Note: this answer has been written for the purposes of explanation; Hence, it may not adhere to word limit. For examination purposes, phrases instead of full sentences could be used.
An analysis of the viewpoints presented above is as follows:
- The idea that an individual’s attempts to adhere to ethical principles may cause great personal peril inherently exhibits lack of moral courage.
- A public servant must keep duty obligations and public interest over and above personal interest. In this path, even if adherence to ethical principles for fulfilment of public functions leads to personal loss, the officer must choose this righteous path.
- Being pragmatic and following the path of least resistance even in case of compromise with duty, may lead to least personal harm but organisational and public interest is being lost in the way.
- This viewpoint presents the problem of most officers and public servants resorting to wrongful means.
- The viewpoint is quite pessimistic as it resorts to continuing with the current order even though it might be against public interest.
- In this context, it must be remembered that tiny drops together fill up a pitcher. Even if one officer refuses to contribute to the pitcher, it remains a tiny bit empty. Hence, one can be honest inspite of others as well.
- According to this view fuss about ethical viewpoints may hamper the economic progress of our country.
- This is a very narrow construct. Fast paced economic progress without a principled approach may lead to development. But such a development scenario would be quite hollow, unbalanced and non-inclusive.
- In this context, it must be remembered that adherence to ethical principles if done in true spirit does not stop or deter economic progress. In fact, principles would ensure that the economic progress is holistic, inclusive and caters to the interests of all stakeholders.
- According to this view, small gratifications and favours do no harm but contribute to higher motivation levels for all.
- In this context, it must be remembered that small things pave way for bigger and eventually corruption gets engrained into the system. Further, small or big, graft and favours are inherently wrong and against conduct rules.
Advice to the friend
- On the basis of the discussion of the viewpoints expressed above, I would advise my friend to keep duty obligations and public interest over and above personal interests. Truly and unconditionally be an honest officer despite what others are doing. Have a firm faith in the goodness of ethical principles and their ability to ensure holistic and inclusive progress. Maintain absolute integrity and have no room for deviations, even small favours.