Contributed by Mustafa Mawjee,
14 Centuries ago, Imam Ali a.s. wrote to his governor in Egypt, Maalik-e-Ashtar
In a Public Office – one should never cut off from the Public
Imam Ali a.s. explains: Maalik, you must take care not to cut yourself off from the public. Do not place a curtain of false prestige between you and those over whom you rule. Such pretensions and show of pomp and pride are in reality manifestations of inferiority complex and vanity. The result of such an attitude is that you remain ignorant of the conditions of your subjects and of the actual cases of the events occurring in the State.
By cutting yourself off from the public:
- You will fail to realize comparative importance of events taking place and may attach great significance to minor events and may slip over important facts,
- Similarly you may attach importance to mediocre or insignificant people and may ignore real men of consequence;
- And what is more, you may lose the power of distinction between good and bad and may take one for the other or hopelessly mix up the two.
After all a ruler is as much a human being as any other man and he may remain ignorant of facts of which his officers want to keep him in the dark (and on which the public may throw light).
Thus truth may get mixed up with falsehood and may not be distinguished because there are no birthmarks on the forehead of truth that it may be easily differentiated from falsehood, one has to search for facts and sift realities from fictions, only then can one reach the truth.