Time and again I have thought of how difficult it must be for the conscientious minds to deal with decisions that have a long term impact on the lives of the people. I wonder how can educated responsible people take irresponsible decisions and call them ‘principled’ or based on some well defined ‘laws’ .
There may be professions like school teachers, doctors, judges and religious priests who deal with human life directly and whose decisions are likely to have long term impact to individual or a group . Call their judgements –report cards, diagnosis, verdicts or fatwas respectively—whatever you call them—can make or break the individual or group upon whom it is given.
My personal experience as a mom, have seen first hand, how much impact a sensitive school teacher has on his/her pupils–be the teacher be good in his/her subject or not. A teacher who reassures students in their difficulties or supports them when not doing well, does a long favor on their growth and development, than an accomplished teacher who scolds or reprimands a pupil for not living upto the expectations.
Similarly doctors deal with patients– with all kinds of physical and mental problems—need to be sensitive to thier judgments or the diagnosis of the patients. The evidence in the medical science has proven that those doctors who deal with patients in a humane manner, seeing beyond what is visible and keeping the patient’s psychology in view while giving a diagnosis, not only succeed in developing a better patient–doctor relationship, make patient more compliant and have better chances of successfully treating a patient.
What is common in both such teachers and doctors is their sound training or knowledge of Human Psychology. Thankfully psychology has been incorporated in the curriculum of both the teachers and the doctors. I wonder if judges too undergo a training on the basic know how of human psychology . But certainly religious preists are not—leaving aside some who are naturally inclined towards it.
For religious priests its could be understood very well, that they are an unregulated profession and especially our Mullahs are trained purely to understand only the literal meaning of the laws in the religion. For instance talking of issues like rape, abortions, divorce—the laws are so men oriented—with no consideration to the psychological impact these cold-blooded laws have on womenfolk. Similiarly in the case of blasphemy law— no consideration is given to the fact that it is a ready recipe for anyone to abuse the law for personal vendetta by inciting mindless emotions into people. View it from the eyes of a psychologist—it is an easy terrorizing tool. I think if the maulvis, or priests of any faith, would understand psychology and that the power of love and compassion was far more overpowering than ‘fear psychosis’ in creating better followers of God—they would all end up being Dalai Lamas of their own religions.
Similarly after reading through the text of the judgment of Mukhtara Mai verdict, it becomes really compulsive to think how mandatory the knowledge of Psychology is for the judges too. In fact in some parts it even seems that these learned judges even lack common sense .
“It is unbelievable that the boy for ‘shame’ would not tell the true story, lose the chance of liberty and the sympathies when Maulvi Razzak along with the police had reached the spot for rescuing him, …”
How naive of the judges not to know this simple psychology of the majority of children fallen victim to such incidents, do not disclose it to anyone, be it their parents or close of kin.
And to base as evidence the fact that the lady had no injury marks on her body as a doubt on whether the crime —again compels me to ask the judges to read the psychology of the woman who has been overpowered by four men in dark and being raped—is left with no physical and mental stamina to struggle.
And then failing to consider that many rape victims and their families are not in a state of mind to report the case right minutes after the incident. It takes them a lot of rethinking, and time to gather courage to come forward with the complaint.
Moreover research has proven the presence of effects of stereotypical beliefs and hindsight biases on perceptions of court cases.
The fact that the judge wrote that the victim complained because she could not marry the rapist is one glaring example of the preconceived notion of a judge with Feudal mindset.
If only along with the big fat books on Law, they read in their curriculum, a thin manual on Human Psychology their thinking process would differ.
Judges too are human beings and their mindsets must definitely be a bearing on their judgments too. A dash of training in Human Psychology would come a long way in their profession.
With recent advances in human psychology and many other scientific tools to know the truth from lies, judges still base their knowledge on their archaic principles of ‘witnesses’ and raw ‘evidence’.
Shouldn’t they be looking through the third eye into the unseen evidence of the cases they judge??