Tuesday, April 9, 2013


PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE - Better Proactive than Reactive
A Teaching Story

Though the powers-that-be keep mouthing platitudes about “zero tolerance to corruption”  but we see that in actual practice corruption is flourishing unabated.

Everyone turns a blind eye and lets corruption take place. 

Then when a tragedy takes place as a result of corruption or a scam is uncovered, everyone goes into overdrive. 

It seems that the focus is on investigation rather than prevention of corruption.

We have all learnt the simple adage in school: “Prevention is better than cure”.

Is it not better to prevent corruption from happening in the first place?

Or is it better to let corruption happen and then, when something untoward takes place due to the corruption, everyone runs around in circles trying to cover up things and try to fix the damage when it is too late?

Well, here is some ancient wisdom – one of my favourite Mulla Nasrudin stories which exemplifies implementation of the famous idiom – PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE. 

Maybe the metaphor in this story gives a cue to be more proactive than reactive ...

A visitor was talking to Mulla Nasrudin under the village tree.

It was a hot summer afternoon and the visitor felt thirsty and asked for some water to drink.

Mulla Nasrudin called a small boy and told him to get water from the well.

He gave the small boy an earthenware pot to get the water.

Mulla Nasrudin looked into the eyes of the small boy and told the boy firmly: “Be careful. Make sure you don’t break the pot.” 

The moment he finished uttering these words, Mulla Nasrudin swiftly lifted his hand and gave the small boy a tight slap on his face.

The shocked visitor asked Nasrudin, "Why did you hit the boy? How can you punish someone who hasn’t done anything wrong?"

“Because, you fool,” said Nasrudin, “what is the point of punishing the boy after he broke the pot...? ”

The symbolic slap expresses metaphorically the Moral of the Story:

Preventive Action is always more effective than Corrective Action and it is wise to be proactive than to be reactive

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Saru Singhal said...

He made his point. Prevention is better than cure. As you said we just want to punish the guilty rather than eliminating the root cause.

Vineel said...

Need some severe punishing laws, people finding new ways to escape rather than getting scared, why this cbi should be under leading political party?