Both Algu and Sahu stated their cases. They were cross-examined and the case was considered deeply. Then Jumman stood up and announced, “It is our opinion that Sahu should pay Algu the price of the bullock. When Sahu bought the bullock, it suffered from no disability or disease. The death of the bullock was unfortunate, but Algu cannot be blamed for it.” Algu could not contain his feelings. He stood up and said loudly over and over again, “Victory to the panchayat. This is justice. God lives in the voice of the Panch.”
Soon after, Jumman came to Algu, embraced him and said, “Since the last panchayat, I had become your enemy. Today I realised what it meant to be a Panch. A Panch has no friend nor enemy. He knows only justice. Let no one deviate from the path of justice and truth for friendship or enmity.”
Algu embraced his friend and wept. And his tears washed away all the dirt of misunderstanding between them.
Jumman and the villagers listened to what both Algu and Sahu had to say. They were questioned in great detail. After the interrogation, Jumman and the villagers discussed and looked at the case from various perspective. After a while, Jumman stood up to pass the judgement.
The verdict was in favour of Algu. Jumman said that Sahu should pay the price of the bullock to Algu. The bullock was healthy when Sahu bought it from Algu. Its death was sad and coincidental, but Algu was in no way responsible for that. Hence, it is only fair that Algu get paid for the bullock he had sold to Sahu.
Jumman passed the verdict in favour of Algu
Algu became very happy hearing the verdict. He wasn't expecting Jumman to be fair, given their enmity. He was so happy that he stood up and said loudly, "Victory to the panchayat. This is justice. God lives in the voice of the Panch." Since he had lost all his hope prior to the verdict, he became quite uncontrollable; he wasn't able to contain his happiness, and he kept expressing his gratitude towards the Panchayat and the Head Panch.
Algu was so grateful and relieved
Being a Head Panch had also made Jumman realise the mistake he had done. He also understood why Algu had passed a judgement against him during their first case, as the Head Panch should always deliver justice, and knows neither enemy nor friend. Jumman came towards Algu and hugged him. Between the two panchayats, a lot had happened in the lives of the two best friends. The previous panchayat turned the best friends into arch-enemies, and the current one turned them back to the best of the friends. But more than that, the experiences helped them change their perspectives and personalities into better versions, and their friendship grew stronger.
The friends embraced and were reunited
The moral of the story is that one should choose justice and truth over anything in this world. In the words of Jumman, no one should ignore justice or truth in the name of friendship or enmity. Both these friends demonstrated this moral effectively. Algu stood with truth and passed the judgement against Jumman despite the latter being his best friend. Likewise, Jumman's hatred towards Algu didn't prevent him from delivering justice. Through the story, it becomes evident that truth always triumphs, and that it will never harm us in any way, and instead, will help us to win. Therefore, honesty is always the best policy.
Meanings of difficult words from the paragraphs:
Inability; a physical or mental condition that limits a person's or an animal's movements, senses, or activities
|Wept||Cried; shed tears|
Enrich your vocabulary with the following words from the explanation:
|Interrogation||The act of questioning, especially in a legal or judicial system|
|Perspective||Point of view|
|Accidental; happening by chance|
|Gratitude||The quality of being thankful; appreciation|
|Arch-enemies||A person who is extremely opposed or hostile to someone or something|
|Triumphs||The condition of being victorious|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Honeysuckle. Fair Play - Premchand (pp. 84 - 90). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.