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#SalmanVerdict: Jackfruits and justice
Jackfruits have always influenced the delivery of the justice. Wonder "how"? Read the following story…

Long, long ago, there was a jungle under the monarchy of a bear as there were no tigers and lions in it. It was inhabited by animals, insects, reptiles and birds who believed in peaceful co-existence.

It was spring season and a black drongo (Black drongo is a small Asian passerine bird of the drongo family Dicruridae) flew into a tree and sat on a branch. After a few moments, a little bird which was sitting on another branch with a poignant face caught the attention of the drongo. It was a black hooded golden oriole, a bird that builds its nest, lays eggs and sings in the spring season.

The black drongo was surprised to see the gloomy face of the golden oriole as it was supposed to be happy and singing. So, it went over to her and asked about the reason. The black hooded golden oriole said that whenever it tries to build a nest, a mischievous monkey breaks down the branch.

She had pleaded so many times to the monkey to spare the branch where the nest was built but the monkey didn't give a heed. Moreover, the monkey makes it a point to destroy that particular branch where she builds her nest. And that had made her helpless and sad.

The black drongo was an activist kind of bird. It felt that it should make the monkey understand its mistake. Forest is a place for peaceful co-existence. But, the monkey was too ill-behaved and rowdy to even hear about it, let alone realizing its mistake.

The black drongo took a stand and discussed the issue with other living creatures of the jungle to take the matter to the king. Everybody nodded in affirmation that it was an unjust act and the monkey should be punished for troubling the little bird.

Finally, the matter was brought to the bear's (The king of the jungle ) court. Black drongo was the advocate for the golden oriole while Mr Jackal was the defender of the monkey. Debates went on. Finally, the bear was convinced that "the monkey" was a culprit and it should be reprimanded.

Just as the bear was about to give the verdict, Mr Jackal prayed to adjourn it till the next day so that they can produce some more facts/witnesses to prove the monkey innocent. Mr Jackal was granted a "date – the typical characteristic of the justice system" and the proceedings were rescheduled for the next day.

The next day at the court, the bear looked at Mr Jackal and asked it to put across fresh facts, if any. The Jackal stood up and said, "Your honor, it will be wrong if you give your verdict looking at one side. You should look at both the sides of the matter and then proclaim your judgment," while making the bear look behind. There was a "big ripe jackfruit" kept under its throne. The mouth of the bear started watering. It looked up and gave a harsh glance at both the birds, particularly at the black hooded golden oriole.

Then, the bear said that the monkey was an animal with a natural instinct of hopping on the branches and it had the right to hop on any branch it wished to. Golden oriole was the culprit who had brought the matter to the court to defame the monkey. So, it should be punished for that.

The birds and the other creatures were shocked to see the "change in judgment" by the king. They returned depressed as they had lost the case. They were confused on "what changed the King's verdict". At that moment, a sparrow came to them and described the real matter. It was a sinister plan of the duo, the monkey and the jackal who had kept that "big ripe jackfruit" the night before as a bribe for the king that had changed the game. As the sparrow lived on the same tree, it was aware of the plan.

What happened next, was bound to happen. All the creatures united against the king and went to the court, where they saw the king gulping the jackfruit's bulbs extracted by the monkey and being served by Mr Jackal. The scene infuriated them even more and they simply beat them up and expelled them from the jungle. The elephant was made the king. Peace and justice were established and the jungle echoed with the songs of the black hooded golden oriole once again.

I had read this story in a text book of Odia language in elementary school. The name of the story was "Vihanga Biplav – Bird Revolution". The moral of the story that was taught to us was that we should stand united against "injustice and unfairness" as an entity in a civilized society, to put an end to it. But today, I feel that the actual moral of the story is "jackfruits (read money) always have a strong influence in the delivery of the justice or judicial system as they have the power to change verdicts".

Nothing could be more ludicrous than exonerating actor Salman Khan earlier in the "land cruiser hit-and-run" case and now in the case of poaching of a chinkara and a blackbuck by the courts.

Moreover, it is even more nonsensical that it took years for the judiciary to realise that nobody was behind the wheel of the land cruiser that drove over six people sleeping on the pavement near the American Bakery (killing 1 and injuring 5) and that the deer probably killed themselves as the "pellets were not shot from the licensed gun" of the accused actor.

Isn't it ridiculous? Not only did it make a mockery of the judiciary but also reaffirmed the fact that if you have enough jackfruits (read money) to feed the people involved in the judicial proceedings, you can "certainly" swing the verdict in your favor. Justice is for sale, if the rich are willing to buy it. Let alone Salman Khan, I have hardly seen a rich or influential person getting convicted.

Furthermore, whenever such people require bail during court proceedings, the judiciary – that often moves at bullock cart speed for common people – suddenly begins to move at jet speed and provides them bail within hours.

The Twitter world (co-incidentally "a bird" icon) is abuzz with many sarcastic tweets with the hash tag #SalmanVerdict . But, it's a virtual world and not a forest. Wisdom demands a "revolution" in Indian judiciary, so that it can utter justice. We claim ourselves to be civilized, but don't have the guts to challenge injustice.

I wish we would have been living in a jungle to bring about a revolution in our judicial system. But, the reality is that "jackfruits will keep influencing justice and the judiciary". #Fact.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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