“Democracy is a continuation of war by other means.”
* * *
There is chatter from the back. It is filling the room making it hard to concentrate. It did not help the situation that all the dailies had featured the story on their headlines.
THE DAY OF RECKONING IS FINALLY HERE. Another one. IT PROMISES TO BE THE BATTLE OF THE MILLENNIUM. Yet another one. THERE IS EXPECTED TO BE BLOOD ON THE STREETS.
The reporters had already arrived in earnest. Notepads were already ready for scribbling. The cameras ready to start clicking and flashing away. The video cameras were rolling already. There was no moment that was to be missed.
The public was also present. The public gallery was full. Once in a while a curse was thrown in the air as someone was pushed or shoved. Most had no particular interest in the case. It promised to be a spectacle though (who doesn’t love a free movie once in a while?)
“…court is in session,” the bailiff concludes.
Those words are followed by a sudden silence as everyone gets on their feet.
* * *
Judge : You may be seated.
(A moment passes, the judge waits for the courtroom to settle down).
Judge : We are gathered here today for the hearing on the matter of Case No. 1820 of Nature versus Man pertaining to criminal charges against man.
(Nature and Man are seen to be nodding in agreement).
Judge : I also see that the both of you have opted to be your own representatives. The prosecution may make their introductory statement.
Nature : Your honor, thank you. As the prosecution, I will present evidence to this court to support the criminal charges against man of destruction of the planet earth. It is my hope that this court finds Man here…(points at Man) guilty beyond any reasonable doubt and pass the worst form of punishment.
(Fumbles with the pile of papers on the table).
Nature : If found guilty, the prosecution will move to have Man served with a jail sentence. Also I will move to have the court compel Man to immediately seize the destruction and start conservation of the environment. That is all.
Judge : The defense may make their introductory statements.
(Quickly jumping to his feet).
Man : Your honor, I would like to begin by saying that the defense will do all in its power to show that the accusations brought before this court are nothing but malicious allegations.
(Pausing for a moment, composing himself).
Man : I will also strive to prove that, actually what my learned friend is referring to as destruction of the environment is nothing more than us surviving. We are simply doing all that is within our grasp not to be wiped out by some of environment’s extremities. That is all for now.
(Before Man is even seated Nature fumbles with documents on her table. She gets up ready to address the court).
Nature : Your honor, if you may. I would like to present some new evidence that the prosecution has just obtained.
(Springing to his feet).
Man : Objection your honor, the prosecution cannot be allowed to present evidence that the defense has not yet reviewed.
Judge : Is this true?
Nature : Your honor, we have sent them this evidence and told them to review it.
Judge : What is it?
Nature : Witness statements your honor. Statements from normal people and experts on matters environment. It is a clear documentation of the history of destruction that has been and is continuing to be carried out by man on the environment. If the court may allow me to quote one of the experts who says that, “the planet is literally being bled to its death.”
Man : Your honor, I do not think it would be prudent to allow this evidence to be submitted while the defense is still reviewing it.
Nature : But…Your honor, we sent them the evidence sometime back. Also the prosecution feel that admission of this evidence to the case would make this case a Prima Facie.
Judge : Elaborate…
Nature : Your honor, this evidence will show beyond a reasonable doubt how Man is destructive and could also point to either insanity or…
Man : Objection! Your honor, I request that you find my learned friend here in contempt of the court. She seems to be out to defame me…
Judge : Sustained, Nature I will not allow you to use words in my courtroom that are to say the least insulting.
Nature : Pardon me your honor.
(A member of the defense team leans in and whispers something to Man. He quickly gets up).
Man : Your honor, I would also like to bring forward a new development in the case.
Judge : Elaborate.
Man : The defense has launched investigations into allegations of bribery and witnesses recanting their evidence. We suspect the investigations will reveal that really all Nature has brought to this court are nothing but foolish accus…
Nature : Objection!
(There is giggling from the gallery. Things are heating up).
Judge : The both of you, approach the bench.
(They approach the bench and lean in to what the Judge has to say).
Judge : (speaking in low tones). I will not have the both of you turn my courtroom into a stand up comedy. You have to be civil and professional or else. Have I made myself clear?
(They nod in agreement. The Judge signals them to go back to their tables).
Man : Your honor, with the latest developments the defense would like to request the adjournment of this hearing. This will give us time to complete our review and get the results of the pending investigation.
Nature : Objection! Your honor I don’t think that that is necessary. The defense is only trying to stall.
Judge : Overruled. The prosecution may proceed and submit the new evidence as exhibit. Also in light of the new developments, I adjourn this hearing to a later date.
(The judge leaves the courtroom. The noise fills the air almost immediately).
* * *
In the media stand, one of the journalist is already typing away furiously on his phone. He hits publish and the headline goes online. THE BATTLE LINES HAVE BEEN DRAWN.