Introduction 

For some individuals today, justice has turned into a commodity that can be sold. Justice is subject to unethical assaults, but it has stood the test of time only because of its inherent power. Justice continues to fight for its existence. According to the poet, Praveen Kumar, justice is traded for egotistical gains in the current poem, “Justice.” A trade which is an exchange for the purpose of receiving something in return.

About The Poet

The son of Shree R.D. Suvarna and Smt. B. Sarojini, poet Praveen Kumar was born in Mangaluru on June 29, 1949. He has worked for the government for more than three decades as a senior police officer. The following are some of his best-known books: Policing for the New Age, Priya Chaitra Tapasvini, Policing the police, Divya Belaku and Portraits of Passion.

Theme Of The Poem

The poem is based on how justice is actually applied in daily life. The poet expresses concern about how justice is implemented in the modern society. Some individuals dishonour the justice system by bribing for it. Some individuals compromise its integrity. But the poet notes that justice has persisted in spite of everything that has happened. Honesty is one of the factors that keeps justice alive; if honesty turns against justice, she will perish.

Stanza 1

Justice begotten in exchange is no justice,
 For, exchange is trade, 
A distressing gain through loss; 
Justice is inherent right.

The opening verse of the poem asserts that obtaining justice in exchange for money is not fair. It is dishonest to seek justice using corrupt methods. It turns into trade. It’s similar to getting a profit dishonestly to make up for a loss. Everyone has an essential right to justice. Justice is not a business. It will manifest naturally.

Stanza 2

Though wrapped in black packs 
In dark hall of race for survival 
Like gold strains bound in mud
Till exploited;
She is cool like ice 
And still like rock; 
No easy road to charm her soul 
While hardship makes her no more justice.

In the second verse, the poet states that even if justice is concealed in a room of darkness by being wrapped in a black cloth, it will eventually become a reality. Similar to how gold strains are confined in mud and misused. Justice is portrayed by the poet like the gold that has been buried in mud. The mud is scraped clean of gold. This allows us to see that it is impossible to conceal the truth. Justice is also described as ice and rock by the poet. It is calm as a stone and as cold as ice. There is no fast cut to justice, hence it is not simple to obtain. Putting forth unfair efforts to obtain justice results in injustice.

Stanza 3

Why justice is shackled to greed and bribe?
Why justice is fished out from popular mood? 
Lost in thick jungle of lightless night, 
Like rat, caught in the sack of death,

The poet questions why something as great as justice is constrained by greed and bribery. She is affected by seemingly wealthy and powerful individuals. Justice is offered as an option to be bought off, and the people in power sell her out.

Stanza 4

Like deer, caught in lion’s lair, 
She never reaches Self by herself. 
Justice with no heart for truth, 
Justice with no dash for right cause
 Is justice dead indeed.

The poet thinks that justice is lost in a pitch-black jungle. He implies that adopting the moral approach will not take us to justice. Justice is caught in a lion’s den like a deer and in the bundle of death like a mouse. She has been contaminated by the selfish individuals.  The poet believes that justice lacks compassion or any feelings for the truth and does not pursue the right cause on its own. He regrets that justice has been destroyed and is no longer alive. According to the poet, justice that lacks truth, the proper course, and a worthwhile goal is meaningless justice.