Married Life – UPSC Ethics Case Study


Raman cleared UPSC civil services exam in his very first attempt and secured second rank. He was a son of poor landless labourer. His parents lived in a hut in their village. He got posting in his home state.
He was given government bungalow and car. He married a beautiful, well-educated daughter of a rich politician. Raman now wanted to bring his parents to his bungalow and make them live with him. But his wife did not like this. She told him bluntly that he should choose either her or his parents to live in his bungalow. She told him that she was not comfortable with the idea of his parents living with them in the same house. She told him that she needed privacy.
He yielded to her threats and did not bring his parents to live with him. It was one of his dreams to make his parents happy, live with them and take care of them in their old age. However, he made arrangements in his village so that his parents could live
in a better house with good amenities.
Do you think what Raman did was correct? Justify giving suitable reasons. (150 Words)
Do you think Raman’s wife was right in expressing her opinion boldly and opposing Raman’s proposition to bring his parents to live with him? Justify giving suitable reasons. (100 Words)
(a) This question is very common these days because of rising culture of nuclear family and new found independence in personal lives by everyone.
Raman here has 3 responsibilities viz
  1. Being Civil Servant, his duty to deliver duty with rectitude
  2. His Wife (because he married her with fully grown consent, his wife left her home for him and she is going to be with him till death)
  3. His Parents.
These responsibilities are in decreasing order of priority.
First Raman must try his best to convince her wife, if not then he must try for at least few weeks visit of their parents so that they know each other better, may be this can alleviate the concern of her mind of encroached privacy.
If this is not successful, then Raman must realise that, he married her with full consent and now it’s his responsibility to maintain peace and democracy in his home. An unhappy wife in home can decrease his mental peace and efficiency of work. He has dream of keeping his parents with him, but if they are at ease and happy in native, that is better, rather than running to pursue his dream at the cost of disturbance in life.
It is not that he yielded to her threats; it is prudential and wise decision. Occasional visit of parents can also be middle path which will not be problem for his wife and fulfil Raman’s wish to serve his parents.
(b): Yes, Raman’s wife is right in expressing her view, but the way and course of action of expression is wrong. In married life, both husband and wife have equal say in any decision. He should have given a fair chance to test whether all her doubts and fear of restricted freedom will be true or just cooked story shown by Television serials.
She should recognise her husband’s wish also.
Hence, she is right that she spoke her mind clearly but at the same time she should have given a chance to experience first-hand their parents visit few times.
Middle path approach. Build home in native place. Regular visits. Transferable job, so anyway a home in native place is good. Over time, persuade wife to stay with parents for few days so that her fear of privacy invasion can be allayed
Clear communication should be appreciated. It is better than not communicating and later taking drastic steps.
Her importance to privacy over familial responsibilities should be seen as an outcome of her inherent values. Need is to respect them, as it is difficult to change them immediately. Over the time, with persuasion her views can be changed.



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