Guest Post: The Delicate Balance (a poem on IP)


Has for its readers,

A post so unique,

Don’t miss it, we plead!

A poem on property and on greed,

A poem on existential realities! 

We are pleased to bring to our readers a lovely poem written by Dr. Raman Mittal. Dr. Mittal teaches at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi.

The Delicate Balance

Dr. Mittal

Man was a hunter and when he started to gather

Law and property were then born together

When was it? It’s not in my memory’s lather

We know it riding only on imagination’s feather

When things were available in nature for free

Then they belonged to the marauder’s spree

To avoid the disputes being decided by blood

The norm of ownership then sprouted like a little bud

From movable to immovable the bud continued to grow

Things then belonged to the sweat of the brow

Man’s labour was the subject then to protect

To own more became a matter of respect

Limited were the things created with labour

But man wanted to own more than his neighbor

Intellectual creations were added to the list

Man then wanted to capture whole world in his fist

When ‘exclusive’ was the genre of all his right

Drunk he became with the wine of his might

Bothered he was not about the people’s plight

Who would then give the mighty a fight?

To transmute to order from such a chaos

‘Public interest’ soon came across

Though one is still permitted to own

But of sharing you cannot now be shorn

As the people’s lawyer laid bare this plea

It were the masses who shouted out with glee

But wait! Are we not approaching the same old spree?

Where all things were set just for free

Public interest came as a gift to wonder

But even this can verily become a plunder

Is it in man’s destiny to go round and round?

And continue eternally with the same old wound?

Owning and sharing must go hand in hand

For expression, for invention and also for that famous brand

Striking this balance is like playing with glass

Delicate it remains even for the men of class

~ Raman Mittal


Aparajita Lath

Aparajita graduated from the WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata. She was formerly an editor of the NUJS Law Review. She is a lawyer based in Bangalore. All views expressed by her on the blog are her personal views.


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