Time, for me, has passed by wearily under the perpetual ticking of an old analogue clock. Months feel like weeks as monotonous days fly away, the pages of the calendar sluggishly flip themselves. I do some homework, work on some project, write a little, eat some food to continue existing— and do some more homework. Intermittently, I talk for broken hours at end with friends and teachers who I have not seen in what feels like decades. I barely see my own family, even though I live under the same roof as they do— I am stuck working behind a closed door. The atmosphere is tiring, yet intensely dynamic— the news bustles with new headlines every day.

That, perhaps, has been the lockdown experience for a majority of us. We’re stuck in seemingly endless cycles, but there is no lack of activity in the world outside. The year has brought to light the best and the worst of mankind simultaneously. It is in this scenario that we have found injustice rampant in our society. We have found ourselves feeling strange mixes of rage and fear, trying our best to grasp on to straws of hope that appear to move farther away whenever we reach out for them.

The world we live in is considerably different from the one we had had less than a year ago, and the world we will step into will be one of its own. It will be a cautionary planet, of masks, of distance, of sanitisers, one with millions of voices demanding justice— for those who pleaded and cried for help, and for those who could not, alike. We’ve finally come to understand the dangers of silence.

Justice, and the call for justice, is somewhat hard to define. It means different things to different people. For some, it means having the ability to attain a high place in their community. For others, it could merely refer to being able to get food on the plate every day. But for all, it means maintaining basic respect in society, irrespective of one’s socio-economic and political identity. 

From that, we can derive the fundamentals of justice. Justice is a keystone in the wall of a united civilisation— if it is absent or if it is weak, society cannot sustain— it will collapse and crumble. It must measure carefully both support and opposition. Justice is blind— it cannot choose who it serves. Verdicts must always be formed in consideration of sensed evidence and lived experience— hearsay without an impartial trial is not a decider of who is guilty or innocent. Prejudice has no place in judicial institutions. Justice must be swift and final.

It is with these ideals that populations across the globe have beckoned a change in flawed systems. Even disconnected from one another due to circumstance, we have found solidarity in the fight for justice. The fight for justice will live on for as long as there is an ambition amongst the people— to build a society held to an utmost high moral standard, with an ever-strong path of development— a society that has learnt from the past, wishes to fulfill the needs of the present and aspires to have an ever-improving future.

This issue revolves around the very essence of justice— as high-schoolers express what justice means to them— through stories, sketches, music, articles, and more. Like, comment on and share these— every artist welcomes both constructive criticism and abundant appreciation. I hope you enjoy going through these pieces and discover your very own definition of justice as you do! 

With a nostalgic farewell to the old and a warm welcome to the new— here’s to the euphoric plunge into an unknown future.

Stay home, stay safe,

Yashasvini

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