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My take on social justice

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.

Abraham Lincoln

What is justice? What does a just society look like? And what principles should guide us there? These questions have occupied an entire tradition – the dominant tradition – of political philosophy, led above all by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and among contemporary philosophers by John Rawls and Robert Nozick. My quest in politics should hopefully lead me to the correct answers. The dominant approach of “transcendental institutionalism’, is beleaguered by two central problems: the problem of feasibility and the problem of redundancy.

The first is a result of the practical difficulty, even impossibility, of arriving at a single set of principles that can help us to select just institutions through a process of impartial reasoning.The second problem – the redundancy problem – is that the identification of fully just social arrangements is neither a necessary nor sufficient guide to reasoned choice of just policies, strategies or institutions.

I do not claim to attain any perfection in my conceptualization. But my stint with the Aam Admi Party has brought me closer to ground realities. Today my vision of social justice is based on equality of opportunity. Although I do not endorse any individual blindly, my days in IIT Delhi brought me into close contact with intellectuals of different walks of life. In doing so I have looked for inspiration from economists and social scientists beyond the political arena. I have been deeply moved and inspired by the academic endeavors of Prof. Pranab Bardhan’s on “equality of opportunity.” As a public servant and a worker of the Aam Admi Party my vision is to provide equal opportunity to all irrespective of caste, religion,gender or any other prejudice.