A bureaucrat was appointed for guard duties in a temple. There was a board at the gate stating the precondition for entry into the temple: ‘Please remove your shoes before entering the temple.’
The bureaucrat enforced this rule with utmost sincerity. He used to sit at the gate of the temple to ensure that no one entered the temple against the rules.
One day, a man came walking without shoes and tried to enter the temple. The gatekeeper refused him entry. ‘Why?’ the man argued, ‘I am not wearing any shoes. How can you deny me entry?’
‘Read the rules,’ replied the bureaucrat. ‘It requires that you have to remove your shoes before entering the temple. So please go home, wear your shoes, remove them here and then only can you enter the temple,’ he insisted.
Message: Don’t implement the law blindly.
Source: “Mastering Essay & Answer Writing for UPSC Civil Services IAS/ IPS & State PSC Main Exam” by Dr Awdhesh Singh, available at