Social Justice in Indian Democracy: A Prograssive Concept under Indian Constitution

Social Justice in Indian Democracy: A Prograssive Concept under Indian Constitution

The Constitution of India has entered into 68 year of its operation. One should remember that a Constitution is a fundamental law where lay down basic goals and fulfil the objectives. In our country's polity the legislature is the law making forum and the executive takes the directions of the legislature for its implementation. The judiciary under our Constitution is watchdog of the Constitution. It looks into both law making and the law implementation by the other two wings of the Constitutional democracy. The functions and role of these institutions are essential for successful operation of Constitutional democracy in our country. A democracy means and provides a government by discussion. The representatives of people voice the wishes of the electorate for smooth operation of the socio-economic development thinking and their policy making work.

Modern democracy are in conceivable without judiciary. This organ is not only guardian of the Constitution but also protector of fundamental rights of the citizens. Bryce observed; "There is no better test of the excellence of a government than the efficiency of its judicial system, for nothing more nearly touches the welfare and security of the average citizen than his knowledge that he can rely on the certain and prompt administration of justice.”

Modern democracy are in conceivable without judiciary. This organ is not only guardian of the Constitution but also protector of fundamental rights of the citizens. Bryce observed; "There is no better test of the excellence of a government than the efficiency of its judicial system, for nothing more nearly touches the welfare and security of the average citizen than his knowledge that he can rely on the certain and prompt administration of justice.”

According to Alan Ball in 1978 there are two main reasons why this point, that the judicial system is part of the political process has to be emphasised. Firstly, liberal democratic theory has traditionally put a premium on the necessity of protecting the citizen from a too powerful state and therefore emphasised the impartiality of the judicial process, to increase the independence of the judiciary and to deepen the respect and confidence with which judicial decisions are received. Secondly, it has led to the emphasising of the aspects of the doctrine of separation of powers, both to prevent too much concentration of political power in the hands of government and guard against the ‘of democracy’ or the ‘tyranny of the majority’

Our constitution for this purpose has put across certain fundamental policy choices in the Constitution, in the form of Parts III and IV.According to Granville Austin the Indian Constitution is first and foremost a social document. Its founding fathers and mothers established in the Constitution both the nation’s ideals and the institutions and processes for achieving them. The ideals were national unity and integrity and a democratic and equitable society. The new society was to be achieved through a socio-economic revolution pursued with a democratic spirit using constitutional, democratic institution. Thus unity, social revolution, and democracy, were goals, which were mutually dependent and had to be sought together and not separately. The above observation aptly describes the Indian State, as contemplated by the framers of the Constitution. In fact the Preamble to the Constitution, which is based on the objectives resolution” of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, asserts that ‘We the people’ of India, through this Constitution, aim at establishing a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic of India and to secure to all its citizens, justice-social, economic and political.

The Indian Constitution for this purpose has put across certain fundamental policy choices in the form of Parts III and part IV of the Constitution furthers the guarantee of justice-social, economic and political, by providing for judicially nonenforceable obligations, on ‘the State’ in the form of Directive Principles of State Policy. But the fact that Principles stated in Part IV are judicially non-enforceable should not lead one to the conclusion that they are any less important than the Rights mentioned in Part III. A reference to the definition of the term ‘State’ in Parts-III and IV is enough to disperse any such notion. The fact that 'the State' has been defined in the same manner, in both Parts III and IV, is possibly an indication, that the founding fathers of the Constitution, were of the opinion that the nation’s ideals viz, national unity and integrity and a democratic and equitable society, to be achieved through a socio-economic revolution pursued with a democratic spirit using constitutional, democratic institutions. The Supreme Court in Minerva Mills v. Union of India, observed, There is no doubt that though the courts have always attached very great importance to the preservation of human liberties, no less importance has been attached to some of the Directive Principles of State Policy enunciated in Part IV. The core of the commitment to the social revolution lies in parts III and IV. These are the conscience of the our Constitution.

