“I think my people love me,” beamed Akbar during his stroll with Birbal in the royal garden.
“You are right your majesty. But people also fear you,” came the reply from Birbal.
Akbar frowned, “I do not believe it.”
“I will prove it Jahanpanah,” Birbal said and shared his plan with Akbar.
The next day, Akbar announced that he is going to the jungle for a dangerous hunt. As a prayer, his subjects should pour a cup of milk into the large tub placed at the center of the royal palace courtyard.
The next day, Akbar found that the tub was filled with watery milk. Several subjects only poured water, assuming that the others would get milk and their water would get camouflaged.
The following day, Akbar made a similar announcement but this time said that he will check the people pouring the milk. When Akbar returned, he found the tub overflowing with fresh milk.
“Didn’t I tell you, sir?” asked Birbal. “This time people poured pure milk because they were afraid that you will find out there is no milk in it. Your subjects care for you, but they also fear and that is why they filled the tub with milk this time.”