Teaching Justice

File:Iustitia van Heemskerck.png
Courtesy: Wikimedia commons

Justice is no less challenging to teach in the classroom.

An interesting way to begin is to have a role play of the dialogue that Socrates had had with a group of young people on Justice. They ask him, Why should we be just when people who tell lies, twist rules, avoid paying taxes are more successful than those who are just? Socrates replies that if everyone violates rules and becomes unjust, then no-one would remain secured in the society. He explains further that it is in the long-term interest of everyone to follow the rules of Justice.

This conversation between Socrates and the young people must have taken place 2500 years. But their question and his answer for Justice remain valid even today.

Justice is to deliver to each citizen his due. Due and deliver are the key words here. What is due to the citizens from a state should be clearly defined. It should be known to one and all. And it is for this purpose that a constitution is framed by a state. The constitution is meant to spell out the dues/rights of the citizens. However mere granting of the rights is not enough. An efficient system is required to deliver these rights to the citizens.

In the ancient days when monarchy was in vogue there were several kings known for their efficient delivery system of justice. But the rights of the people were limited. In the modern times when political systems are more oriented towards the people, rights of the people have increased and so have the scope for justice.

I have heard some elderly people saying that the British system of justice was better for India. Probably they mean that their system of delivering justice was more efficient. But they tend to forget that the rights of the citizens were limited at that time.

©arun jee, 11.11.20

2 thoughts on “Teaching Justice

  1. This is very useful topic. Last topic you discussed was Equality. While teaching political theory, one could spare some time for these articles. Great Learning here.


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