The Bribery Allowance

Laghu Katha

Damodardatt Dixit

English Translation : Dr. Pramila Garg

In the ancient times, nobody used to take any bribe in this forest. All the officials of the government did their work honestly and truthfully. Gradually, 10% officials started taking bribes, but then they were treated like untouchables. The honest officials would not allow them to sit near them and the corrupt ones were taking bribe at the cost of social humiliation and ostracism. Gradually, the ratio of bribe takers increased from 20%, 30%, 50%, and 70% and continued increasing till 90%. With this percentage, their respect also increased accordingly. Now taking bribe was a matter of respect and had to be worshipped and was becoming a thing to be proud of. Those 10% officials who did not take bribe, out of which 7% did not get the opportunity to take the bribe and the rest of the 3% were considered stupid and cynical. That's why they could not take bribe.

Because of universality of bribe, officials were happy, but the infamy of this forest was spread in other forests, and their residents started scoffing and hating the people of this forest, to the extent that many jokes became popular about the bribe taking tendency of this forest. The king of the forest, lion Deerghskandh felt very unhappy and humiliated because of this international infamy. He called his 'Law and Company Affairs' minister jackal Kreedak and put the problem before him. Kreedak advised that all the Government officials should be provided with bribery allowance, so that the habituated bribetakers would stop taking bribe and our international image would improve.

It was decided to give the bribery allowance of Rs.500 per month. But in spite of the allowance, the officials did not stop taking bribes. Their logic was "What can one do in mere 500 rupees these days? It is almost getting or not getting it."

Since the Government did not see the desired successthey increased the bribery allowance. The bribery allowance was as much as the pay. Still the officials did not stop taking bribes. On the opposite, the rate of bribes increased many folds. Now they had the argument: “Birds and animals, if the government rate of bribe allowance is so much, so there is no question of taking less bribe."

The jackal Kreedak's experiment was an absolute failure. Now the government was not in the position to stop bribe allowance. For once, whatever facilities government officials got, it was impossible to stop it. All Forest Government Officials' Association was always sitting on their heads. Thus, the bribery as well as the bribery allowance continued. King Deerghskandh also continued moving and his minister Kreedak too. The ordinary animals and birds were the only ones who were lying stationary, nailed by bribery as before.

This is not to feel bad, it is a matter of priesthood – “Tushyanti Bhojane Vipra"(Brahmins are pleased with food). Those who do not do the collective feeding of Brahmins are surely to get into hell!