The Southampton Press    


 February 14, 2002                                                                                              Eastern Edition A15      

                                 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR



                                                  Social Justice


People experience certain minimum needs. They are ready to work to have these minimum needs met. Global wealth can meet these needs, provided the Haves consider it essential. Meeting these needs is supportive of social evolution.


Though nature itself is the source of equity and justice and human beings only the players, secular practice is beset with problems associated with greed amongst the Haves in pursuit of nature guided self-centeredness. This problem can be challenged and overcome by the most advanced offspring of nature, the human spirit.


Subsequent to the general separation of church and state in society, and through the gradual acquiescence by religious beliefs and faith of the various national Haves, the foreign policy of nations has come to tolerate high levels of global social injustice, leaving the human spirit deflated but not defeated.


Some Have-nots have sought to give expression to their local plight in secular matters through the tenets of Islam where there is only one God, and by seeking a society functioning under the guidance of God that assures social justice for all. The preparedness to act on that insight is a powerful message for the Have-nots, even though currently, there is not a single Islamic State that provides equitable levels of social justice. While condemning violence, nonviolent efforts to realize local / global social justice, remain a most valuable goal.


With due respect for the accomplishments of civilizations through the struggles of the human spirit and mind, and with complete acknowledgment of the contributions of the different Haves to this struggle, we must reevaluate how to achieve social justice for the global population. We must encourage people to be concerned about global poverty and  contribute to its resolution / eradication.


To address the state of social injustice perpetrated by the Haves on the Have-nots and to suggest remedies, it is appropriate to strive to set up a people's independent Global Truth and Reconciliation Commission (GTRC). The nation of South Africa has benefited from this approach in healing wounds in their post-apartheid society. So can the people of the world, for the post-9/11 global community. GTRC should be small and representative, and its position papers should be made public, to achieve global participation and cohesion.


Within three years of its formation, the commission should submit its findings for consideration by the United Nations with a forum of NGOs in attendance. The United Nations would have to disallow veto powers to any nation with regard to the discussion of the findings.


May the human spirit guided by reason and faith accomplish this task?


Dr. M. Radh Achuthan

Professor of Physics,

Southampton College


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