(Sample Material) Gist of IIPA Journal: Need for Ethical Empowerment as Social and Political Reform A Ranga Reddy

(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA Journal

Topic: Need for Ethical Empowerment as Social and Political Reform A Ranga Reddy

If men behave like angels no government is needed, Thomas Mann once said that in this modern age man’s destiny leads him back to politics: political activity is one of the most visible aspects of public life and the current Westphalian model of the nation—State has dominated human history for the last few centuries.

Empowerment is a process of giving more power by engaging both the hearts and minds of people so that they can take the opportunities available to them for greater responsibility and to create a credible, trustworthy and a value model. Ethical development certainly brings mental balance, contentment, standard nature and everlasting society over this earth.

CIVILISATIONS AND UNETHICAL ACTIONS

Most of the civilisations have been destroyed as a result of internal corruption than the external aggression, and regimes have collapsed on the erosion of their moral authority by deep-seated and prolonged corruption. There are number of such instances even in modern times. During the last years of his tenure as Prime Minister; Lloyd George, in England collected funds by virtual auction of honours; and the funds which should have gone to the Liberal Party coffers, bad been diverted to his personal political fund. It is unlikely that he never turned for his personal expenditure the money he received; but the stench of the honours scandal had given rise to such strong repugnance that in spite his great achievements as a war leader, and also in domestic affairs, no chances were of his becoming Prime Minister again. In the process, the Liberal Party too suffered grievous damage. The fall of Kuomintang under Chiang Kai shek provides another instance of the destructive effect of corruption. The defeat and disintegration of the Government of South, Vietnam, in spite of massive support from the USA and also their direct, prolonged military involvement, present yet another example of the fatal consequences of political corruption, and unbridled acquisition of wealth and privileges by those favoured by the regime, Nixon’s, case was a more recent instance of the disastrous consequences of adoption of totally unethical means, including outright lying, in pursuit of political ends. A powerful President had an ignominious exit under the threat of impeachment and prosecution and the pressure of a morally outraged public opinion, and partly as a reaction against Watergate, the Jimmy Presidency that followed after the next election showed concern for moral and human values.

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ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF ETHICS

Like Socrates, Plato’s emphasis is ethical rather than scientific; knowledge is not separable from virtue, and the good is also true. History tells us that advantages gained by sacrificing principles and rules of ethics at the altar of expediency have always proved to be short lives. In the long run, they not only undermine the moral fabric of society, but also, let lose the forces of political charlatanism, rank opportunism and brazen chicanery. Our founding fathers made the mantra “Satyameva Jayate” part of the national emblem. This was in consonance with the great traditions and values and the land which gave to world Mahaveer, Buddha and Gandhi. Let us prove ourselves as worthy inheritors of those traditions and values by receiving them and making them a part of the national life.

Individual and Social Choices

Ethical consideration are relevant not only to politicians and public officials, but also to citizens, we have invoked the concept of citizenship associated with the tradition of civic republicanism.

Kemeth Arrow, the Nobel Prize winner in Economics proved that although a series of individual choices may be consistent, social outcomes are not necessarily consistent. All social choices are determined by individual desires. Social choices are rational and they have to fulfill the following five conditions:

Non-restriction

For any set of individual preferences, the social function should reflect a true social ordering (i.e., it is translatable into some social choice.)

Positive Associations

A social ordering responds positively to change in individual values, such that the more the individuals prefer an alternative, the more likely it will be the social choice.

Irrelevant Alternatives

Irrelevant alternatives—those not under considerations—should not influence the social choice among relevant alternatives.

Non-imposition

The social welfare function is not to be imposed (e.g., by tradition.)

Non-dictatorship

The social welfare function is not to be dictatorial. The violations of either condition of four of five would directly contradict the basic premises of democratic decision-making.

SOCIAL JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT

Social Justice is an extension of the principle of ethics in public life. Extreme concentration of wealth on one side and extreme poverty on the other are the manifestation of an unethical order of society. Societies, if they have to march in a smooth and peaceful manner towards progress and prosperity, must banish such ugly and unethical blots like: hunger, poverty and unemployment.

