Bangalore. Scientists at National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) have claimed evidences that suggest that birds and animals could also be involved in corrupt practices. The conclusion was arrived at after intense observation of a group of pigeons in the institute premises for around three years, who were found to be accepting and giving bribe to procure straws for building nest. The findings have triggered a worldwide debate.
“We found that the female pigeon used to give away straws and twigs collected by her male partner to another male pigeon in exchange for a few grains. She would do it when her partner would be away to collect more straws.” Dr. P Janardan, head faculty at NCBS said, claiming that it was a textbook case of corruption.
Dr. Janardan denied that it was just another case of infidelity among birds, for the erring pigeons didn’t indulge in any mating process throughout the period of observation.
“It was a completely professional exchange of benefits (between the erring pigeons), but without the sanction of the male partner. Yes, in essence the female pigeon cheated upon her partner, but it can’t be termed infidelity as there was no sexual relationship between the erring pigeons.” Dr. Janardan explained, terming it as a proof of corruption in the animal kingdom.
The findings have triggered a debate among the scientists, with a group of scientists and economists disagreeing with the conclusions of Dr. Janardan.
“This could well be the case of first ever instance of trading or barter among the birds, why should we call it corruption? Why do we have to necessarily impose our own sense of propriety over everyone else?” wondered Sreedhar, an economist, who believed that the observation by NCBS instead proved that new studies in evolutionary economics needed to go beyond the human beings.
Sreedhar pointed out that around a year back, it was observed that male chimpanzees had greater chance of having sex if they shared food with the female chimps, but that act was not seen as an economic barter due to mating being the primary motive.
“Now we see a barter happening without involvement of any mating process. Let’s not trivialize it by terming it as corruption.” Sreedhar appealed.
Interestingly, Dr. Janardan has found maximum support from the lawyers and the politicians of India, who believe that his conclusions on corruption were spot on.
“It’s all in the genes. It’s natural to be corrupt.” said an unidentified parliamentarian watching IPL.
“It proves that corruption at best could be termed as a genetic disorder, and hence, it is but natural that a person accused of corruption should be rushed to a hospital instead of being arrested and locked up in jail.” argued noted lawyer Ram Jhoothmalani.