A Question of Ethics


Disclaimer: I do not have anything personal against IITians, in case you are one, then I am not judging YOU, do not take this personally. This is certainly not an IIT bashing post, but I prefer to think of it as a call to action. In case you have some clout in those areas, please think this through and do correct me if I am passing assessment based on the wrong sample set.

In the last couple of years, I have had both the fortune and misfortune of knowing IITians. Fortune because these people have raw brain power … the CAT although is the most competitive exam, but the IIT-JEE is the real test of thinking and application. Anyone who has cracked the JEE on his own merit, is definitely intelligent (although I can’t make such claims for all the people who have cleared the CAT ;-)).

The national institutes (IITs and the IIMs) are a haven of variety, and were created to be an incubation center of the nations next generation of talent. Due to it’s separation from the surrounding environment, and policies … these institutes have also become an eco-system having their own flavor.

Yes, talent is nurtured and given guidance. Some of them do great things … but do they teach things like Ethics in such places? I doubt it.

Of all the IITians I have met in the past (and there’s a lot of them), all of them have indulged in unethical behavior. From simple copying someone else’s notes, to downright corporate espionage. From avoiding taxes to downright embezzlement. From speaking a harmless lie to generate some laughter to downright filing a wrong criminal case.

It’s not a one off case that I am citing here, its 7-8 different people of different ages and in different circumstances. There is absolutely no qualm for breaking the law, or what’s ethically right. Perhaps its ignorance, but it could also be indifference.

You may say that they have their own set of moral code, but that code seems to be based on the premise of individual superiority over the rest. Which seems logical since they have been hearing the same thing over and over again – a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts. I am not the moral police, but a basic level of ethics needs to be inculcated into the raw talent of the country.

They should follow the Spiderman quote –

With great power comes great responsibility.