In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan. In it, a Jewish traveler is beaten, robbed, and left half dead along the road. First a priest and then a Levite come by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by.
Though it was his enemy, he could not pass him by and leave him on the road, perhaps to die. He examined his wounds and bound them up; doing all that he could to soothe them. Then he lifted him carefully on his own beast, and brought him to the nearest inn, and took care of him through the night. The next day, when the Samaritan departed, he paid the man who kept the inn, and said to him, “Take care of this poor man until he is well, and whatever it may cost for his lodging and food, that I will pay thee when I come again.” But he did not give his identity card or his name. (Smart fellow!!!)
Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured Jew. Jesus tells the parable in response to the question of who one’s “neighbor” is.
The colloquial phrase “good Samaritan,” meaning someone who helps a stranger, derives from this parable.
The Samaritan did everything he can, except he did not reveal his name to the inn keeper. Smart indeed, otherwise he could have been summoned for giving witness and could have suffered from all the harassment of the law keepers of the time.
“Whom so ever it may concern”.
I was pondering on this story while I was sitting waiting to be called and to be cross examined by the lawyers in a civil court recently. The reason I was called is for giving a medical certificate by my good Samaritan registrar, for a patient who sustained injury some 8 years ago. The civil case was of a road traffic accident, the injured person trying to get compensation from the insurance company. The entire process of grilling by the lawyers went on for nearly 45 mnts. I must say the Judge was sympathetic to me.
The judge indirectly hinted me not to give certificates like this so blindly in the future- “Whom so ever it may concern”. It was a lesson learned in a hard away.
TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN.
Normally when you want a letter of reference or recommendation or a conduct certificate or a certificate of experience which can be used to be presented to any body at a later date and where you are not addressing to any particular firm or person or organization such an open form of certificate is obtained. This is an open letter or certificate of statement.
This is like giving some one an uncrossedÂ blind cash cheque. It can be a boomerang.
Why are most people in India unwilling to help road accident victims?
We read in daily news paper and see pictures of people standing at the site of accident and doing nothing, as onlookers. While the victim is lying smashed in the road and crying for help. All stand still as witness to heartless incident.
One cannot blame these onlookers, for not doing the duty of a citizen, once they had experience of answering many questions and at times harassment of the police and keepers of the law.
The main reason of people in India don\’t stop to help accident victims is the way our medico-legal framework is structured, it leads to unnecessary and prolonged engagement of people stopping to help. You will be summoned to give evidence, appear in some court of law, may be after so many years and may be at a court in a distant place.
Things are beginning to change but not at the pace that they should. Most people are still not aware of India’s Supreme Court rulings that clearly state a person who brings a victim to a hospital cannot be detained for questioning. The person’s responsibility ends the moment he brings the victim to a hospital.
Unless we begin to practice these rights, and make others aware about this, things will either not change or change only at a very slow pace.
It is not that people are unwilling to help the accident victim, but they don\’t because they feared harassment from the police and the law.
Time for introspection of all those concerned.