Regarding Indian economy, growth has strong direct reducing effects; the frictions and rigidities can make these processes less effective, and the Eleventh Plan must therefore be formulated in a manner, which explicitly address the need to ensure equity an social justice. A three-pronged strategy for attaining equity and social justice along with higher rates of growth is proposed for the Tenth Plan period given below:

(i) Agricultural development must be reviewed as the core element of the plan since growth in the sector is likely to lead to the widest spread of benefits especially to the rural poor.
(ii) The other sectors like construction, tourism, transport, Small-Scale Industry (SSI), retailing, Information Technology (IT) and communication-enabled services are needed to promote.
(iii) There will be a continuing need to supplement the impact of growth with special programmes aimed at special target groups, which may not benefit sufficiency from the normal growth process.

SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SYSTEM AND ETHICS

Every system of government requires that those wielding power should use it for the public good and not make it an instrument of self-seeking. All powers is like a trust. Those who derive it from the people are accountable for showing that it has been exercised for the people. Abuse and misuse of authority can take many forms. It can result in acquisition of more authority by those in power, and use of that authority for eliminating political and personal opponents. Such abuse may trigger authoritarianism and dictatorship. Power can likewise be abused by making it a source of personal aggrandizement. And if those at the top turn corrupt, we would soon find that corruption and graft become ubiquitous and percolate down to all spheres of administration at lower levels. Although corruption anywhere is reprehensible, developed countries can somehow afford this vice, despite it how they may, because their economy is already well-developed. In case of developing countries, corruption arrests and often retards the process of development and the nations pay a heavy price in terms of loss of moral values. In a nascent democracy like India, where the role of a minister has to be that of a pioneer rather than that of pirate, one dedicated to the public weal and not one obsessed with the desire of personal gain. The old adage that Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion is equally true of the ministers in a democratic set-up.

Sir Ivor Jennings observed, the most elementary qualification demand of a minister is honesty and incorruptibility. Therefore, it is imperative that mean at the top should personify the highest standards of personal integrity, probity and rectitude.

US Congress ban of research on human cloning have thrown up ethical issues in the realm of science, ethics and human welfare. In this connection, ethical guidelines as per the recommendations of a Central Ethical Committee set up under the Chairmanship of M.N. Venkatachaliah come to into focus.

Further, it is found that in the West, there has been more work on the language of ethics than on the ethics of language. The best way is to civilize the politicians, who restore truth an absorb criticism of opposition parties, finally, ethics will prevail in the society.

The remedy is that without a strong public opinion, it would be preposterous to depend upon laws and courts alone to ensure compliance with rules of conduct in public life. Idealism plays as much part in shaping the life of a nation as do the other material teachers. It is one of the greatest sources of inner strength of a nation. No progressive nation can allow the springs of national idealism to dry up.

CHANGING ETHICS IN INDIAN ADMINISTRATION

In the colonial phase, the problems revolved around ego and hierarchy. There was no appreciation for outspokenness. Yet there was a degree of commitment on the part of the officers to respond to the exigencies. During the transitional phase of the colonial administrative ethics, outspokenness, space for hard work and commitment were gradually replaced by a new set of ethics. These ethics somewhere came to be influenced by the upper classes. The new situation invoked nostalgia for the older days. This was result of the absence of a purpose and direction for administration. As a consequence, the administrators became more selfish and self-centred. They started using public office for their private benefit. The rulers were mended and bent for private gain, but for public purpose they became a stumbling block or a source of harassment. This was also a result of increasing nexus between the corrupt politicians, self-seeking administrators and criminals. And those who stood for values became the target of attack, causing considerable demoralization. Poor people have to raise their empowerment by electing only ethical politician. Gandhi’s seven sins as listed below are to be removed, first on Gandhi’s land to achieve a holistic society.

Politics without Principles; Wealth without Work; Commerce without Morality; Education without Character, Pleasure without Consciousness; Science without Humanity; and Worship without Sacrifice

—Mahatma Gandhi

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