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  • kewal sethi

to sadachar samiti

when i look at my poem written in 1964, i am almost ashamed of the rates mentioned therein. how ridiculously low, they were. see how we have progressed. we now speak only in terms of hundreds of crores. but here is the poem for all its worth.

To Sadachar Samiti

To give or not to give, that is the question

Money, they say, makes the mare go

This is also true for men, only more so

It is five months since I sent the application

And I have heard niether no nor affirmation

Three reminders did I send two months ago

Two representations have followed them also

One reply said, the matter is under consideraion

The other that they can not find my application

My friend, Mr Giver, applied just four months ago

His business has been flourishing for three months now

The mystery, said he, is not very deep

In getting things, open purse you should keep

A rupee to the peon, to clerk a fiver sent

For superintendent, fifty will be proper investment

Officer you need not then bother, if he is honest

If not give three hundred, come home and rest

Your license will reach you at your place

A peon will bring it in order to be in grace

If these things you do not like to do

License is the hardest mistress to woo

So take your choice, you have to do it now or then


To give or not to give that is the question

(Hoshangabad, 1964

A sadachar samiti was constituted which called upon all not to give bribes. Gulzari Lal Nanda was probably the instigator. It had no suggestions for the takers.)

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