GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
IT is said that small courtesies of life cannot be brushed aside. Many may not know that ‘pardon day’ has special significance abroad especially in the United States. Saying “sorry” requires a lot of courage. Mahatma Gandhi said: “The weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” The words ‘apologise’, ‘plead’, ‘excuse’, ‘condone’ and ‘pardon’ mean different but in common usage pardon has come to be used interchangeably. In polite expressions, to forgive somebody for what they have done, or said, constitute the act of pardon. Legally, the act of showing mercy has a rich historic base. The roots of the ‘pardon day’ can be traced to the US when president Gerald Ford pardoned president Richard Nixon for the latter’s alleged involvement in the Watergate scandal on September 8, 1974. Forgiveness has the power to change the world. That also says a lot about the contrasting aspects of legal address and personal outlook. Researchers have proved that the act of pardoning somebody adds to the happiness and longevity of the forgiver. Pardoning has the ability to induce into the forgiver a feeling of forgetting about the past and ponder about the future. Forgiveness or pardon can be seen as an act of the will though the heart is somewhere else. There are sceptics of ‘pardon’ as well who feel easy and loose pardons attract offence. The words of former US president John F Kennedy who famously said that though one should be quick to pardon someone, the latter’s name shouldn’t be easily forgotten, rings in many ears. The world is filled with hate and jealousy, scuffle and clash. A smile on the lips, and a gush on the face may melt the most stubborn of wrongdoers’ hearts. A day spent in excusing the impossible may indeed be a day well spent.