Of Corruption and Crabs

Virtually everyday,our newspapers are flooded with stories of one scam or the other. Corruption in public life has become the order of the day and no wonder we have acquired a dubious distinction of being a very highly corrupt society, ranking very high among all nations. I often wondered how on earth we became addicted to corruption as a way of life. I found a partial answer to this question in the following interesting story from Biology. I picked up this story from a book titled “The greatest show on earth” written by a well known biologist RICHARD DAWKINS. I would strongly recommend this book to whoever is interested in biology. The story I am going to narrate now is of course not about corruption but it does tell a great deal about how species evolve. And I have found an interesting correlation to the question of corruption in our society. Anyway,the story goes like this :

An interesting species of crab called HEINKEA JAPONICA is found in the Japanese waters. Quite mysteriously this particular species stunningly resembles the fiercely grimacing face of Japanese SAMURAI warriors. The question is what accounts for such a close resemblace as also their abundance in numbers. As it happens with all such stories,there are mythological explanations as well as scientific.
The widely believed myth is the following:
In the year 1185,a clan by name HEIKE got defeated in a sea battle by its rival clan called the GENJI. It is strongly believed that the ghosts of the HEINKE clan who got drowned the battle,now inhabit the bottom of the sea living through the bodies of these crabs called HEIKEA JAPONICA. It turns out that fisherman believing in this legend routinely throw these crabs, resembling the Samurai warriors, back into the sea.

Now let us turn to the scientific explanation of the phenomenon given by Carl Sagan(a well known cosmologist and a writer). It is possible that,by a random chance,one crab among its ancestors resembled very remotely a human face. Fisherman may have been reluctant to eat such a crab resembling a human face and therefore might have started the practice of throwing them back into the sea. By doing so, they set in motion an evolutionary process which ensured the preferential survival of the crab species resembling a human face. Eventually after several generations,the human face on the back of the crabs might have evolved into a scowling Samurai warrior.

The story by itself is quite interesting but you might wonder what is the connection between this story of crabs and corrupt Indian society. Let me explain. Let us say that our Courts and Governments are like the Japanese Fishermen of the story while the corrupt politicians and officers are like the crabs. Dishonest and corrupt guys in our society are let off unpunished and in fact get rewarded while honesty is penalized. Therefore,like the crabs with Samurai warrior’s face surviving and multiplying themselves,corrupt faces among our politicians and officers have also evolved and are thriving merrily in numbers at the expense of the honest ones.
Look at the Rajas,Kalmadis and Modis – all these are the crabs with a Samurai warrior face while the prime minister and BCCI are the fishermen who let them slip away.

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Published in: on November 28, 2010 at 4:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Good Article. I wish there was some way to nuke these bad corrupt officials once and for all so that India can go back to its golden age.


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