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  • “Nature of Nyaya” by Amartya Sen the renown professor of economics, is a very important book on the development of Nyaya.

  • According to Sen, Niti is an abstract method that, if implemented fully, will result in maximum public welfare and Nyaya, on the other hand.

  • Nyaya deals with the enforcement of laws and regulations.


  • The concept of Nyaya is one of the most complex concepts that consumes much scholarly ink yet remains esoteric and impeccable.

  • Plato’s concept, in relation to Nyaya, placed more emphasis on the real part rather than the procedural aspect.

  • Marx considered Nyaya to be a sham, a mask that facilitates capitalist exploitation.

  • Some people believe that Nyaya is equality, but equality is also a vague concept. It is a relative concept.

  • According to the utilitarian, Nyaya is the greatest task done for the largest number of people.

  • Nyaya is not only for the animation of Nyaya, but also for the principle of central Nyaya.

  • Prof. Sen has built his idea of Nyaya on the silence left on the principle of Nyaya presented by Rolls. Rawls’ theory deals with a utopian just society.

  • Social contract theory, mainly propounded by Rousseau, Hobbes, and Locke, focused primarily on the institutional arrangements of a society.

  • This approach, which might be called “transcendental institutionalism,” has two distinctive features.

  1. It focuses its attention on being identified as absolute Nyaya rather than a comparative comparison of Nyaya and Niti.

  2. In its search for perfection, transcendental institutionalism focused primarily on getting institutions right, not real societies.

  • In India, for example, classical legal philosophers derided matsynyaya, or “Nyaya in the fish world,” reflecting the type of society seen among fish, where a large fish can swim freely.


  • “Niti” can also be described as a “theory of the state” or political knowledge.

  • It is an abstract exercise whose implementation will maximize public welfare and Nyaya.

  • On the other hand, is the “broad concept of real Nyaya,” which is essentially connected to the world that actually emerges, not just the entities or rules we have.

  • According to Sen, this distinction between Niti and Nyaya can be seen in European philosophy.

  • Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and Rawls all insist on the establishment of institutions, while Adam Smith, Wollstonecraft, Bentham, Marx, and Mill all take a more comparative approach, looking at the social realities as a whole that are certainly the result of institutions, but also of other factors such as human behaviour.

  • The distinction between Niti and Nyaya is similar to another well-known distinction in Western legal thought.

  • Sen cites the example of Gautam Buddha to illustrate the philosophy of Nyaya as a paradigm of compassion.

  • Sen claims that Gautam Buddha’s suffering is easily understandable and it is possible to “appreciate the relevance of human life in the argumentative judgments of the world we live in.


  • Overwhelmed by the influence of the traditions of section ethics presented by Anglo, the ancient society of India often ignored the moral traditions of ancient India.

  • It has now become necessary to do exploratory research into the glorious Nyaya and Niti systems of ancient India, which are the gold mines.

  • In ancient times, the Indian Niti and the judicial system highlighted or looked at these particulars.

  • The supremacy of Niti and Nyaya, which is also the main point and basis of every modern democratic system, on which the building of the administration of ancient India was built.

  • Even before the birth of modern writers, this theory existed in the moral concept of ancient India.

  • It is also known from the study of ancient scriptures that even in the period of ancient India, there was no definite opinion of any kind regarding the “death penalty”


  • Looking at the judicial system of ancient India, it would have been known that today’s administrative and judicial systems are still following in the same footsteps.

Kautilya’s Views on Nyaya and Niti

  • According to ancient Indian thinkers, Kautilya also laid great emphasis on the observance of everyone’s religion.

  • Kautilya also makes judicial arrangements to punish them.

  • According to him, Nyaya is the life blood of the state.

Kautilya’s Judge Selection

  • Kautilya has given the basis of Nyaya in economics to the king.

  • According to him, there is a worthy, dutiful, and public-welfare king.

  • Kautilya gave the responsibility of appointing these judges to the king.

  • The whole legal system of Kautilya is contemporary.

  • He placed a lot of emphasis on the decentralization of the legal system as well as on fair Nyaya.

Manu’s Views on Nyaya and Niti

  • Apart from the provision of a council for the creation of Manu law and the Nyaya system, the public was free to make their own rules through their federal institutions.

  • It includes total, caste, and category.

  • Manu describes in his views the composition of the legislature in an extended form.

  • According to him, the number of members of the Legislative and Council should be about ten, but according to him, the basis of the composition should be intellectual and not in the form of numbers.

Manu’s Views the Idea of Punishment

  • According to Manu, there are two types of tendencies in human beings: one devilish and the other divine.

  • Under the divine tendency, peace, good, and the rights of others were also kept in mind, and work was also motivated to bring happiness to others.

  • On the contrary, in the devil’s nature, the judicial rights of others can be seized solely for self-interest.

  • Therefore, Manu clearly gives his opinion that the power of punishment is very much needed to purify the conduct of human beings and to follow their religion.

  • According to him, punishment should be arranged according to the amount of guilt the guilty party.


  • Rawls’ Nyaya principle was viewed as a kind of alternative to the classical utilitarian principle.

