The Memorable Birthday Wish time.
A student of visual journalism sharing the class space with seven others to make a total of eight. Since we were visual journalism students, we had a special subject to study, the history of cinema. We got a superb teacher, Louis Mathew, who in every aspect was an appropriate one to take classes on cinema. The historic film persons like Orson Welles of the Citizen Kane, whom he introduced to us through his memorable lectures and charming film slides were truly inspiring.
One day on a class time, he hurled towards us a seemingly aimless question after telling a parable. The parable and question somehow went like this:
“Look, here is a man traveling on a cycle and on the opposite side there is another one travelling on a car. They collide each other but nothing happens except that both of them find themselves with a broken tooth each... “
What a situation, we wondered.
“…Look, so this is the situation. Both of the accident-victims have the same loss. There is no difference in that. But here is a variation in the situation. Let me make all of you a part of this story. You are the judge and you have a thousand rupees exactly to share between both of the victims,” he explained the story.
Glancing over a row of opened mouths, Louis continued, “I want an answer from you all; how will you share the money between the cyclist and the one with the car. Will you share it fifty-fifty or will you give someone a little more than what you give the other one?” he looked at everyone of us over the specs one by one inquiringly.
I had no doubt, and at once I said, “Why doubt? It is fifty-fifty, it does not look like big problem, because justice cannot be biased.” I cleared my view point.
But to my amazement, every other one of the class unanimously opined that they would give more money to the cyclist.
“Why?” I wondered.
To my embarrassment, Louis said, “If I was the judge, I would have given more money to the cycle rider.”
I felt isolated and glanced at every one to find at least one supporter among them.
Louis consoled me, “don’t worry friend, you are not wrong, but you are right”.
Dear blogger friends, I insist each of you to make your view point before reading henceforth.
I asked him, “Sir what you mean?”
He explained, “I mean what I said, when you answered that you would share the money fifty-fifty, it was not a wrong answer. You said your opinion from your view point and motivated by your own thinking, that’s why I said, you were not wrong, but you were RIGHT. You are politically biased to the right wing.”
“In such a situation, I will give more money to the cyclist. Because I know that a five hundred rupee note is not equivalent to both the poor cyclist and the car owner. A person who knows this difference is LEFT and I am LEFT’, Louis explained.
“This does not mean that you are wrong. Both of us are right. The only difference is that you are RIGHT and I am LEFT.”
Now I understood, and was deeply consoled by his explanation. I know that my ideology is at some points slanting towards the right wing policies. Not in politics, but in every aspect of social life, that is my view point, I am a believer of the right wing ideology.
But, what was your answer?