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The mob gets hold of the person and beats him till death. In light of the above circumstances, comment on the conduct of Sanjeev. | UPPSC General Studies 4 Mains ETHICS Solutions 2022


 Sanjeev is an idealist. He believes that "truth is the greatest virtue and should never be compromised".  One day he witnessed a person running away from a mob equipped with sticks and stones. He watches him hiding in a particular spot. The mob asked Sanjeev whether he saw the thief. Sanjeev tells the truth pointing towards the spot where he saw the person hiding. The mob gets hold of the person and beats him till death. In light of the above circumstances,  comment on the conduct of Sanjeev. (UPPSC 2022)


This situation is a classic example of Idealism leading to tragedy. Sanjeev’s conduct in this situation is an example of blindly following virtue which can lead to disastrous consequences.

It is good to follow the value of truth, but it is necessary to know the nature of truth. In the given situation, Sanjeev blindly believed the mob perspective of the thief. It is also possible that a person might not be a thief, so he can tell the mob that I do not see a thief, by doing so, he can follow the truth values as well human life can be saved. 

In the given situation, even if we believe that person was a thief, Sanjeev should evaluate the consequences of telling the truth and he should consider the outcome of the mob’s violence and violation of the fundamental principle of preserving human life. 

From both perspectives, the Conduct of Sanjeev can not be considered ethical.

This situation highlights the importance of context, situation, and empathy before making any decision-making. Idealistic is important but should not be pursued blindly without knowing the context, overall truth, and consequence of the action.

In some situations, compromise of values may be necessary to protect the greater good /values like preserving human life.


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