Ethics is the one of the most overrated and undermined concepts in human world. Specially in contemporary times. Why? Well, we are taught about this concept right from the time we are born till the time we have our last breath. We are threatened in a child like way, asked to follow rules so that we do not pose “negative externalities” to others or are not socially undesirable. These externalities are money, pollution, life, or infamy.
But, does it have any effect in pragmatic terms? I am sure everyone reading this would agree with me, but surely wouldn’t accept the fact. NO! Each of us is unethical when it comes to absoluteness of the concept. Our professor, an old experienced man is assumed to be a haggard by most in the class. He talks about Virtue Ethics and Post Conventional Morality. Simply, it means ‘Purusartha‘. But, how can man be such if Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest stands magnanimously amplified?
Since childhood, we speak lies to all our dear and near ones, even ourselves. From cheating in an exam hall, intentional faux pas on people, straddling in business, providing substandard goods and services, siphoning money, inflating bills, etc. I believe ethics shouldn’t be merely complying with the law, which it is assumed to be today. But, I am not being a hypocrite. I understand that people are utilitarian today. Even I am to an extent. And thus, we instead of blurring or erasing lines of ethics, simply displace to miles below the surface.
In our classes in Business Ethics taught by Prof. J L Gupta at MDI Gurgaon, we learn through Role play exercises. There are several great cases or plays and students need to enact them or have role plays in context of the plays. Through these, some simple theories mentioned above are related and the subject is taught. Its fun actually!
Recently, we did an act on TUGHLAQ (written by Girish Karnad). I played the lead of the maverick idealist who wanted to change the world, but couldn’t understand himself. He was a person who considered people as pawns in the great game of greater good. He envisioned greatness and equality, but couldn’t understand simple human psyche. I really admire Mr. Girish Karnad for writing such an extraordinary play. Tughlaq