chapter  XLI
21 Pages

On not giving two appointments to one man; on giving posts to the unemployed and not leaving them destitute; on giving appoinments to men of ortbodox faith and good birth, and not employing men of perverse sects and evil doctrines; keeping the latter at a distance

I Enlightened monarchs and clever ministers have never in any age given two appointments to one man or one appointment to two men, with the result that their affairs were always conducted with efficiency and lustre. When two appointments are given to one man, one of the tasks is always inefficiently and faultily performed, because if the man performs one task properly and diligently, the other one will be spoiled and neglected; and if he carries out the other task well and attentively, the first one will be sure to suffer damage and failure; and in fact you will usually find that the man who has two functions fails in both of them, and is constantly suffering censure and complaint from his dissatisfied manager. And further, whenever two men are given a single post each transfers [his responsibility] to the other and the work remains forever undone. On this point there is a proverb which runs, 'The house with two mistresses remains unswept; with two masters it falls to ruins.'l Each of the two thinks to himself, 'If I take pains to do the work expediently, and take care not to let anything go wrong, our master will think that this is due to the capability and skill of my partner, not to my own diligent and patient efforts.' The other one has the same idea and actually there will be constant confusion in the work; if the manager says, 'What is the cause of this inattention and inefficiency?' each man will excuse himself by saying that it is the other's fault and putting the blame on him. But when you go to the root of the matter and think intelligently, it is not the fault of either of them; it is the fault of the man who gave one appointment to two persons. And whenever one officer is given two posts - or three or five or seven - by the divan it is a sign of the incompetence of the vazir

and the negligence of the king. Today there are men, utterly incapable, who hold ten posts, and if another appointment were to turn up, they would apply for it, giving bribes if necessary, and get it; and nobody would consider whether such people are worthy of the post, whether they have any ability, whether they understand secretaryship, administration, and business dealings, and whether they can fulfil the numerous tasks which they have already accepted. And all the time there are capable, earnest, deserving, trustworthy and experienced men left unemployed, sitting idle in their homes; and no one has the imagination or discernment to enquire why one unknown, incapable, base-born, ignorant fellow should occupy so many appointments, while there are well-known noble and trusted men who have no work at all, and are left deprived and excluded, particularly men to whom this dynasty is greatly indebted for their satisfactory and meritorious services.