Social Justice refers to protection extended by the society and State to its members to enable them to overcome various contingencies. The principal aim of socialism is to eliminate inequality of income, status and standard of life. It is the signature mark and the patent feature of Indian Constitution. Social Justice cannot be realised and fully attained if the notion of justice that prevails among people continues to be socially, morally or economically unequal in practice. Thus, it is an eminent fact and reality that socio-economic and cultural specificities remain embedded within the notion of justice which could never be negativated. The academics from different parts of the country gathered at the North Bengal University and deliberated upon various aspects of social justice which ultimately culminated into the present form. Many scholars have contributed to the existing legal framework and its relation with the social justice that has been discussed in this special issue. The present special issue makes a nascent attempt and provides legal material in this wide explorable field of research. The very first article of this issue deals with the most important aspect of social justice, that is, the right to livelihood and the right to work through the streamlined provisions of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005. The article emphasises and elaborately explains the socialistic feature of the Indian Constitution, constitutional reasonableness of the rights and the various national programmes for alleviation of poverty especially the MGNREGA. The concept of social justice has become an integral part of political rhetoric than living reality under the constitutional scheme of governance, even in recent times political compulsions made some of these provisions redundant and inoperative. Thus, an attempt is made in the next article to analyze and evaluate the concept of social justice and to identify the aspects of political culture that have a bearing on the application of such concept. Third article deals with labour rights during the era of globalisation, which has become a cause for concern in order to attain social justice. The basic kinds of labour legislation and their judicial analysis have been elaborately made in this article. With the changing dimensions of economy and at the advent of globalisation the applicability of social justice is undergoing drastic developments. Such development has been critically discussed from the judicial perspective by the author in the fourth article. In the fifth article the concept, importance, principles and critical evaluation of distributive justice has been discussed. Under the sixth article social justice and the cause of its failure are discussed initially, leading to reformation of the judicial system itself, being supported by requisite statistics. A society could not be considered to achieve the social justice and be democratic unless the marginal groups are developed and the percentage of stigmisation is reduced. The next article deals with such an aspect particularly in the case of dalit women, for which empirical study has been made specifically of the dalit women residing in Dholpur area of Rajasthan. With the advent of developing times, the economic power is being transferred to private sector then the most important question arises whether private corporations provide equal opportunities to all castes and classes of India or not. Eighth article aims to respond to such relative question and governmental approach to achieve the constitutional goal of economic justice. Next article deals with the spirit of the Constitution for providing democratic, secular republic of India and even in the modern growing economic times it serves the end of social justice and lays down the role of State so as to provide a vision and direction for socio-economic development. While in the tenth article, the whole concept of social justice has been again revisited and critically analyzed from the Indian perspective. The fact is that social justice is a prime agenda that could not be negated and has to be provided by the State. Such an aspect has been dealt in the next article with special reference to the Constitution of India. In the twelth article attempt has been made to unravel the notion of justice among the Zo/ Mizo tribes by flipping through the Kuki-Chin-Mizo Folklores and reaffirm that the nature of their sense of justice as deliberated through the nexus of patriarchy is based on the justice of compensation. The very next article justifies the reservation to be a ‘Right’ and the most important relevant means of social justice. The concept of reservation has been discussed and its emerging trends has been emphasised. In the fourteenth article attempt has been made to deal with selective aspect of financial policies which impinge on distributive justice by focussing on fiscal policy and some recent regulatory initiatives. Social justice is a basic need of all people regardless of the sector of employment in which they work and live. The right to work and employment and working conditions are the most essential requirement of life and has also been judicially recognised. The next article aims to deal with such matter through constitutional vision. India is a welfare State having mixed economy but marginalized groups are always been victimised. However the agricultural sector being the important sector suffers from high violation of social justice due to globalisation. Such aspect particularly in reference to the corporatized sector agriculture is dealt with in the next article. The concept of distributive justice is the thrust area of the seventeenth article and its importance for balancing the social justice. The constitutional provisions and their relative judicial interpretations have been discussed in it. Last but definitely not the least the eighteenth article discusses the concept and importance of socio-economic justice which is being noticeably echoed in English literature also. The law and the literature are flourishing field of comparative learning and through this paper the author concentrates on the concept of equity in the backdrop of the famous Shakespearian work ‘The Merchant of Venice’. It is our obligation to express deep sense of gratitude to all the scholars who have contributed their writing and helped in many other ways in bringing out their works into the present form. It is to be acknowledged with thanks to the University Grants Commission for providing the fund for publication. We are grateful to Prof. Arunabha Basumajumder, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, University of North Bengal, for his kind approval for publication and extending his cooperation and encouragement in bringing out the present issue. The North Bengal University Press deserves special thanks for printing and making the present shape, without whose efforts the work could not have seen the light of the day.
Professor Bishnu Prasad Dwivedi