The Incorruptible Judge


BOTH BOYS and girls love good plays and interesting stories. In many parts of this country, they look forward eagerly to the evenings when, in the lovely moonlight, they join their parents and elders in narrating beautiful legends, the stories of their ancient ancestors and interesting folk-lore. They will often tell and re-tell these stories or even act them the following day until the evening brings them again to hear more, keeping them out of their beds long after they should have been asleep. Such is the delight children derive from stories and plays.

A part from this, good plays also stir and develop the imagination. Young people have a ready way of identifying themselves with the heroes and heroines of the plays they read. For good plays help them to put themselves in the place of other people, thereby enlisting their interest and sympathy. But whether plays are regarded as a means of escape from reality or simply as a way of purging their souls of pent-up emotion and unreleased energy, very few educationists are likely to doubt the value of an interesting play in the education of a child.
It is with these aims that I have written some plays for our young boys and girls. Many adults, too, will find them revealing and interesting; for they cannot but remind them of the stories and legends which they already know. Instead of a long prose narrative, they will see and hear the actors and actresses engaged in interesting dialogue, and this may even provide them with an opportunity for studying human motives and behaviour.

The plays are easy to act. They do not require elaborate costumes and apparatus as it is very easy for young boys and girls to imagine or assume the appearance of the characters in almost any given situation. The type of costumes should therefore be determined by the size of the purse of the producer. Few detailed directions have been given, in order to give room for flexibility in production and allow the actors and actresses to develop and use their imagination.

The plays are also simple in construction. The Incorruptible Judge is about a young school-leaver who applies for a vacancy. Instead of giving the bribe of five pounds demanded of him, he reports the matter to a policeman, and this leads to thecorrupt employer’s arrest. Despite all the attempts made to influence him by his father-in-law and an important Chief, the trial Judge proves incorruptible. The corrupt officer is eventually convicted and sent to prison amidst the wailings and weepings of his relatives and friends.

Considering the theme of this play, one might easily conclude that it is primarily meant to teach morals. This is not so. Its primary aim is to entertain. Nevertheless, and play which deals with matters of general interest such as seeking a job, demanding and taking a bribe, the arrest and trial of an unscrupulous employer, etc., cannot but contain some fundamental truths or illustrate some underlying morals. As this does not detract from its entertainment value and appeal, I leave the interested reader to deduce and profit by it, if he can.

Finally, the English used is simple and conversational English. This, I feel, will be found very helpful in our schools, where students often find it rather difficult to think, converse, and discuss things readily in English. The dialogue is lively and interesting and of the kind the pupils will require in day-to-day affairs and activities. The polite way of making or refusing a request, and the indignant way of answering an insult or an act of treachery and bad faith will, no doubt, be of some help to the readers in their human relationships. There is also the court scene which, I think, should interest every layman, old or young.