The Language Problem


Layman literature seems to be doing the rounds these day- Physics in everyday life, Law for the masses and such. Its amazing how every discipline speaks its own language- an economist talks of Production Possibilities and Comparative Averages, A mathematician of Vectors and Hyperspaces a philosopher of the positive, normative, a-priori and a-posteriori. One of the best parts of the ‘commercialism’ of the ‘sciences’ as it were, is the crossing of this barrier. Most of us for example understand what a ‘cookie’ is in computer terms, or rayon is qualitatively in terms of fabric!

Sadly, one place where this phenomenon has not yet filtered down to is Law. Indian Law remains particularly difficult to understand. I believe the first year at India’s most celebrated Law College, NLS has one subject where they study legal discourse! The reason this bothers me is that it betrays a large degree of elitism- if justice is truly to be achieved the average man must understand law’s, contracts and such so that he/she is legally empowered to make decisions or even protect himself/herself.

Ps: Blogger can now post images!