Ethics in private and public relationship

 

You are preparing for the civil services exam. Your close friend and your roommate who belongs to a minority religious community is in love with a girl belonging to majority community. The girl also belongs to “higher” caste. Your friend’s parents, who are very poor, are under the impression that their son is preparing seriously for the exam. They are unaware of his love affair. From your close interactions with your friend’s girlfriend you are aware that her parents would never let her marry outside their caste, leave alone outside their religion.
Your friend, though in love, is seriously preparing for the exam. His love life has not affected his studies. However, one day an anonymous call to your friend threatens him with life if he doesn’t stop moving around with his girlfriend. This has disturbed him very much. Your friend doesn’t want his love affair to become known to anyone.
Recently in the same locality a boy was murdered for marrying a girl belonging to majority community. There is real danger to your friend’s life if the issue becomes public. These developments have affected your studies too. One your friends who is aware of these developments suggest you following options:
1) Ask your friend to move away from your room and let you focus on studies
2) Tell everything to your friend’s parents and ask them to do reprimand their son
3) File a police complaint regarding the threat call your friend has received and let the issue become public
4) Move away from your friend’s place and study in a new place
Please evaluate merits and demerits of each of these options also please indicate (without necessarily restricting to the above options) what course of action you would like to follow, giving proper reasons. (300 Words)
In the given scenario, we need to understand the spheres of influence of various interpersonal relationships. Here, we have private relationships like friendship, love, familial relations and public relationships like caste relations and religious affiliations.
The options given may be evaluated as follows:
1) and 4) Asking your friend to move away or you moving to a new place is akin to cowardice and the height of selfishness. Though this may be the initial instinct of many people since the merits include preparing for one’s ambitions in peace and without interference from external factors, however, the flip side is the knowledge that you left the side of a friend in need and consequent guilt and remorse, which may also affect your preparation and more importantly, how you view yourself as a person and a future civil servant.
2) Telling everything to your friend’s parents would be going outside one’s ambit of being one’s friend. Love is after all a deeply personal relationship and since you chose silence when the relationship was in its infancy, going against him now would only be hypocrisy on your part.
3) Filing a police complaint making the issue public would be the logical thing to do, especially if one’s life is threatened. But the demerits of such an action would include maligning the familial relations and effectively closing all avenues for reconciliation. The excessive scrutiny that your friend would receive would in effect hamper preparation of both and making a private issue public may result in unwarranted attention in the most intimate spheres of one’s life.
Personal Course of Action: The friend can be advised to be discreet about his relationship and restrict moving around in public too much as threats and warnings are likely to continue if they do. If their love is strong, it should survive a few months of separation. The preparation has been serious and should continue hence and clearing the exam may go in your friends favour as he can speak from a position of strength if trying to convince the family at a later date. Lastly, one does not think about caste or religion or majorities or minorities when one falls in love. Maybe that is what we need to banish the notion of caste and class from Indian society.
Will advise friend
(1). To be discreet about relationship
(2). Tell about the relationship to his parents, if he is serious about the relation
(3). Go to police to seek protection
08/04/2016
It is said that the Panama Papers indicate that a large section of the rich contribute not only to inequality of income and wealth but also to the inequality of ethicality. Examine why. In your opinion, who is most unethical – the rich who accumulate wealth without following law of the land, or the rich who follow rules but show indifference towards less privileged section of society? Justify. (200 Words)