Most of the persons familiar with the English language would be aware of the Biblical character SAMSON and consequently DELILAH. But not many would be aware of the fact that there was another Philistine woman whom SAMSON had married- her name is not mentioned and probably that is the reason why Delilah has upstaged all the other women SAMSON had cohabited with.
So the Biblical story goes that SAMSON found this lady from Philistia and was enamoured of her and contracted a marriage with her. As was the Philistine custom, feast would be given to the couple by the bride’s family for ten days and during the feast days men folk related to the bride have to spend time with the groom.
SAMSON put a riddle to those 30 men from the bride’s side, and the riddle goes something like this- OUT OF THE EATER CAME FOOD AND OUT OF THE STRONG CAME SWEETNESS, WHAT IS IT?
The background story was that SAMSON was confronted with a lion and he killed it, many days later, when he passed by he found that bees had built a comb inside the carcass of the killed lion and SAMSON took the honey and ate that. Therefore the answer was LION and HONEY- which means: out of the dead Lion came something to eat and from the strong Lion came sweet honey.
After the initial nine days the 30 men were not able to answer the riddle, so they pestered SAMSON’S newly married wife and SAMSON, being weary of her nagging, gave away the answer. Subsequently those gentle men wangled the answer out of Samson’s wife.
When the 30 men answered SAMSON’S riddle, Samson says, “HAD YOU NOT PLOUGHED WITH MY HEIFER, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE ANSWERED MY RIDDLE!”
The interesting imagery is about using a HEIFER to plough. Nobody ploughs land with a HEIFER, as a heifer is a young cow which has not calved. Heifers are nurtured with care for their milk and bringing calves. Oxen, bulls and buffaloes are used for ploughing the land but never a cow and much less a heifer. Samson refers to his young wife to a ‘YOUNG UNCALVED COW’ !
In that one answer Samson showed how these men had threatened a callow cow and taken the answer out of her, instead of finding the answer to the riddle through their imagination or finding out the facts of the life of Samson and using deductive logic!
Now-a-days INNOVATION, PATENT, SOCIALISM, AFFORDABILITY OF MEDICINES are enveloping the media reportage! But the question is WHOSE INNOVATION? and WHO WANTS TO ENCASH SUCH INNOVATION?
The answer is that the generic drug manufacturers want most of the patent drugs to become OFF-PATENT so that they could produce bulk drugs and sell it in the market and make huge profits without the sweat of having done any research. In short, everyone wants to plough with others’ HEIFERS!
WE INDIANS, should encourage not only INNOVATION but also protect the products and processes which are the by- products of such INNOVATION.
To state that the PATENT sought is nothing but an incremental change not meriting the term INNOVATION is a tool used by the unimaginative and the dumb. Nobody remembers that before Edison arrived at TUNGSTEN as the filament for the incandescent bulb, he had to try 999 elements and compounds and abandon them . Even if Edison had serendipitously discovered TUNGSTEN as the material ideally suited for bulbs before trying those 999 material, he cannot be denied the fruits of the HOPE he nurtured that ‘there must be some material ideally suited for the filament, which I have not as yet discovered but I WILL PUT IN AN EFFORT TO DISCOVER THAT MATERIAL’. It is that HOPE coupled with EFFORT which is to be rewarded.
Clubbing HOPE, EFFORT & PATIENCE under the head of INNOVATION is nothing but over-simplification of HUMAN ENDEAVOR. Let us not plough with others’ heifers instead let us find our own bulls, oxen and the like, for reaping our rewards!