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 Blooming Stars

Truth Versus Justice

             This morning (October 19, 2012) when I got up to join my wife over a cup of tea before she left home to visit her relatives in Illinois, she asked me why I looked very serious and sad. I told her my bone is aching seeing the plight of humanity. Barely 10% of humanity has the conveniences and modern amenities that Americans have. The poorest in America are better off than the most middle class people in the rest of the world. America is choking on its own affluence. It’s incredible and morally unacceptable waste in food, clothing, furniture, appliances, and other consumer goods can adequately supply the needs of millions of persons in the world. A piece of furniture or a costly curtain may be thrown away because it does not match with other items in the house. Americans are numb and desensitized to the point that we are not able to see the massive waste right in front of us. We are in self-pity licking our own wounds inflicted by others in the secluded, fortified island of our own narcissism.

            A couple of days ago while driving I was listening to a news item on the National Public Radio (US) in which the reporter said that tons of perfectly usable medical supplies are destroyed. The reporter gave the example of a large amount of wooden tongue depressants destroyed because of the expiration date on them. Would well-packed wooden tongue depressants need an expiration date?! Lawyers taking over every aspect of American life are intimidating persons and paralyzing life. I think of a majority of them are vultures feasting on human carcasses. This taking over life by lawyers in the US is quickly spreading to India. I have a nice and safe pool meeting international standard, I thought, filled with mountain-spring water adjoining my Ashram in Munnar (India) for our enjoyment. A well-meaning friend of mine said it needs a railing between the pavilion and the pool. Rather than arguing with him, I put a sign: ‘No entry without permission’. Another friend looking at a can of chocolate in the kitchen said it had an expiration date. I knew the chocolate was good and told him that it is only for my use. I want to mention here that expiration dates serve a very useful purpose, but we also need to use our good sense.

            The other day I was shocked by the sentence of a court involving a fraudulent case. One would think that high court judges have the good sense of deciding the merits of a spurious legal suit brought to it by a greedy, dishonest person. We have a situation where good ordinary persons with no legal background would do better than what the judges did. The case in point was reported yesterday (October 18, 2012) in Malayala Manorama. The Supreme Court of India reversing the judgment of the High Court of Kerala observed that the High Court failed in evaluating the documents in front of them. The documents presented by the Mother Superior of Sacred Heart Home, Punnaveli, Pathanamthitta, related to a betrayal of trust. The High Court failed to evaluate the documents presented by Mother Marykkutty, age 75, and sentenced her to one and a half year of imprisonment and thirty lakhs of rupees (about $60,000) in penalty.

            There needs to be a mechanism in India whereby performances of high court and lower court judges are evaluated periodically. Intimidating and bullying lawyers of the American and Indian legal system certainly need to go. Since people are not given training in ethics, morals, and sound principles of cooperative living in a healthy society as part of their basic and on-going education, too many laws are passed by legislatures. The lawyers and judges are there to throw light on carefully crafted laws. Many cases can be settled by interdisciplinary mediation teams. The slow-grinding Indian bureaucracy of the bullock-cart era also needs to disappear. When I spend 2-3 months in the US every year I have a deep sigh of relief seeing the cleanliness, courtesy, and efficiency of government offices. No political patronage is required for getting things done. No one is likely to think of offering a bribe to get things done.


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