The Black Order

The Poona Bar Association is in a black mood. It disapproves of the High Court’s order that lawyers appearing in a court must wear the black gown and the white collar which have traditionally given an air of distinction to lawyers everywhere. It is perhaps not unnatural that modern men should try to avoid circumstances that may bring upon them such inconvenient nicknames as the Black Brigade. But they would have had a sporting chance in Poona if they had stuck to their first reason, namely that black absorbs heat and is therefore an unsuitable colour in a tropical country. However, the Poona brigade would not stop with that. They proceeded to say that black colour was not in keeping with the Indian culture and tradition.’ This shows the High Court up as anti-Indian culture and tradition, alas! Of course, we dare not ask the gentlemen of Poona what exactly is the colour that will not violate Indian culture. We suppose they will suggest some vegetarian hue as yet undreamt of by pedestrian minds. Meanwhile, let us hope that the august business of law courts will not one day be in the hands of bright men clad in technicoloured robes in the name of culture.

January 24, 1961

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