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Essay on “Truth” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.



  1. Attributes of truth and the anatomy of a lie.
  2. ‘Development of the equation Truth = Goodness Light =* Lies = Evil = Darkness
  3. What happens during an eclipse.
  4. Historical and literary parallels depicting attempts to extinguish truths.
  5. Truth and its connotations-half truths and white lies.
  6. Antithesis of truth is not only falsehood.
  7. Conclusion.

The word ‘truth is an abstract noun, but we use many adjectives to describe it: the plain truth, the simple truth, the honest truth, the sober truth, the exact truth, and so on. From these phrases it emerges that truth may be associated with plainness, simplicity, honesty, sobriety, accuracy-all desirable, ethically correct virtues.However, we also use expressions like the bitter truth and the naked truth and this hints at the fact that truth is not always palatable or well-clad. It is often an impediment, an embarrassment, a disappointment or even a threat. When truth becomes an unwanted stumbling block, we resort to a cover up called a lie.

If we probe the anatomy of a lie we come up with all that is undesirable, imperfect, corrupt, negative and vicious in human nature. In other words all that is bad or evil. And the word evil instantly conjures up visions of black darkness. And this completes our allegory and balances the equation. Truth is light, and every falsehood symbolises darkness; and every time we lie we are actually attempting to obscure light and bring on darkness.

What we must discover is whether one can succeed in snuffing out the candle of truth altogether. Is the prevaricating darkness final or does the darkness at noon give way to blinding light as is observed in an eclipse?

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon occurring at foreseeable intervals when a temporary shadow is cast on the sun or the moon by the moon or the earth respectively. The key word in this case is ‘temporary’. After a predictable time-span, as the celestial bodies continue on their fixed orbits, the shadow passes and the sun, or the moon, resumes shining in all its glory.

It is to be seen whether the same is the case when an untruth tries to eclipse the truth. History gives us countless abiding examples proving that truth has sometimes been obscured, but never obliterated. The most poignant example is, of course, of Christ the Messiah who was betrayed by a lie. He was labelled a rebel, tortured and crucified, all because Judas raised a lying finger at him. Yet the truth Jesus Christ stood for could not be wiped out and emerged as one of the foremost religions of modern civilisation.

Yudhishthira, the man who was righteousness personified in the great Hindu epic The Mahabharata, led an exemplary life. Nevertheless on the legendary battlefield of Kurukshetra he was made to take advantage of the death of an elephant called Ashwathama, to loudly announce the death of a Kaurava warrior (and the son of Dhronacharya) by the same name. He was advised to do this because the announcement would have the effect of causing Dhronacharya to lay down his arms and that would be a boon for the Pandavas. But though the Pandavas won Yudhishthira was penalised for the sole falsehood uttered by him. He was denied entry into Heaven because of it.

Shakespeare’s plays often underscore the triumph of good over evil, virtue over vice, truth over falsehood. King Lear refused to accept Cordelia’s stark declaration of filial love preferring the glitzy lies of his elder daughters. But lies do not last as Lear discovered and when the truth eventually dawned on him he had lost Cordelia forever. Similarly Macbeth tried to realise his political ambitions by committing his first murder and then found himself on a voyage of lies deceit and more lies, which eventually caught up with him destroying him and re-establishing truth

Tolstoy based his epic novel War and Peace on a similar theme. Tolstoy believed that truth, beauty and goodness combined was a force potent enough to vanquish evil forever. His target of attack was Napoleon who, he believed, symbolised all that was evil. To counter the antihero represented by Napoleon, Tolstoy created Andrei, who stood for all that was good, beautiful and true

After the Napoleonic era in France we find several aspirants to the throne of France who claimed Bourbon descent. They came to be called the ‘Pretenders’ as they sought refuge behind a lie causing Metternich to formulate the Theory of Legitimacy which put an. end to all such pretension. But France passed through a period of confusion and anarchy while the Pretenders attempted to obscure the truth.

Closer to our times Hitler’s theory of Aryan supremacy was a chilling and vicious lie that threatened the whole of mankind. For a while it looked as if he would succeed in strangling civilisation and exterminating not only Jews and non-Aryans but the very essence of truth as well. However, truth. represented by the Allied powers, emerged triumphant and the world got a new lease of life.

So from Socrates to loan of Arc, Watergate to Whitewater. it is a repetition of the same old story. As former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher is reported to have said, “Of course it is the same old story. Truth usually is the same old story.” Time after time it has been proved that all attempts to obfuscate the truth have merely succeeded in temporarily casting a shadow on the light but never in completely overshadowing it. And. usually, the longer and darker the tunnel of lies the greater the brilliance of the light of truth at the end of it.

In the modern everyday world too, there is fresh evidence daily of the subversion of truth for various reasons. Scams and scandals rock economic and political foundertions at frequent intervals but the very fact that they are labelled as such indicates that the eclipse will be over and the truth will soon be out!

What then constitutes a subversion of truth? It is not simply a case of “Johnny lohnny/ Yes Papa / Eating sugar?/ N0 Papa / Telling a lie / No Papa / Open your mouth / Ha-ha-ha!” Though even in this elementary and simplistic representation of truth Johnny does not manage to get away with his lie. Lies come in all shades and degrees covering the entire range from black to white. White lies are not considered a threat to or a subversion of truth and are usually condoned. Black lies amount to a subversion of the truth and come in for condemnation. A doctor’s attempts to make the lastdays of a terminally ill patient a little easier by withholding the truth about the illness falls into the first category whereas a lawyer’s attempt to withhold infometion and thereby save a client being tried for murder surely comes under the second.

Then again, truth does not merely mean an accurate statement or representation of facts-it stands for everything that is good and right. Thus its converse is also not merely misrepresentation of facts, but all that is wrong like tyranny, oppression, brutality, hatred, corruption and vindictiveness. It is when reason becomes clouded that truth is eclipsed. Thus the triumph of reason becomes the triumph of truth. There is a beautiful Latin expression “Magma est veritas et praevalebit” or “Greatness is truth and it will prevail.” Though it may discomfit and hurt us at times, (as the American columnist Arnold Glasgow put it, “Truth will ouch”), no bushel will suffice to hide its luminescence. “Satyameva jayete” says our national emblem and the phrase has been taken from the Upanishads which are considered the fountainhead of Truth. And we chant “Tomaso ma jyotirgamaya” in a prayer to the Almighty to lead us from the area of darkness to the kingdom of light where the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth prevails. And it is in the nature of things that an eclipse is not everlasting. So too, truth may be hidden for a while but it shines out ultimately.


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