Untold Words of Mr. Knot: Democracy in Stories 21 – Common Ground 16 By: Khandker Habib Ahmed (All rights are reserved by the author) (Consecutively after last section) Conversation on democracy is being continued on an open public ...
Untold Words of Mr. Knot: Democracy in Stories 21 – Common Ground 16
By: Khandker Habib Ahmed
(All rights are reserved by the author)
(Consecutively after last section)
Conversation on democracy is being continued on an open public bench beside the Yankee Stadium. Passion for democracy in Gulshan is increasing gradually as well. Mr. Knot is very happy thinking that at least one person has taken his lessons on democracy seriously. The Latte drink of Mr. Knot has reached almost at the bottom.
Mr. Knot: Are you O. K., Gulshan?
Gulshan: Yah, I’m O.K., Mr. Knot….’
Mr. Knot: How old are you?
Gulshan: 45…never tell anybody though….People think that I am 38…How about you?
Mr. Knot: Almost 52….People think that I am a young man of 60….Ha…..ha…..ha…
Gulshan: What does it mean? Can anyone be young at 60…?
Mr. Knot: It is possible…if the mind is so…Listen Gulshan, you need to go for a walk every
morning or evening. Our body needs movement at this age. In addition, you need to cover at least 60% of your plate by fruits or vegetables. It is my thumb rule for food intake. I just revealed the secret for being young at 60. Alright, I was talking about your ‘hooks’…..
Gulshan: Yes, Mr. Knot…..
Mr. Knot: I have already told you why ‘hook’ is important for us. When people have no option
except following the rules, they will do so without any question. Hence, a provision of punishment must be there. For instance, under-covered law enforcement personnel may be employed at the locations of foot-over-bridge, polythene-clogging, garbage disposal etc. If anyone is in violation of the rules, law enforcement personnel could take the national ID number and give the person a notice to appear before the court. They could reply to that notice through postal mail to the court concerned even without appearing in person. To this end, some courts could be established like traffic court, environmental court etc. These courts are called misdemeanor courts to resolve disputes on minor violations.
Gulshan: But, who will pay for running these courts?
Mr. Knot: Why? You can get it without spending. I believe that you can afford the cost of
running those courts by the revenue earned from fines imposed for these violations.
Gulshan: Mr. Knot, we are operating the mobile courts for such misdemeanors as mentioned. Do
we still need these courts?
Mr. Knot: Listen Gulshan, I think that in a third world country like Bangladesh, mobile court
could operate. However, it is not a long-term solution. Your goal would be to make people accustomed to abide by the law. At first, both mobile court and the misdemeanor court should be allowed to run parallel. When people gradually understand the process of law in those matters, mobile court will no longer be needed. Besides, the court is a place of fine line analysis, which is almost not available in mobile court system. In any immediate measure like mobile court, the accused has very less opportunity of self-defense. That is why it cannot be a suitable long-term solution. Did you understand the ‘hooks’ Gulshan?
Gulshan: Yes, Mr. Knot. Alright, do you have any experience of paying fine like this?
Mr. Knot: I never paid for any parking ticket. Yet I have seen many very closely to do so. In last
fifteen years of living in the United States, only one time I paid fine for throwing a piece of garbled paper in a subway station. I did so because there was no garbage bin nearby. I would put it in the bin if I could find one there. Court did not accept my point of argument for negligence on part of the station management. Besides, the court did not accept my defense of ignorance of law. It said that ignorance of law is not a defense. However, in my opinion, the court could issue a notice of alert to the station management for its mismanagement and, for the same reason, mitigate the degree of fault by lowering the amount of fine.
Gulshan: How much you paid for it, Mr. Knot?
Mr. Knot: First, the directive was to pay US$ 50.00 (US dollar fifty only) and later an additional
US$ 25.00 (US dollar twenty five only) for a delay in paying for two days. Let’s give up this point of discussion. Did you notice one thing, Gulshan?
Gulshan: What is that, Mr. Knot?
Mr. Knot: Whatever I said so far, it is nearly all about that second ‘step’ (emphasizing on the
practice of rule of law and rightsof people so that a rule based society could be
framed). Isn’t it?
Gulshan: Yes, Mr. Knot. Is this enough you said so far about the second ‘step’ of your first
‘task’ (finding a common ground) for establishing the ‘streamlined democracy’ in
Mr. Knot: Oh! No Gulshan. To implement the second ‘step’, I will talk about a few more ‘roads’,
one or more of which could be used for such implementation. Although the ‘roads’ are
alternatives to one another, together they can result in synergetic effect. I will tell about
these ‘roads’ later.
Gulshan: Mr. Knot, I hear a phrase ‘agree to disagree’ at times, even the Ministers and Members
of Parliament of our party often reiterate it. Is it about democracy? Can you explain it?
Mr. Knot: Of course, Gulshan. Yes, this is about democracy. However, it is not automatic. That
means, you may have a different opinion, but it must have rationales. If you do not explain the justification of your dissension, it may not be accepted by the people. You must explain why you have a dissent opinion. Your disagreement will not be accepted, not even in democracy, without sound basis and clarification. Not only that, there must be very strong arguments in favor of your disagreement. For example, in higher courts, the Justices can write dissent opinions in their verdicts delivered. Say, a bench has seven Justices. Four of them have delivered opinion in favor of an issue while others dissented. All of them have provided individual opinion along with reasoning and explanations. Thus, the phrase ‘agree to disagree’ is not intuitive. It must be accompanied by clear explanation with sound arguments. A simple dissent will not be accepted as a word of democracy. I hope that I have been able to help you understand the matter, Gulshan.
Gulshan: Yes, Mr. Knot. You are a very good man. I would like to tell you one more thing…
Mr. Knot: Yes, tell me.
Gulshan: You can frame your arguments in many different ways about something happened,
right? If so, how would you set ‘priority of rationales in decision making’, Mr. Knot?
Mr. Knot: This is a very important question, Gulshan. But I will not tell you now though…
Gulshan: Alright, Mr. Knot….
(To be continued)
Tags: Thumb rule, hooks, misdemeanor offense, mobile court, mitigation, misdemeanor court, agree to disagree, and priority of rationales in decision making.
[Disclaimer: A Few Words for the Esteemed Readers: The character(s)in this writing is (are) fictitious. They have no real existence. In addition, the main character, Mr. Knot, is merely an embodiment of a tough and complex knot whose scope of wandering is the entire world. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that whatever stems from the dialogues of these characters or their analytical breakdown is true for the most part and merits active reflection of the esteemed readers in light of the real situation. Again, either in the dialogues of the characters or in the events, at least an issue, petite or hefty, has been unfolded with its proper description, scope and in-depth analysis along with a signal for likely solution, if possible, to it. If any reader has a dissension, other opinion, comment or suggestion, he or she may please inform the writer by an e-mail message or on Face Book or skype. My skype ID is: Khandker.ahmed898. The e-mail address is: email@example.com. Because the characters are fictitious, whatever the description or analysis thereto, there is no reason of contempt for any person or party. Therefore, I request the valued readers to count all explanations or explorations herein as merely an academic pursuit or from a research perspective. Thank you. Khandker Habib Ahmed, August 26, 2016, Bronx, New York]