Charity begins at home. This is the only maxim that eternally runs in the politicians blood. Otherwise, his blood is absolutely morality proof. It is dogmatic with the politician that when he attains power, his inaugural obligation must be a transmogrification of his personal economics. If, at the time of his accession to power, economically he is a mediocrity, it is imperative for him that he must metamorphose his mediocrity into luscious affluence. And if he is already affluent, he must abracadabra his affluence into an El Dorado. Granted that charity begins at home. But where does it end? The maxim is silent about it. From the maxims silence, the politician logically infers that charity must end where it begins, i.e. it must begin at the politicians home and also end at his home. Thus, charity is a lady of the politicians harem, who must not stray beyond the sacred walls of the harem. The home-charity ethics makes the national resources the private preserve of the politician. Being a super-special being, his economic needs are also super-special. He cannot meet his infinite money needs without infinite misdeeds. Money gushes out of his misdeeds straight into his infinite coffers. Every new ingot of ill-gotten gold is a new goading to his gigantically gluttonous greed. The very conjecture of the day when the expiry of his power-tenure would rip the sceptre off his palm, wrings the very cockles of his heart. Tearing the politician apart from his power is like tearing his skin off his body. Power is the politicians only oxygen. But for a new lease of power, he must be re-elected to the legislature. To be re-elected, he must have lakes of money. To have lakes of money, he must unscrupulously practise the home-charity ethics round the clock. Lord Acton says: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The adage is sublime nonsense. Had the adagist visited Pakistan, he would have been obliged to amend the adage radically. Our politics would have convinced him that it is not power which corrupts, but it is corruption which gets power and absolute corruption gets absolute power. We are an economically backward country. Economic backwardness breeds moral backwardness. In a morally backward country one can thrive only immorally. To be a big success one must manage to be born without a conscience. If unfortunately one is born with a conscience one must undergo conscience-ectomy. Politically, the only useful conscience is a dead conscience. Corruption is our national glory. We are indebted for our national glory to our glorious corruption. It is the very life-blood of our bodypolitic, body-social and body-economic. We are a corruption-drunk nation. If we earnestly yearn for a prosperous future, we must earnestly pray for the prosperity of our corruptions. Those who think of annihilating corruption are Indian agents. To annihilate corruption is to annihilate our existing socio-politico-economic order. Can we afford self-annihilation? Fancying that corruption was a national canker, almost every government of the past established an anti-corruption committee for rooting out corruption. Virtually there have been as many anti-corruption committees as there have been governments. But every committee was a grand fiasco. Corruption went on striving as ever. The committees also throve. They throve on their grand emoluments. Thus, both the committees and corruption flourished side by side, as ideally good neighbours. Economic misery relentlessly pursues the common man. Inflation mercilessly sucks the very marrow of his bones. He hungrily gazes at the politician, but is not fed. The politician has no gravy, but only an early grave for him. To console the common man, the politician appeals to his patriotic sentiments. Free nations are bound to make sacrifices for their freedom, the politician sermonises. Infuriated by the politicians lip-service politics, the common man sermonises back. He asks the politician: Why all the sacrifices are quarried out of myself alone? Why dont you also contribute your share? Are you a foreign tourist in Pakistan feasting your eyes on the scenes of indigenous human misery? And why should the common man make all the sacrifices and the politician all the money? Is not this division of labour pure political pornography? Is the common man born to be immolated at the alter of patriotism so that the politician could feast his nostrils on the delicious aroma of the sacrificial blood? Our national resources have a strong magical trait about them. When the hungry common man begs for a spoonful of calories, the resources magically shrink into nothingness. But when the uncommon man waves his hand for a kitchenful of indigenous and exotic delicacies, the resources magically swell to telescopic proportions. There is no limit to what the motherland can do for her un-common son. There is nothing that the motherland can do for her common son. n The writer is an academic.