Says Michael Benjamin
There is a popular fable about the lion and the mouse that denotes the strength of even the feeblest of creatures. The author narrates the incident about a lion trapping a mouse for his meal.
The hapless mouse, knowing that he could hardly match the strength of the lion, resorted to wheedling. For one moment the lion felt like God. Whatever caused him to consider his options and release the mouse we will never know but he did.
So grateful was he for his life that the mouse promised to repay the act of mercy some day. The lion scoffed at the thought of having to depend on the tiny creature for any such mercies.
The story goes on to place the lion in a position where he was trapped in a huge net set by hunters who needed his pelt for taxidermist purposes. It was here the little mouse came in. He gnawed away at the ropes until the lion was able to walk out—a free lion. The moral of that story is obvious.
These days we are confronted by several similar scenarios where the weak is taken advantage of by the strong. These days, also, there are hardly any kind hearted lions that consider the plight of the mouse. We live in a ‘dog eat dog’ world where the strong nurture no qualms of devouring the weak; the rich, none of devouring the poor, and the fortunate, totally oblivious to or unconcerned about the plight of the unfortunate.
What is really happening in this country? It seems as though everyone is concocting some kind of scheme to dupe unsuspecting citizens of their hard earned dollars and possessions and those that are suffering have nowhere to turn in order to seek recourse.
Being a journalist is a tough job especially when one is faced with the many complaints from among the proletariat whose only course of redress is the media.
Sometimes these very individuals turn to the police for help but are given the royal run around simply because they may lack the requisite funds or influence on par with their nemesis.
The old cliché that ‘money cannot buy everything’ and ‘learning is better than silver and gold’ may ring true but given a chance, most people would choose the acquisition of hard greenbacks than Diplomas, Degrees or Post Graduate accomplishments.
Life is fraught with dangers for the person devoid of hard cash to address daily needs and requirements since even securing one’s freedom rests on the weight of their bankbook.
I fail to understand a system that frowns on the activities of drug dealers, yet when persons of such ilk appear before a magistrate or judge, charged with trafficking and bail is considered, it is so prohibitive that one had better be selling illicit drugs or tingling in unlawful activity to procure the bail money.
Someone once said that laws, like bones, are made to be broken and while I would be the first to denounce this theory, I wonder just what differentiates law abiding citizens from criminals.
Someone also said that the law abider is the one that is not caught in his nefarious activities while the law breaker is that one stupid enough to get caught.
A police officer once told me that any member of the Force could stop a driver and plaster several legitimate charges on him even though his vehicle may have just passed the certification test.
An individual might have just passed the certification test and shortly afterwards his lights may malfunction; or what about the person who replaces his tyres with those sold by some second hand dealers.
When the police conduct a check he/she could deem the tyres faulty and issue a charge to the driver.
We take a candid look at the sexual laws that have recently been enacted. Whereas before it was unheard of that a man could be charged for raping his wife, the situation has undergone stringent changes.
According to my lawyer friend, the woman could engage in ravenous foreplay and one second before her partner gets into the act, changes her mind.
If that man, despite the obvious discomfort or ability, fails to exercise restraint, he could be plastered with a rape charge. Wow!
Ever since the police decided to outlaw dark tinted windows on motor vehicles there have been outcries by many citizens. They are saying that the tints protected the interior of the car from the raging rays of the sun.
The police have said that they are only permitting certain categories of vehicles to display dark tints. These include members of the diplomatic community and any other that may be deemed fit, based on special permission from the Minister of Home Affairs.
When the law to ban tints was enacted the reasoning was that many persons were using their vehicles to commit crimes. My memory might be a bit inaccurate but I think it was the Monica Reece brouhaha that instigated the law.
Recent reports are that many are forging the signature of the Minister of Home Affairs to avoid persecution after tinting their vehicles.
Then there is the issue of cars that are manufactured with tinted glass. The word is out that citizens that purchase these vehicles are given a mere six months reprieve after which they are required to remove the screens or face prosecution.
There have been no dissenting voices of the importers nor has anyone suggested that the Customs authorities block the entry of these vehicles. Once again the rich prevails while the poor is made to ‘suck blows.’
I have serious problems understanding any law that works for one section of the population while another section receives immunity from those very laws.
The suffering of the poor class grinds away at my conscience every time I am confronted with those woeful tales. That is why I could not help but applaud the ruling of the Chief Justice (Ag) Ian Chang ordering the police to return the weapon seized from a citizen who I am convinced was a victim of circumstances.
I recently observed the ruling of Justice William Ramlal who dismissed a murder charge based on the shoddy work of the police.
There are many other cases in the courts that have received similar treatment and even though the perception is that the justice system has failed the society we must accept that unless checks and balances are enacted the strong would always try to devour the weak.
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