‘Slumming it’ is a documentary presented by Kevin McCloud which gave audience the view of the most extreme urban environment in Dharavi, Mumbai. To analyze the good and bad things of living in the densely populated place on earth, Kevin decides to eat and work there to analyse the prospects of living there. Kevin also presents the man who plans redevelop the entire Dharavi and make place for housing towers, schools and parks for residential purpose (Slumming It – DocuWiki, 2017). . This paper evaluates the benefits of housing towers in place of slums with support from the theories of Nozick and Rawls.
John Rawls’s theory is related to the distributive theory of justice, which regards society as a system in which individuals cooperate with each other to gain mutual advantage. This is associated with many conflicts too as interest of different individuals or certain groups differ from one another. According to the principle of justice, social cooperation is dependent on balanced division of benefits and burdens. Rawl’s theory proposed two principles of justice such as the political justice and social justice to guarantee a morally acceptable society. The first principle support each person to have equal right to total social system, whereas the second principle supports managements of social and economic equalities to providing fair conditions of opportunity to all (John, 2014). Considering this principle to describe the plans to replace Dharavi with housing complex, it can be said that transforming Dharavi will be an unjustified action because this will come at cost of closing down thousands of tiny industries. This will take away homes and livelihood of many people and disrupt the social principle of social fair opportunity for all in society. Rawls theory visualizes original position, which means an impartial view of society to promote justice. Rawl introduces a veil of ignorance where people in the social world can reside in the original position (Corlett, 2016). However, this is not possible in the context of Dharavi as the action to redevelop will act against the principle of equal distribution of justice.
In the context of distribution of properties, Rober Nozick brings into forefront three ideas of justice. This involves justice in the area of acquisition, transfer and rectification of injustice. The last part describes how to restore property to rightful owner in case of injustice in the area of acquisition and transfer (Sher, 2017). Hence, Nozick’s theory describes justice in distribution through the fair process of acquisition and transfer. This theory is in contrast with Rawl’s theory as it justifies distribution on the basis of needs. Nozick’s point of view has an advantage as it promotes the facts that if acquisition and transfer process is just, people will also reading accept and move to different distribution. However, this is a daunting task to do full justice to the residents of Dharavi and give them equal righst during transformation of the property.
This evaluation presented different view point for justice during distribution of property. While comparing with Nozick and Rawl’s principle, it has been found that a just method of property transformation in Dharawi can occur by following Nozick’s principle, however achieving this in reality is doubtful amidst corruption and intense political interest.
John, E. O. (2014). A Critique of John Rawls' Social Justice Theory and the Fate of Nigeria's Politics in the 21st-Century and beyond. JL Pol'y & Globalization, 28, 12.
Sher, G. (2017). Doing Justice to Desert. Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, 3, 84.
Corlett, J. A. (Ed.). (2016). Equality and liberty: analyzing Rawls and Nozick. Springer.
Slumming It - DocuWiki. (2017). Docuwiki.net. Retrieved 13 August 2017, from http://docuwiki.net/index.php?title=Slumming_It
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