Another common aspect of human life I found between India and the US of A
Place: Aboard Qatar Airways bound homewards.
I was going home to India.
My seat was one of the two corner one’s in the flight’s economy class. I definitely wasn’t enthusiastic about making a conversation with anyone. I was going home to begin college after an extremely awesome vacation.
The man sitting next to me was holding a diplomat’s passport (Ya I know because I kept staring into some forms he was filling :p) from India and that excited me for a second but I didn’t want to initiate a conversation (not sure why now).
Later on, we started talking about who, when , where from stuff about each other. Then I know this man is a judge from one of the high courts of in Southern India. I was looking for help in those days regarding education law in Indian colleges. So the discussion naturally steered towards the law and the process. He patiently answered a lot of my questions. I am telling you people have to be double careful once they say, “Oh yeah! you can ask me questions,” to me.
Washington Dulles- Qatar, was like a 14 hour flight and we spoke at length for about 8 hours , napping for a few minutes now and then. He was amazed at the way I argued on how I had every right to fight for my right to a discrimination free education. He was equally disappointed that I never tried it to be a lawyer and he asked me the reasons for it(I clearly knew one thing.Everyone who can argue/debate well cannot make a good lawyer.But I didn’t want to answer his question right away). On the days when I debated with my father I remember the exact times when he would get up from the conversation, look at me, shake his head and laugh out saying, “You are good at arguing your point, I still don’t agree with your arguement, hope it helps you someday!” and he would just leave with a smile from there.
My paternal grand father worked as a staff member in a court for about many years and he knew quite a lot about the judicial branch of the government. He always compared the judicial system to a vegetable called “Nethi Beerakaaya” ( exact translation can mean, Ghee Ridge Gourd). He never said this to me directly but I heard it from my father who always heard the reference from his dad. He would always say , if you go looking for ghee in a vegetable which goes by it’s name, it necessarily need not mean you have to find ghee in it. He compared the Judicial system to that vegetable by commonly using a phrase in Telugu
“Nethi Beerakaayalo entha neyyi undho, nyaayasthaanallo anthe nyaayam undhi ”
(The amount of ghee you find in this ridge gourd is equal to the amount of justice available in the judicial system)
When I said this to this judge who was sitting next to me, he was just smiling. He said my grand father was absolutely right. I had an answer for his question of why I never wanted to be a lawyer. To answer his question, I asked him another one. I asked him how would he judge a custody battle case of a 4 year old child. With heart or with mind?
He was quick in saying he would never let his heart work at his work place. He had my answer. I can never work with my heart away from the work I do and lawyers can never let their emotions play a major role in their job.So I simply was never cut for it. While my parents always did argue with (they still do) me on the demerits of me using my heart at work, I sense that it is that ability that makes me the person that I am.
What made me write about this was not to criticize any professional’s work from the judicial system or else where. I usually try not to write immediately on issues of social sensitivity or crime because they are of no benefit to the victims who suffered in that particular crime. But ask me why do I even write about them? Then I say I write because I wanted to voice my opinion on it but while also not just reacting to the news, rather responding to it after a lot of thought. And I found things move in such a shockingly similar fashion any where in the world when it came to ‘law’ and ‘justice’. Boundaries or borders, caste or colour, education or opulence, nothing changes anything about them. Everything still functions the same way.
A couple of weeks ago here in the US there was this trial for the murder case of a child which was discussed a lot by the print and electronic media. The jury acquitted the mother after several months of trial.
The end of the day scene was the lady was getting dumped with lots of offers to write a book about her entire ‘struggle’ through it. May be no one knows the exact truth or may be someone does. But the child is dead and that’s the truth. She died helplessly and today her mother is making money out of her death.
Who is to be blamed for all this?
The judicial system?
The police ?
I say the PEOPLE.
All those people who made money out of the entire thing and all those people who will buy her book and let her make more money.
Does this happen only in USA? No it happens everywhere. Every single day. What can we do? Think sensibly and support only the deserving ones. Believing in the change and being the change is the first step towards progress. I never read a single article about her on any website. Neither did I ‘google’ the case. May be just one person not reading about her wouldn’t make much difference. But I believe there are millions of people like me who share the same opinion and did the same. And am glad she is not contesting elections or getting into public service like it commonly happens in our nation. At least in this country, people like these, stay in the money market and make money. To go seeking justice in a system well rigged to fail the truth is not foolishness. One person trying it can fail once. But many people trying to do the same will set in motion a process that will someday change the system. Until then, all we can do is persist and persevere.