The term social justice implies a political and cultural balance of the diverse interests in society. Democracy is the only means by which is indeed a dynamic process because human societies have higher goals to attaintion. Social justice is an integral part of the society. Social injustice can not be tolerated for a long period and can damage society through revolts. Therefore the deprived class should be made capable live with dignity. Social justice is a principle that lays down the foundation of a society based on equality, liberty and fraternity. The basic aim and objective of society is the growth of individual and development of his personality. The concept of social justice is a revolutionary concept which provides meaning and significance to life and makes the rule of law dynamic. When Indian society seeks to meet the challenge of socio-economic inequality by its legislation and with the assistance of the rule of law, it seeks to achieve economic justice without any violent conflict. The ideal of a welfare state postulates unceasing pursuit of the doctrine of social justice.

The significance and importance of the concept of social justice today that Social justice is not a blind concept . It seeks to do justice to all the citizen of the state. A democratic system has to ensure that the social development is in tune with democratic values and norms reflecting equality of social status and opportunities for development, social security and social welfare. The caste system acts against the roots of democracy in India. The democratic facilities like fundamental rights relating to equality, freedom of speech, expression & association, participation in the electoral process, and legislative forums are misused for maintaining caste identity. It is true that India has been an unequal society from times immemorial. There are enormous inequalities in our society which are posing serious challenges to Indian democracy. Therefore, must not show excess of valour by imposing unnecessary legislative regulations and prohibitions, in the same way as they must not show timidity in attacking the problem of inequality by refusing the past the necessary and reasonable regulatory measures at all. Constant endeavour has to be made to sustain individual freedom and liberty and subject them to reasonable regulation and control as to achieve socio-economic justice. Social justice must be achieved by adopting necessary and reasonable measures. That, shortly stated, is the concept of social justice and its implications. The basic aim of social justice is to remove the imbalances in the social, political and economic life of the people to create a just society. It means dispensing justice to those to whom it has been systematically denied in the past because of an established social structure.

Thease are five basic principles, of Babasaheb Ambedkar , through which justice can be dispensed in the society. These are first establishing a society where individual becomes the means of all social purposes, second establishment of society based on equality, liberty and fraternity and third establishing democracy political, economic and social, forth establishing democracy through constitutional measures and fifth establishing democracy by breaking monopoly of upper strata on political power. These are main principles of Ambedkar’s theory of social justice, Ambedkar was of the opined that Social Justice can be dispensed in a free social order in which an individual is end in itself. Associated life between members of society must be regarded by consideration founded on liberty, equality and fraternity.

When social justice has failed to have its effect. The answer to this is simple. To enunciate the principle of justice is one thing. To make it effective is another thing. Whether the principle of social justice is effective or not must necessarily depend upon the nature and character of the civil services who must be left to administer the principle. The solution to social injustice lies within us only. We should be aware of the expressions for the poor, for the backwards class. social justice which are being used to undermine standards, to flout norms and to put institutions to work. We should shift from equality of outcomes to equal of opportunities and in striving towards that, politicians should be doing the detailed and continuous work that positive help requires, the assistance that the disadvantaged need for availing of equal opportunities. Social processes are constantly changing the society, a good legal system is one which ensures that laws adapt to the changing situations and ensure social good. Any legal system aiming to ensure the basic dignity of the human being and the inherent need of every individual to grow into the fullness of life.

Today our judiciary is the protector of civil rights, it is the custodian of fundamental rights, it is the guardian of the Constitution, its role in a federal system as the arbitrator is well known and the power of judicial review has reposed faith of the people in the judiciary. Both legislative anti-people law making and the executive excesses can come under judicial scanner.The importance of judiciary is more for the citizens than for the States. The judicial system is a part of the judicial process for the welfair of people and for social justice.



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Courtesy:
Dr. Pradeep Kumar Singh, Associate Professor
Madhav University