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god lives in the panch

By 99882630 Oct 25, 2014 1101 Words

The focal theme of the story is upholding justice. The entire story shows the life of folks, their sufferings, their disputes, their faith in God , and their loyalty and justice. Like God who is totally objective and detached, a judge ought to be impartial, fair and just. On the village level he is known as panch. When he sits on the seat of Justice he does nothing but justice. Justice is supreme for him. He rises above his whims and fancies, beliefs and prejudices. His voice is, and ought to be, the voice of God. The story ‘God Lives in the Panch’ brings home the idea that justice knows neither friendship nor enmity. Jumman Sheikh and Alagu Chowdhari, the two good friends, prove it by personal examples. Jumman receives some property from an old aunt. He promises to look after her well. The arrangement works well for a couple of years. But then Jumman and his family begin to neglect and maltreat the old lady. When the aunt protests and demands a monthly allowance to set up a separate kitchen, Jumman refuses to oblige her. She takes her case to the panchayat. Algu, the dearest friend of Jumman, was nominated as Chief of the session. The village court has a good system for selecting the Chief. The nominated Chief has to be accepted by both the parties. Premchand might have thought that a permanent judge could indulge in corruption to kill the truth. ‘The truth is a triumph’ is being practiced by them effectively. These judges have no friends and enemies, poor and rich, literate and illiterate, human being and non-human being but it is their main duty to protect the justice. Algu is in a difficult situation now whether he will save his friend or keep justice. After hearing the grievances of both the parties, he uttered the verdict, “Jumman sheik! The panches have considered the matter.It seems to them that your aunt should be paid a monthly allowance. It is our opinion that there is enough income from her property to pay her such an allowance. This is our decision. If Jumman is unwilling to pay her the allowance, the agreement should be cancelled”. Man’s primary duty is to be just and true. It is righteous people who support the world. According to the Bible, obedience to the law or uprightness of the spirit was rewarded with joy such as abundant harvest, deliverance from misfortune and conquest of enemies. The judgment delivered in the panchayat divided the friends. Instead of honouring the judgment ,Jumman wants to take revenge on Algu. Life is a mixture of evil and good, ups and downs, merits and demerits. The serpent enters into Algu’s life in different forms. Sometimes the righteous will have to face problems. Unfortunately this has happened in Algu’s life through a trader. A sale deed brings Algu to the panchayat. When a charge is framed on anybody it is to be proved by him only in the court. The trader, Samju Sahu, purchased an ox from Algu on credit. The trader thinks that the ox will pull his cart and make him affluent. Unusually he used the ox for more than four trips from the village to the market every day. This greedy trader didn’t feed the ox properly. The food is the only energy for cattle which is working hard to improve the man’s business . One day, the ox was not able to pull the cart because of lack of strength . It had become like a skeleton and it died on the way. Premchand here has planned a good punishment to the trader. He kept the money and tins of ghee in the cart and started sleeping. When he woke up he found that he had lost his belongings. Instead of realizing his mistake , he blamed the ox and Algu. Samjhu charged Algu as having sold him the sick ox. He and his wife denied giving back the credit. The argument between them made the villagers suggest a meeting of the panchayat. Jumman, who was waiting for a chance to take revenge on Algu, has been nominated as Chief of the panchayat . Whether the judge is a friend or a foe, he has to uphold justice . The knowledge of one’s responsibility helps to improve one’s relationship with others. Whenever we behave badly this inner realization helps bring us back to the right path. As soon as Jumman Sheik was appointed sarpanch, he felt a similar sense of responsibility for his high position. He thought, “I am sitting on the highest throne of justice and dharma. Whatever comes from my lips will be treated with the same respect as if they were the words of God. I must not stray even an inch from the truth”. His speech proved that whoever the judge may be the truth will always win at the end. After hearing the petitioners’ points, Jumman pronounced the verdict, “Algu Chowdhari and Samjhu Sahu, the members have considered your case very thoroughly. It is only proper that Samjhu should pay the full amount for the ox. When he bought the ox, it was in good health. If he had paid cash down at the time, the present situation would not have arisen. The ox died because it was made to work very hard, and it was not fed or looked after carefully” The entire crowd joined in ‘God bless the sarpanch’. Everyone praised the decision. This is not the work of man; God lives in the heart of a panch. This was His blessing. Before the panch, falsehood was swept away. Algu and Jumman earlier forgot their friendship, and now they forgot their enmity; but , they kept the morality of their lives. Jumman embraced Algu and said, “My brother! Ever since you became sarpanch and decided the case against me, I have been your deadly enemy. But today I learnt as a panch that I am neither anybody’s friend , nor anybody’s foe. A panch cannot see anything except justice. Today I am convinced that God speaks through a panch’s lips”. This is a characteristic story in Premchand’s repertoire. Man is a mixture of good and evil. He falls, but ultimately recovers. This is almost a Rousseauque faith in the innate nobility of man a faith undermined in many cases by the sophistications of civilization. Premchand believes that the village justice is impelled by the compulsion of spirit to do justice, forgetting evil qualities like rancor and grievances. Such justice is rare even in village society, driven numerous ways by differences, prejudices, caste-groupings, superstitions and dogmas.

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