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What is it to err or not to err?
In trains, co-passengers, to 'pass' their time, often discuss current events and issues by turning things upside down. It is all the more a habit with the daily passengers and office-goes who stay in satellite towns and go for jobs in nearby cities. They do discuss issues but in a gossip-y way and in a lighter mood.

At times, they use proverbs, half-forgotten quotes, dialogues from movies and lines from popular songs to drive home their points.

"What is all this fuss created around Dera Baba, everyone seems to be erring? Is everyone out to prove that they are humans and hence have a right to err? May it be Baba's followers, the police or politicians. You know, there is a film song with wordings somewhat like this: Insan galatiyon ka putla hai, aksar galati ho hi jati hai. Baba has already proclaimed that he was an 'Insan' – an ordinary human being."

The other co-passenger said he was reminded of a proverb in this context that he had read in his high school English book that went somewhat like this: To err is human, to forgive is divine. I had always wondered, whether the proverb was telling that it was being 'perfect' to be like an animal or err to prove your humanity. You see, all these proverbs have a catch in them, they work as a tool for the dominant and powerful people to misguide the gullible and keep them so, he concluded.

One of them was a bit serious kind and seemed to be well read, since he always carried an English book with him to brush up language. When asked to give comment, he said he would like to quote Vittorio Alfieri, who had once said, "To err is human; but contrition felt for the crime distinguishes the virtuous from the wicked." The institution of justice was finding out that 'what kind of insaniyat was being enacted' by the alleged.

It reminded me that some time ago, a politician in UP had justified the sexual crime by young sons of the 'powerful' people of the society by saying, 'boys will be boys' and it was 'normal' for them to prove their 'boyhood' by objectifying girls if they (girls) would 'dress themselves in unbecoming ways'. This finds validation in the quote of Mae West: "To err is human, but it feels divine."

To me, to err is to be incorrect, to misjudge or to be mistaken; and errors need be prevented by developing rational-ethical thinking skills, or else, one would remain as inhuman in the garb of human. A zero-error life is true life, it's being human. So, think ethically before you leap or else you will err like a fool.

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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