Tuesday, March 06, 2012

THE LAW IS AN ASS-N.C.Surya

Administration is impersonal. The administrator is a person. The law is impersonal. The lawyer is a person. Law is said to be an ass. Its movement depends on the carrots in front and the driver behind.


The interaction between the impersonal and the personal is the basis of social movement. Conscious awareness of such interaction leads to positive progress: blind, reflex submission leads to corruption and chaos.


It is worth repeating: The administration is impersonal. The administrator and those whom he administers are persons. The meaning of this statement can best be illustrated by the statement that Law is an ass. It simply means that any administrator or lawyer who entirely identifies himself with the law or who answers every question by supporting himself entirely on numerous blue books, himself becomes the ass. 


An ass is to be guided, goaded, driven, ridden and understood in the interests of administration-that is to say for the ministration, to the needs of persons. If rules and regulations were to master the situation entirely then it will be the ass which will be guiding and riding the master with effects too obvious to mention.


Much of our present chaos lies in this situation wherein the rule which is the ass and the ruler who is the driver get reversed. It becomes comical when the driver newly become ass wears the halo of a martyr. 


Let us take the example of one such martyr. “You know” he says with a sigh, “I go strictly by the regulations Yes one hundred per cent by the regulations”! He says this to his wife, his friends, clients and also to himself. Of course, he gets up in the morning and starts for the office. To the bus stand which is opposite his house, he walks strictly on the pavement on the left, walks half a mile till he comes to the point especially meant for pedestrians to cross the road. He waits looking right, left, then piously crosses the road and walks another half mile down on the other pavement to the bus stand opposite his house. No, Sir, he will not under any circumstances walk straight across to the bus stand, rain, thunder and even if the road is deserted. No, Sir, he will not because rules say that pedestrians must use pavements and cross roads at specified points. Proceeding in this highly regulated manner, the ass sometimes reaches the office by accident or by Grace of God.



On occasion another thing happens. He is just leaving the house. His child has fallen from the terrace and is unconscious. His wife shouts and howls-No, Sir, our martyr will not stop. Regulations say that Casual Leave requires prior sanction. Even in this chaos he quotes the relevant rule to his wife and proceeds to his cemetery which is his office.


The fun of it is that this is, most unfortunately, not the case. If so, no ass could ever reach the office with regulations as they are and the country would be prosperous. In fact, majority of these martyrs cross the road directly, stay back to look after the child and so on. Only, once they reach the office they make everyone else a victim of their martyrdom at the altar of the Law, the Deified Donkey. An ass is bad enough-but when it is human at home and a demon in Office it is menacing.


Another facet of the Ass requires examination. It is common knowledge that every regulation is a set of words and the validity of any one interpretation rests on the power behind the interpreter, the money, the cleverness of the lawyer, the disposition of the judge and so on. Our progress has become stifled and muddled to an extent not found in modern societies, by the ease and lavishness with which we proceed to law courts and the opportunities provided for it. The loophole in one regulation is sought to be covered by another which immediately throws open another and so on and so on.  We have allowed ourselves to be committed to the mantra ‘Law’. Repeating this over and over again we become that which we worship-the Ass on mass scale. No japa has been performed and propitiated with such elaborate ritual and rigour, devotion and decour.  Then we are mightily surprised at the actual realisation of our goal, the Law and the Deity behind it. “Oh, we are all asses, our people are fools, donkeys-we are, oh, what stupids and so on”. May the High Priests of our destiny realise in time that a Gracious Divine always grants our sincere prayers and we become That which we worship.


It would be the beginning of a truly human revolution when we pass just one more Law: That every book of regulations carry the picture of an Ass on its cover and every Office should have a guilt framed Ass on its walls, a gold statuette of an Ass on every administrator’s table, silver ones for the juniors and tin ones for the non-gazetted officers. This procedure will help to remind the officers that there is a choice-to ride the Ass or be ridden by it, to be ruled by the rules or to rule the rules. It may also be helpful to display the angel of ministration riding the Ass. This will symbolise the essence of administration of Law-the angel of ministration riding and guiding the Ass of Law.


Let us not waste our precious time ad money attempting the impossible-the endless amendment of the essential nature and functions of an ass by costly barbering and tinkering.


May the eternal goddess of Ministration-the synonym for Mind and Mercy hidden in every officer fearlessly ride the utterly unamendable Ass inherent in all Law.

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