Public Devils by Kodavatiganti Kutumbara
Telugu original by Kodavatiganti Kutumbarao, Feb 1978 Translated and posted with permission by Ananda Kishore.
In a certain country, unfortunately democracy was suddenly established. All of a sudden, its people had to elect their rulers. They elected the same old King and his folk who suppressed them till then. They couldn't imagine others exercising authority over them.
Even then the rulers had to worry about their future. If not now, people would become wiser later and realize their own power. What would happen to the rulers, then?
"We should have a method to keep people under control," said one loyalist.
"Accordingly, we should change the religious beliefs and rewrite the scriptures. We should imbibe the children with the idea that loyalty to the King is still rewarded. We should repress patriotism and make it subordinate to loyalty to the King," said one ex-court theoretician.
"Not enough," growled the King.
"We should create devils to scare the people," said the Chief of Army.
"Don't tell me stories; there are no devils."
"Why not! There are devils right among us. We need only train them. With little effort, we can make a policeman an inhuman devil. We can train him to kill, to torture, to enjoy helpless cries of people as sweet-sounding music. To break people's legs, to pee in their food, to rape women, to shoot down people in custody and throw their corpses in forests at the drop of a hat - they could do a million such satanic things for fun; we could make them do so easily. However, they could rebel after a while. So, we should train them so that sadism becomes their second nature. They wouldn't need big salaries either; we could train them to suck people's blood. We could also train them to be loyal like a dog to their superiors and to the King," said the Chief.
"Great! Marvelous!" everyone said, giving him a standing ovation.