Workshop # 17
... even though the lady of law is blindfolded
“Jab hum paida huye jag hanse hum roye.
Aisi karani kar chalo hum hanse jag roye.”
(When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life in such a way that when you die, the world will cry and you will rejoice.)
With these great words of Kabir Das I start my article on this photo which I have named as “Lady of Law”. I have named my article as “Righteousness is divine…even though the lady of law is blind folded” and the above wording of Kabir Das are definitely for the righteous people. The theme and tune of my entire article is based on the fact that even though the lady of law is blindfolded, individuals following the righteous path will always succeed. This is a very tough path to follow, this can be termed as the path full of challenges and problems where success and justice might be delayed but are never denied.
All through my article I would discuss and give examples of individuals who followed the righteous path. These individuals faced great difficulties but were able to achieve justice or success just because they followed the righteous path. Life always challenges and contradicts individuals following the righteous path; but it is the divine faith of these individuals in the righteous path that they eventually succeed.
People following the righteous path are termed as champions….this is the first big message that I would like to make keeping in mind what I have stated in the above paragraphs. Another reason behind the above statement is, people who follow righteous path are always pushed to corner, but it is their shier faith in the path they are following and the integrity they possess or the term we use in Hindi “swabhiman” in the act they are doing or fighting for. It is also their trust and belief in following the righteous path that they don’t care of what comes in their way. They have full faith in the path they are following and this makes them divine and victorious.
Another unique feature of the lady of law is the sword in her left hand. This has never been seen before.
The taking of weapons can we considered as an option; but usually it is treated as the last option. It can also be said that once all the gates to justice are closed; it is only then the individuals following the righteous path are forced to take up weapons. The best example of this is the “War of Mahabharata”, where the pandavas took up the weapons only when all the paths of talks were closed and even Shri Krishna could not persuade the blind king in giving back to the pandavas their kingdom or even five villages. After reading the above paragraph we can come to second big message: - “righteous path can also be termed as the path of dharma”
Taking up weapons is a very common phenomenon in today’s world, but if we do a look back we can easily conclude that there have been individuals who have taken up weapons only to show that this can be one of the options. The example of Shaeed Bhagat Singh stands out in this list. We can never forget that he threw the bomb in the assembly not to hurt any one but to show the British that Indians can take up to weapons. The killing of the British office is also a standout example; where Bhagat Singh and his comrades killed him to show the British that there can be a tit for tat. The greatness of Bhagat Singh can be clearly seen in his note “Why am I an atheist” – where when asked to remember god in his last days, he simply says that he has been following the righteous path and hence has no fear of god. This can be concluded by saying that only people who follow unrighteous path have a fear of something going wrong. Still remember the dialogue from one of the movies – “the make the deaf hear; we had to make some noise”. It is also the name of a great book by S Irfan Habib – “to make the deaf hear”.
The above were examples of the individuals who had decided to take to weapons and created history thereafter. However there have been individuals who decided to stick to their righteous path.
People on the righteous path face great hardship. The most prime example we have and the one we intend to follow is that of Raja Harishchandra – the 36th king of the solar dynasty as per the Hindu religious texts.
Raja Harishchandra was one king who never lied and always kept his promise, so much so that when the great sage Vishvamitra told him of a promise to donate his entire kingdom in his dream, he immediately did it. Moreover when he had no money to pay “dakshina” to the sage he sold his wife and son to a Brahmin and himself to a guard at a cremation ground. Raja Harishchandra was so dedicated to his work of collecting tax at the cremation ground that even when his own son died and his wife brought him to the cremation ground for funeral; he insisted on her paying the tax. By this time Raja Harishchandra has forgotten his wife and son; but his wife had a boom that she and Harishchandra would recognize each other when he sees the manglasutra. When Harishchandra recognized his wife and son, he was stuck by pangs of agony.
Even at this time of great agony and despair he didn’t forget his duty and asked for the tax to cremate his son. Harishchandra’s wife had a saree, half of which was used to cover the dead body of their son. She offered her lone dress as the tax, which Harishchandra could accept and perform the last rites of their son. As soon as she proceeded to remove her dress – Gods appeared and seeing their integrity towards the job they took up blessed them with their kingdom and installed their son as the King.
After reading the above story we can point out that value of following the righteous path. I would like to stress again that this is the path of great hardship and difficulties and a lot of integrity is required to be on this path. From the above story it can also be concluded that people who believe in karma, always follow the righteous path; this can be termed as the third big message of my article. Our karmas play a pivotal role in shaping our personality and it is these karmas that keep us on the righteous path.
Righteous is one path which is very difficult to follow, often people following this path are tempted to take a U-Turn and do what others i.e. the unrighteous ones are doing. But as we can see from the photo of the lady of law i.e. also our topic of discussion, the weights of the unrighteous may be very heavy but it will not last long. It is individuals who follow the righteous path who finally get justice…also would like to point out that the individuals following the righteous path are tried and tested on very occasion.
