Bribery And Corruption

When Trivikram was king of the ancient kingdom of Avanti, corruption was rampant amongst his ministers and high officials.

To end these malpractices, he decreed that any minister or official found guilty of corruption would have his nose cut off. The execution of this punishment was assigned to the king’s barber.

Early one morning, happening to look out of his palace window, the king saw his executioner barber having a heated argument with two of the condemned officials. Curious to know what it was all about, he sent for the prisoners and asked, “Why were you having such a heated discussion with my barber?”

“Your Majesty,” replied one of the condemned officials, “the barber was telling us that he has two knives, which he keeps to cut off the noses of people like us. One has a sharp edge, and the other is comparatively blunt. He charges a fee of one hundred rupees for using the sharp knife to cut off an accused man’s nose and only fifty rupees for the blunt knife. If he uses a sharp knife, the job is finished very quickly. But if he uses a blunt knife, the accused has to suffer much more; it takes much longer to cut off a nose with a blunt knife than with a sharp knife.”

King Trivikram was astounded by what he heard. He decided to teach his barber a lesson by having his nose cut off and his tongue cut out. In this way, he felt sure that his subjects would think twice in future before they attempted to take bribes or to be corrupt.

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