Patience and Tolerance:  

Speech Sub-titles:


   "JUDICIAL ETHICS A definition"    

   "Things necessary to be continually had in remembrance"     


Hon’ble Shri R.C. Lahoti,
Chief Justice of India  
First M.C. Setalvad Memorial Lecture
Tuesday, 22nd Februa ry, 2005.     
at The Gulmohar Hall, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road,  New Delhi . India.

[ for exact contents of Lecture visit official web site of Supreme Court of India]

Speech Sub-titles:

(i) Restatement of Values of Judicial Life (1999)     
                                                                       (ii) The Bangalore Draft Principles  
(iii) The oath or affirmation by Judge

    "Oath of a Judge _  analysed "     "Independence and Impartiality"         
Four Qualities in a Judge" 

 "Conduct of Judge in private"     "Patience and Tolerance" 
"Rational Utilisation of  Time"       "EPILOGUE"

Patience and Tolerance:

        The greatest quality of a Judge is to have patience which is sister virtue of calmness.  Calmness is as essential as fearlessness and honesty to the exercise of good judgment in times of aroused feelings and excited passion.

        Patience implies the quietness or self-possession of one’s own spirit under sufferance and provocation.  Since it has a tranquillizing effect, patience is the best remedy for every affliction.  The Bible says that if patience or silence be good for the wise, how much the better for others – unwise or not so wise.  Sometimes we turn our anger upon the person responsible for hurting us; we are also likely to blame someone for any kind of mishap.  By learning to be patient, one can cultivate the art of reigning in bad temper and hasty decision-making.  Patience yields many good things.  It is also a necessary ingredient of genius.  Patience can solve problems, avert wars and disasters, and lead us to the path of truth.  
The power of patience leads us to self-inspection, to the admission of errors and the capacity for forgiveness.  A learned man tells us  that misfortune can be turned into fortune through wisdom.  The acquisition of wisdom needs five steps.  The first is patience, the second is listening, the third is understanding, the fourth is pondering and the fifth is practice – all qualities needed in a judge.  To be patient one has to be humble.  To cultivate patience, anger management plays a crucial role.  “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty and he that rules his spirit than he who takes a city.”  The world exists only because of self-restraint exercised by the mighty.  Power coupled with impatience can be very dangerous.  Leaders and Judges who are impulsive are greatly feared and are considered impractical.  Anger begets violence and cannot be easily repressed.  At times anger is provoked by misunderstanding and may actually have no basis in reason.  Anger can be subverted with forgiveness.

One of the ways to be patient is through tolerance.  Tolerance recognizes individuality and diversity; it removes divisiveness and diffuses tension created by ignorance.  Tolerance is an inner strength, which enables the individual to face and overcome misunderstandings and difficulties.  A tolerant person is like a tree with an abundance of fruits; even when pelted with sticks and stones, the tree gives its fruit in return.  Without tolerance, patience is not possible.  Tolerance is integral and essential to the realization of patience. [31]

[30] C. Ravichandran Iyer   v.   Justice A.M. Bhattacharjee & Ors.,   (1995)  5 SCC 457, para 21, per K. Ramaswamy, J.

[31] Ezekiel Malekar, Lessons on Patience and Tolerance, The Speaking Tree, The Times of India.