  • Rawls’ theory of distributive Nyaya is based on the fact that Nyaya is a system of cooperation for mutual benefit between individuals living within a society.

  • The concept of ‘original position’ played a significant role in Rawls’ principles along with the ‘veil of ignorance.’

  • He believes to base these principles by imagining a group of people who are unaware of their age, sex, race, religion, or economic class, wealth, income, intelligence, talents, etc.

  • This group of people would agree upon the following principles for the realisation of justice –

  1. Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with a similar liberty for others.

  2. Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both –

  • To the greatest benefit of the least advantaged.

  • Attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity.

  • The first principle states that all the people are to receive the basic liberties and rights that are basic to human existence.

  • Also, these liberties are to be provided equally to all the masses.

  • Few liberties that are basic to all are – freedom of thought and conscience, liberties necessary to secure the rule of law, sanitation, health, and etcetera.

  • Basic liberties can’t be infringed for any reason, even if it were to bring greater economic prosperity to a larger number of people.

  • Unfortunately, economic prosperity would happen at the expense of the ones that don’t belong to the larger group.

  • The first point of the second principle is known as the ‘difference principle.’

  • It means that even if there is an unequal distribution of income and wealth then it should be such that the most disadvantaged should be better off than they would be in any other kind of distribution consistent with principle one including equal distribution.

  • The second point of the second principle points out that society should provide all citizens with the basic means that would enable them to participate in the competition. Like education and health facilities.


  • According to Sen, the most serious flaw in the theory of Nyaya presented by Rawls is its transcendental institutionalism.

  • Rawls’ theory, based on the social contract tradition, aims to explain a set of principles that will be of considerable help in creating the public institutions of a just society.

  • Therefore, the main problem that Sen had with the theory presented by Rolls was the perfection theory.

  • According to Sen, the Rawlsian doctrine loses touch with reality: it ranges from the Bengal famine of 1943 to the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 that killed more than 150,000 people and left more than two million homeless.

  • Prof. Sen has regarded Nyaya as a genuine approach.

  • Rawls says that Nyaya is “Nyaya equal to fairness.”

  • Rawls was influenced by Kantian theological ethics when formulating the concept of Nyaya.

  • Kantian deontological ethics is a type of ethics that is universal in nature and is primarily guided by moral principles.

  • In this context, Rawls uses the metaphor of the “veil of ignorance” to express his concept of Nyaya as “fairness.”

  • The “basic situation” that Rawls is talking about creates a hypothetical situation, but practically it is never multidimensional, diverse, conflicting, or able to encompass the real and concrete demands of a larger plurality.

  • Sen’s concern is essentially three times Rawls’ theory:

  1. The first is the inevitable relevance of actual behavior;

  2. The second is the contractual choice; and

  3. The third is the relevance of the global approach.


  • On Nyaya, Sen’s vision involves anthropological sensitivity: of course, understanding human nature is insufficient to explain all the questions raised by the theory of Nyaya.

  • Sen bases his opinion on the fact that there is a shared understanding of human beings embedded in many competing conceptions of Nyaya, and the readiness to resist Nyaya and the tendency to do so by participating in meaningful public debates.

  • Slavery abolitionists in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries did not believe that abolishing slavery would make the world perfectly just. Rather, he claimed that it was based on a society.

  • Slavery was completely unjust, and it needed to end immediately

  • Slavery prioritised freedom from the intolerable in Nyaya and did not necessitate seeking consensus on what a perfectly just society would look like.

  • Sen asserted that his concept of Nyaya is not just a matter of consequences.

  • In fact, his definition of Nyaya includes a holistic approach to both processes and outcomes.

  • Ultimately, Nyaya is connected to people’s ways of life, not just to the nature of the entities around them.

  • Professor Sen took the example of early Indian jurisprudence to shed light on many concepts of Nyaya, such as’ Niti ‘and’ Nyaya.

  • In other words, it is necessary to assess the role of institutions based on how much inclusivity is reflected in them.


  • It is impossible to determine if Rawls’ “concept of Nyaya” is superior to Sen’s “idea of Nyaya,” hence it is not a good idea to debate this point.

  • On the other hand, it may be claimed that Sen’s interpretation of Nyaya “completes and develops Rawls’ idea of Nyaya.”

  • Sen’s work should be seen as a modification of Rawls’ political theories rather than as an alternative strategy.

  • First, the nature of Nyaya in our world is often global, and national law is too narrow as a lens through which it can be studied and analyzed, as well as a tool to combat it.

  • Second, the only concentration on national law excludes international perspectives, one of the most rigid obstructive aspects in the struggle against Nyaya

  • In any case, Sen encourages legal education to meet a greater number of comparative, international, and, most importantly, international perspectives.

  • Karl Marx’s theory was about an ideal society in which the workers were no longer subservient classes.

  • However, both Rawls and Amartya Sen are treading the same path and have similar opinions in this regard that the concept of utilitarianism, or a system that promotes only the welfare of the majority or the happiness of the greatest number, is not correct.

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mishra harshita
mishra harshita
Oct 22, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Very very helpfulll

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