Saturday, 26 September 2020

Flaw In Law

Updated: January 24, 2015 6:00 am

THE law is an ass. And that is precisely the flaw in law. Had the law not been an ass, had the law been a monkey instead, things would have been delightfully different for Tommy. A few weeks back Satiricus had written about Tommy the chimp who has been kept in a cage somewhere in the US and had filed a case in a court of law against his illegal imprisonment. Primates being nearest humans, Tommy had argued (through his human representative) that being caged violated his human rights. After two years of judicious deliberation the judge, alas, has ruled that, to quote the opening sentence of the New York Times report, “apes aren’t us”, and so apes have no right to ape us humans in everything.

Tommy the chimp’s case was filed by an organisation called Non-human Rights Project. Now that, wordsmith Satiricus finds interesting. Despite his professionally poor knowledge of English he happens to know that “non” and “in” are prefixes meaning the same thing—”not”. But do non-human and inhuman mean the same thing ? Satiricus has heard that phrase “human rights of inhuman terrorists”, but is Tommy a terrorist? Fortunately for the simian society, no. As a non-human he cannot exercise the inhuman right to kill hundreds of small kids in the name of pak religion. The court has also ruled that Tommy the chimp could not be considered a “legal person” because of his “incapability to bear any legal responsibilities.” Well, now, because of a degree in law under his belt and despite his illiteracy as a journalist Satiricus must admit that this is a legally valid observation. Legal responsibilities are indeed in the domain of lawyers, law-makers and law courts. Tommy certainly cannot bear the onerous responsibility of Pakistani law courts to let known terrorists walk free due to a lamentable lack of sufficient evidence. Nor can Tommy be legally required to laugh out of court a law recently made in an American state according to which feeding a poor, hungry person is a crime because “meal-sharing” has been made illegal. All in all, Satiricus would like to point out to Tommy that he is better off as nonhuman than inhuman.

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