Corruption – Rat & Cat Style

This traditional Vietnamese print depicts corruption in the form of rats bribing a cat in order to celebrate a wedding.
A Vietnamese print depicting corruption.

Please see the painting above once again before reading what it is about. Could you guess what’s going on? It is actually a traditional Vietnamese print. Of course, it has everything to do with corruption. If you guessed right, may you claim your prize from me.

I hope you don’t have to spend millions to claim your prize that is a cup of tea with me at 5 pm on any weekday in front of the Indian Parliament – the seat of democracy that too was shaken by Cash For Votes Scandal. Oh, what connection a parliament may have with corruption? Huh!

Hold on, even the former Deputy Prime Minister and one of the most prominent political figures L.K.Advani, who changed the course of India in the modern times, has something to say about this – “I hold that in the political history of Independent India, the Cash for Votes Scandal has been the most shameful. If has been a black spot not only for the UPA Government; it has besmirched Indian democracy as well.”

Well, the picture above is called “A Rat’s Wedding”. In the picture, you can see the scene of a rat’s wedding. Please notice that to make the proceedings go smoothly, one of the rats is to bribe the cat with a fish so that the cat will let the proceedings go. I believe you got the moral – one must bribe the authorities for things to go smoothly. Does this say that corruption happens around the world? Is bribe a universal phenomenon, everywhere for everything?

So far as my Indian experience is concerned it’s not only the leaders who bribe the voters to set the ball rolling, it is the VOTER as well who shower a candidate with gifts during a campaign. He then reaps the benefits later once that candidate is elected into office.

How many times have you taken the advantage of each other? Anyways, let bygones be bygones. If you think your country continues to face corruption as the formidable challenge, let’s do our bit. Fighting corruption should indeed be your priority. Start today. There should be vigorous enforcement. Transparency should be the key.

When there’s corruption, where there’s corruption, it is not only the honest like you who suffer, it is the people of your country suffer through lower quality and higher cost of works. Do not let decisions being made based on corruption. Let efficiency rule. Do not let wrong projects get built in the wrong places at the wrong price. Do not let wrong people stand over your head like a crow. Defeat them. Raise your voice.


About The Painting – Dong Ho painting (Vietnamese: Tranh Đông Hồ or Tranh làng Hồ), full name Dong Ho folk woodcut painting (Tranh khắc gỗ dân gian Đông Hồ) is a genre of Vietnamese woodcut paintings that originated from Dong Ho village (làng Đông Hồ) in Bac Ninh Province, Vietnam. Using the traditional điệp paper and colours derived from nature, craftsmen print Dong Ho pictures of different themes from good luck wishes, historical figures to everyday activities and folk allegories. In the past, Dong Ho painting was an essential element of the Tết holiday in Vietnam; this tradition has gradually declined under the influence of modern types of painting and fake Dong Ho products. However, the art of making Dong Ho pictures is always considered a symbol of traditional culture and aesthetic value of Vietnam.

According to the villagers, the making of Dong Ho painting was dated back to the 11th century during the reign of the Lý Dynasty while researchers propose that craftsmen began to print pictures in Dong Ho village during the rule of Lê Kính Tông (1600–1619) of the Lê Dynasty. Originally, Dong Ho painting was made only with black-and-white prints of woodcut but from the 15th century, different colours were introduced by craftsmen in the village. As a village specialized in making woodcuts and paintings, almost all Dong Ho villagers were involved in the manufacture of paintings from carving the wood block, producing điệp papers, obtaining natural colours to creating new themes and printing.


  1. A nicely written article about corruption. Honestly speaking, I have to understand that people have understood the hard reality that it is in collusion with the corrupt that they can achieve, how so ever small, benefits but fighting against the corruption would bring them pain and suffering though a satisfaction that they have taken a stand against some corrupt practice. It is all about the choice that we make which makes us a different person, either on this side or the other side!


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