalities and discriminatory practices which prevail in society are artificial and are known as prejudices.
Distributive Justice and Retributive Justice
The substantial point of debate while studying the concept of Justice would be how the resources would be distributed to all sections of society.
In order to understand this point more clearly let us dwell upon a few important perspectives on the issue of Justice.
In the conventional understanding of politics, there are a few major theories of Justice being discussed at length. Equality of Resources, Common Ownership theories, and Entitlements are often referred to while discussing Justice.
A. Equality of Resources
This perspective defines the distribution of resources to be just; that is to say, if every individual has the same effective resources that amount to Justice.
If for some given work, each person obtains the same amount of wage or reward, that is how we must realize Justice.
If inequality exists it is singularly the result of individual choices – to be a productive earner or to be a person of leisure.
This perspective effectively rejects self-ownership and resource ownership but strongly advocates only responsibilities and obligations.
B. Common Ownership Theories
These theorists argue that a fair distribution means each person in the initial stages must have the same amount of land or other valuable resources.
It clearly means there are no major differences in terms of an individual’s preferences and abilities.
All individuals are endowed with an equal amount of abilities.
Therefore, by ensuring common ownership of resources, we can bring in substantial Justice.
C. Entitlements Theory
It defines just distribution when land or any other resources disbursed must be historically justified.
Individuals who have never had the ownership of land or other resources can appropriate it by voluntary transfer between and among themselves.
Transfer of resources, for them, must be absolutely voluntary.
All these perspectives as it is evident from the brief description do focus on both resources and human ability.
Resources could be, for example, land as well as knowledge; human ability also plays a vital role for some theorists.
There is a grand consensus that Justice in society is possible only when it becomes distributive rather than retributive.
How do we define retributive justice?
D. Retributive Justice
The concept of retributive justice is often invoked in several contexts. One can understand the framework of this form of justice by following certain principles.
i). Those who have committed wrongful acts, serious crimes do deserve harsh punishment quite proportionate to their crime.
ii). It is morally good; when the legitimate punisher gives the culprit a stern punishment what that person deserves; no matter whether the punitive action against wrongdoers is compared with others or not, the punishment is necessary as a moral good.
iii). It does not encourage punishing the innocent intentionally and also disapproves of inflicting large punishments on wrongdoers disproportionately.
Even though the idea of retributive justice played a vital role in theorizing punishment and Justice for some time, some of its pivotal features such as proportionality, the normative status of suffering, and the ultimate justification for retribution become highly contentious.
In a country like India, there are a few who tacitly approve of violence as a means to achieve and establish Justice by advocating retributive justice for many wrong acts.
This is a highly untenable proposition in a modern context.
Retributive justice as a mode Operandi to establish justice was firmly rejected in our constitution itself.
The architects of our Constitution firmly believed that violent methods will not bring in peaceful and enduring solutions to our problems nor does it establish sustainable Justice in our society.
Our intention is to introduce several perspectives on Justice to you. In the process, we must also realize which perspective would be very appropriate in our Indian context to realize the spirit of Justice.
Of all these perspectives, the framework offered by John Rawls stands out as a significant one; let’s study the vital aspects of his theory.
Cultural diversity and Socio-Cultural Equality
In a diversified society, people from different groups may practice their cultural values, habitual factors and improve individual talents. For this to happen, equality in society is an essential criterion.
Every individual should be assured of fair opportunity in society. To a large extent, an unequal atmosphere should be wiped out for attaining a liberal society.
To put it in a nutshell, actions must be taken at least to reduce the unequal circumstances. For instance, good healthcare, education, nutritious foodstuffs, minimum emoluments are the basic needs to be provided to all without discrimination.
Without these basic facilities, we may not call a society an egalitarian one.
What are the main issues of our Nation?
Beliefs and practices on the basis of caste and religion are dastardly obstacles.
In many parts of India, the status of women is at the lower level – education, employment, right to property are refused to women.
If this situation extends and is established as our culture, a major catastrophe may not be averted in India.
If inequality and discrimination are stamped as our cultural values, the path of equality may be at crossroads and cannot be attained at all.
The social justice provided by our Indian Constitution to the depressed and downtrodden communities is a helping hand for their development and advancement.
But how much and to whom are the major questions?
Caste hierarchy is the primary reason for inequality in our nation.
Hence on the basis of the caste hierarchy, social justice has to be maintained/must be maintained.
In categorization, we are having backward caste, most backward caste, scheduled caste, and scheduled tribe for whom; governments’ policies are distributed accordingly.
First Commission for the backward community was established in 1953. Kaka Kalelkar was the first head of this Commission in Independent India.