One of my teachers, an old Mohammedan, always used to be in charge of the examinations. He was a very beautiful man. He never married. I asked him once, “Why have you never married? You are such a beautiful man. You could have got a very beautiful woman.”
He said, “It is difficult. I can afford only one thing.” And he loved clothes so much that he had three hundred and sixty-five dresses – every day a different dress. And he said, “It is difficult to maintain both a wife…And I am a poor teacher. In one year’s time the turn of a dress will come, and by that time people have forgotten about it.” So he was always looking at new dresses – very costly. His whole salary was going into clothes. But he lived in a beautiful small house, very well decorated with a beautiful garden.
He was very much respected and because of that respect, he was always chosen to be in charge of the examinations. Before the examinations, he would tell the students, “Remember one thing: to do wrong is not wrong, but to be caught doing it is wrong. You are free to do whatever you want to do – copying, cheating. You may be carrying books inside your clothes, notes…Everything is allowed, just don’t get caught red-handed. I am going to do my work: I will make every effort to catch you. So I warn you; don’t blame me later on.
“If you are courageous enough and you are certain that you are cunning enough to get away with whatever you are doing, it is perfectly okay. But if you are caught, you are finished – your one year is lost. So I will give two minutes’ time for you to think. Either you bring all your notes, all your books, that you are hiding in your clothes – anything that you are doing which is not allowed in the examination…Just bring it here. I will keep my eyes closed so you don’t feel embarrassed, because I don’t want anybody to feel embarrassed. After two minutes…then it is your responsibility.”
And he would sit with closed eyes, a very sincere man. He simply did not want to embarrass anybody. And students would come with books and notes. Some would even come with notes written inside their shirts and they would have to sit the whole time without shirts. But they knew the man was very clever, you could not deceive him.
And when people started coming, then others would lose their nerve, and they would come. Within two minutes his table was full of notes, clothes, handkerchiefs…People had to run out to wash their hands, because they had written notes on their hands. Within two minutes everything was clean. And he would ask, “Can I open my eyes or are you still doing it?”
He was saying something immensely important: the politician is the criminal who has not been caught, and the criminal is the politician who is not clever enough, who has been caught. And the criminal was doing a very small thing, on a small scale. But basically they are not different. The politicians are ugly creatures in the sense that they go on interfering in other people’s lives.