If you want to transform an honest man into a thief, make the necessities of life so expensive that his modest daily earnings are unable to afford them. In order to survive, he must steal whatever he can easily steal. However, if he prefers his honesty to his survival and starves himself to death, his burial expenses must be borne by the government. Our government has a horrible overpopulation problem on its hands. And he who voluntarily quits Pakistan for his eternal abode lessens the population burden on the country. His dead body richly deserves a generous patting on the back by our population planners. There are very few people who would prefer death to life for moral reasons. Most of us love to keep clinging to life at all costs. When the ever-soaring inflation makes the clinging impossible with honest earnings, the clinger turns a brigand. Some are born brigands, some acquire brigandism and some have brigandism thrust upon them by inflation. Necessity is the mother of crimes. Our inflation has declared that honest living in Pakistan is ultra vires. No wonder, the country is gone morally berserk. The Bible says that the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons. Pakistan says that the sins of the rulers are visited upon the masses. Vicarious punishment is one of our political dogmas. We must punish the masses for the sins, which are committed by the rulers. The rulers orgiastically burn for their amusements what the tillers of the soil create by the sweat of their lungs. The burning creates mammoth inflation. Inflation is the result of reckless overspending by the rulers. Our rulers have been living beyond our national means. Inflation can be controlled only if our rulers learn to live within the national means. We must live within our means. But only animals live within their means. We are not animals. We are Pakistanis. We must live beyond our means. Pakistani inflation is a very partial monster. It bites the masses the hardest, but leaves the rulers absolutely unscathed. The rulers are inflation-secure, because they dont have to pay for their comforts and luxuries. It is the obligation of the national treasury to buy them anything they desire under the sun -- including the sun itself. Inflation lacerates you only when you stray into a shop for buying necessities out of your own earnings. If you want to get rid of the plutonium-expensive rulers, abolish the free supply of their comforts and luxuries and fix a salary (keeping in view the poverty of the land) for each one of them. When a ruler, with his salary in his pocket, would walk into a shop, inflation would instantaneously pick his pocket and he would instantaneously fax his resignation to Islamabad. In a poor country, inflation is a dire political necessity of the ruling class. It is a baby, which is brought into being by the rulers through economic artificial insemination. An inflation-stricken fellow is a very pliable creature. During the election days, you can buy his precious vote for a lousy piece of bread. A full-stomached voter is a very difficult proposition. The more the inflation, the better the prospects for the vote-buying business. Our poverty is our national identity. In order to strengthen our identity, we must generate more poverty. And there is no technology more conducive to the production of poverty than inflation. Ever since Pakistans birth, our currency has been indefatigably depreciating. No wonder, inflation has become the very backbone of our economy. The day inflation goes, our traditional economic system will collapse. Can we afford to destroy our traditions? Can we afford to lose our identity? The past of our masses was dark. Their present is darker. To ensure that their future must be the darkest, the government must establish a permanent commission to be known as the commission for the promotion of inflation. The commission might hold public seminars up and down the country. The objective of the seminars should be to enlighten the miserable masses about the utter-stupidity of being alive. The writer retired as professor of the Department of English, Government College University, Lahore.