If a veil can save a false trail


By Surbhi Moudgil

Justice is the need of the hour, not only by the judiciary but also from the citizens of India. Recently, at a meet, President of India Pranab Mukherjee raised a question, “Are tolerance and acceptance of dissent on the wane?”

This apprehension can be elucidated by the theory of ‘veil of ignorance’ by John Rawls and fuel a perspective to India’s contemporary discontent on tolerance.

President Mukherjee, at an event in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, said, “Humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstance. Assimilation through receiving is a characteristic of Indian society. Our collective strength must be harnessed to resist evil powers in society.”

Anxiousness in India’s current circumstances, be it banning of beef or spattering of ink on Sudheendra Kulkarni’s face, is leading to excavation of the theory of ‘veil of ignorance’. It outlines that “no one knows his place in society, his class position or social status; nor does he know his fortune in the distribution of natural assets and abilities, his intelligence and strength, and the like.”

Not all philosophies can be pertinent in their eeriest arrangement but this theory can construct a root to systemize the bases of a society.

India needs to sustain its behavior as it did in past, during the Nirbhaya gang rape case, where the country came together to fight for her justice rather than focusing on individual gains. Only when such an understanding is created, society could become more amicable and adequate in itself.

This compels people to unknowingly follow the veil of ignorance, where they come together for a cause without knowing anyone’s class, social status, natural assets and strengths etc.

This theory needs to be in operation at all given levels and not on certain occasions to achieve the prime optimization of tolerance and justice.

If a society can be based on this governance model, it can lead to form a country free from platonic disturbances of intolerance and unacceptability.

India, as a country, requires to be less apprehensive and more comprehensive about individual rights and justice.

Thus, answering President’s question, yes, tolerance and acceptance is waning. The intolerance of citizens is exploding due to their egocentric approach. This is when the ‘veil of ignorance’ plays its role at its best, as citizens while oblivious of their prominence and class, characterize supplementary wide-ranging statistics, shrinking the passage of intolerance and unacceptability.