January 28, 2023
“The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, and wretches hang that jurymen may dine.” - Alexander Pope (1688-1744), English poet and satirist.
In the earlier centuries the Emperor/King was also the fount of justice as in the case of Solomon whose famous judgment in determining the true mother if an infant child has not only found a place in the Old Testament of the Bible but also made into a Hollywood film. Here is a short account from the Bible.
The Judgement of Solomon is a story from the Bible in which Solomon ruled between two women, both claiming to be the mother of a child. Solomon revealed their true feelings and relationship to the child by suggesting the baby be cut in two, each woman to receive half. With this strategy, he was able to discern the non-mother as the woman who entirely approved of this proposal, while the actual mother begged that the sword might be sheathed and the child committed to the care of her rival. Some consider this approach to justice as a typical example of an impartial judge displaying wisdom in making a ruling.
But, the Bible account does not say that there was any applause in Solomon’s court.
Compare this with the angling for applause (media coverage) as reflected in the two reports excerpted below.
Pointing out that instances of sexual harassment against students are increasing and mostly boys are facing the allegations, a division bench of the Kerala High Court has stressed the need for change in the present education system by making lessons in good behaviour and etiquette part of the curriculum. "Boys must know that they should not touch a girl or woman without her explicit consent. They should understand 'No' means 'No'," Justice Devan Ramachandran observed while disposing of a petition by a male student against an internal complaints committee report against him.
In the judgment issued on 25/1/23, Justice Ramachandran pointed out that "most of, or all," allegations of sexual harassments were made against boys."Boys, even from a very young age, often grow up with certain sexist stereotypes - reinforced by peer and other social influences. Showing a girl or woman respect and honour is not old fashioned. On the contrary, it is a virtue for all times. The archaic concepts of masculinity have changed, it needs to change more. Sexism is not acceptable or 'cool'," the judgement said.
The judgement also quotes medieval Islamic theologian and spiritual writer Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya, “Women are one half of society, which gives birth to the other half, so it is as if they are the entire society.”
The judgment said that respectfulness was an imperative that needs to be inculcated very young. "A child should be taught at the family, and from the beginning of school, that he or she must respect the other gender. They should be taught that real men don’t bully woman – it is unmanly and not an expression of macho virtue, but its antithesis. It is, in fact, the weak men who dominate and harass woman – this message must ring loud and clear."
In another case, this time from Gujarat, IANS (24/1/23) reported from a district court-level court had this set of pearls for his court audience while awarding punishment in a cows and bulls transportation case: “Science has proved that houses made of cow dung can protect from nuclear radiation”. The judge said that many incurable diseases can be cured by drinking cow urine. Tridev is not different from the cow. Religion is born from the cow, in today’s time organic farming is becoming popular in place of chemical fertilizer-based farming, and organic farming can be done only with cow dung.
Why not bull-shit? Pause for applause?
The subject is open to many views. What are yours? Your response is welcome in the format given below (Pl. scroll down a bit). Once again welcome to reason.