George Orwell on corrupt judges


Have been reading “Burmese Days” by George Orwell and his description of the corrupt and conniving judge U Po Kyin, who ruins innocent people for his profit. This part of Orwell’s book has become more relevant, real and interesting to me after my experiences at Larisa court.

Watching the excellent judge this morning  work her way efficiently through twenty cases (most of the involving banks) and issue her postponements while sitting underneath a picture of Jesus Christ hanging on the wall, it occurred to me I could write a book called “Larisa Days.”

“Judge Tsipras, civil court judge of Larisa in northern Greece, was sitting in her veranda. It was only half past eight but the month was April and there was a shimmer in the air, the threat of long, blistering midday hours. Rare breaths of wind from Mount Olympos, carrying a coolness down into the  Thessaly plain, stirred the dew drenched olive trees that she had planted in a straight line at the border between her patio and garden. Beyond the olive trees she could see the dusty trail left by a SUV and then the burning marine sky.  On the path, a few scorpions scuttled into the shade.”

Back to the subject, in Orwell’s Burmese Days, U Po Kyin dies unexpectedly though natural causes just as he destroys his victim, an honest doctor, and so is deprived of the chance to accumulate the virtue that even he instinctively knows will lead to him having a better fate in the next life.

Orwell’s motto is, there is a higher justice. That justice is dispensed by God.

“U Po Kyin had done all that mortal man could do. It was time now to be making ready for the next world — in short, to begin building pagodas. But unfortunately, this was the very point at which his plans went wrong. Only three days after the Governor’s durbar, before so much as a brick of those atoning pagodas had been laid, U Po Kyin was stricken with apoplexy and died without speaking again. There is no armour against fate. Ma Kin was heartbroken at the disaster. Even if she had built the pagodas herself, it would have availed U Po Kyin nothing; no merit can be acquired save by one’s own act. She suffers greatly to think of U Po Kyin where he must be now — wandering in God knows what dreadful subterranean hell of fire, and darkness, and serpents, and genii. Or even if he has escaped the worst, his other fear has been realized, and he has returned to the earth in the shape of a rat or a frog. Perhaps at this very moment a snake is devouring him.”

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/o/orwell/george/o79b/

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