As stated in the opening paragraphs, that the entire article is about discussion of individuals who have followed the righteous path, it would be incomplete, if we didn’t include Aung San Suu Kyi, let’s make the fourth big message that I want to give from my article – “righteous people add life to days; whereas unrighteous ones just add days in their life”
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate – Aung San Suu Kyi had been detained / house arrested for 15 of the past 21 years. She has been influenced by both Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence and by Buddhist concepts. It is her pure faith in the righteous path that she is following that one day the country of Myanmar (Burma)...would be declared as a democratic country. Her efforts and patience is already been seen when the military Junta decided to release her in November 2010. My fourth big message is also very much applicable on Aung San since she celebrated her 65th birthday in jail with biyarni and chocolate chakes; simple adding life to her day.
As I have stated the challenges and contradictions that individuals face following the righteous path, can be clearly understood after reading the above paragraph about Aung San Suu Kyi. We can definitely say with full confidence that her patience in following the righteous path has paid off and the country of Myanmar, is heading towards a new era.
Individuals following the righteous path are extra ordinary minds and what they do; others follow. For these individuals there is a very important mention even in the Bhagwat Gita where Krishna says: - “whatever noble persons do, others follow. Whatever standard they set up, the world follows. (Gita-3.21)” Noble persons in the above sentence can be termed as those following the righteous path.
The Taraju or the scale as it may be called just confirms what I have been saying all through my article. Let the weights of unrighteous may of any strength or value; but when it comes to righteousness it simply tilts in its favor. The Taraju is a great symbol of justice, the lady of the law shows us the way forward. She teaches us that even though she has been blind folded - justice would always be done, it might be delayed for some time but never denied.
I would like to end my article by quoting from Anushashana Parva, where Vrihaspati tells Yudhishthira:
'One is born alone and one dies alone; one crosses alone the difficulties one meets with, and one alone encounters whatever misery falls to one's lot. One has really no companion in these acts. The father, the mother, the brother, the son, the preceptor, kinsmen, relatives, and friends, leaving the dead body as if it were a piece of wood or a clod of earth, after having mourned for only a moment, all turn away from it and proceed to their own concerns. Only Righteousness follows the body that is thus abandoned by them all. Hence, it is plain, that Righteousness is the only friend and that Righteousness only should be sought by all. One endued with righteousness would attain to that high end which is constituted by heaven. If endued with unrighteousness, he goes to Hell. Hence, the man of intelligence should always seek to acquire religious merit through wealth won by lawful means. Piety is the one only friend which creatures have in the world hereafter. Let by cupidity, or stupefaction, or compassion, or fear, one destitute of much knowledge is seen to do improper acts, for the sake of even another, his judgment thus stupefied by cupidity. Piety, wealth and pleasure,- these three constitute the fruit of life. One should acquire these three by means of being free from impropriety and sin. (KMG-Anushashana.111)
Notes: Various Internet sources have been used while writing this essay.
Workshop # 17
Act! Oh, Goddess of Justice! by G. Venkatesh
Advocacy by Dr. Raj Vatsya
Against All Odds by Shernaz Wadia
Animal Farm Again by T. A. Ramesh
Before The Bench by Kamal Wadhwa
Blind Justice Symbolism by Rajha Rajesuwari Subhramanium
Blind to Hypocrisy by Jayaprakash Raghavan Pillai
Can Justice Reach India’s Toiling Masses? by Dr. Uddipan Mukherjee
Coomaraswamy’s Last Stand by Kamal Wadhwa
Encounter by Shernaz Wadia
Give Humanity A Chance by Rupradha Mookerjee
Gizzards by Afanwi Stella
How Long, Oh Goddess of Justice! by Dr. Kumarendra Mallick
In A World of Big Lies... by N. S. Murty
In Defense of A Committed Judiciary by Kamal Wadhwa
In(Justice) by Ramesh Anand
Is Justice Blind? by Nikhil Sharda
Is Justice Humane? by Shibsankar Bagchi
Is the Statue of Lady Justice Relevant in India Today? by Ganesh Joshi
Just Justice by Dr. Madhavi Godavarthy
Justice Delayed: Justice Denied by Bharat B. Trivedi
Justice Delivered by Janaki Janar
Justice for All by Mukesh Williams
Justice in Adversarial System by Dr. Raj Vatsya
Justitia Versus Justice by Ramesh Anand
Lady Justice by Ramesh Anand
Lady Justice’s a Pretty Nice Girl by Dipankar Dasgupta
Lost is Our Humanity by Rupradha Mookerjee
Miss Justice, a Villanelle by Steve Talbert
Mother Justice by Prof. Siva Prasad Peddi
On Her Blindness by G Swaminathan
Order by Dr. Raj Vatsya
Reform or Perish by Rajinder Puri
Reforming India’s Judiciary by Rajinder Puri
Rejoice! by Pavalamani Pragasam
Righteousness is Divine ... by Deepak Yadav
Self-realization through Internal Justice by Prof. Siva Prasad Peddi
Shall We? (Tyburn) by Ramesh Anand
She Laughs at It! (Senryu) by Ramesh Anand
Strength of a Woman by Yogita Tripathi
The Lady Justice's Lament by Ramesh Anand
The Lady of Justice by Supriya Bhandari
The Origins Of Justice by Gaurang Bhatt, MD
The President's Pardon by Jayaprakash Raghavan Pillai
The Public Prosecutor by Kamal Wadhwa
The Social Base by Prof. Siva Prasad Peddi
Universal Justice (NONET) by Ramesh Anand
Whatsoever (Limerick) by Ramesh Anand
Who Am I? by Dr. Shirisha Dabiru
Why? by Pavalamani Pragasam