UPSC Ethics Simplified | Trust : The caselet

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Everything starts with trust, even in the life of a civil servant. But when will people tend to trust you and how building trust can help you in adverse situations in your service? Here’s a caselet and points to ponder that you shouldn’t miss.

UPSC Ethics Simplified draws your attention to a topic of trust in the form of a caselet. This caselet is an extension of the concept discussed on April 7 (Trust: The Concept). It is advised to revisit the concept article before reading the caselet below.

Relevance: The topic is a part of UPSC CSE General Studies Paper-IV Ethics syllabus. Caselets are particularly relevant in the Case Study section. Aspirants will also find the article useful for their Essay paper and situation-based questions in personality tests.

Nanditesh Nilay writes for UPSC Ethics Simplified fortnightly on Sundays. The first article will be a concept while the second article will be a caselet based on the concept.

Raghuram was a thorough gentleman and a very talented District Collector. In his first official assignment, he was becoming a hero for the local people in that district. Though he was not from the majority population, still there was a lot of respect for him. He was solution-oriented in his tasks of decision-making.

One day, in one of the cases, his senior told him to remain silent and not be aggressive. There was a hotel on the outskirts of the city which was made on a piece of land and was forcefully acquired by local goons who were members of a political party too. The collector knew that if he took action and demolished it, he would certainly have to incur the wrath of the whole ruling establishment, and he may be shunted to the loop line. He knew that he might not get any good posting till that establishment.

However, the district collector was in no mood to compromise with his ethics. He went with the police force to demolish the hotel. And here something happened. Stones were coming like raindrops from everywhere. Suddenly, the collector found himself surrounded by a huge mob and his force was clueless. Stones and aggressive slogans were making things worse. This was the first time the collector realised that his life was in danger.

In the meantime, someone entered forcefully and he was from the majority only. He held the collector and shouted, “ No one should dare to touch him. He is not from our community but due to him our children can go to school.” He was an influential personality in the city. “Don’t worry sir. They would not dare to hit me, and they are trying to turn the issue into a majority versus minority one.” That influential person, Mohan Sharma, was from the majority population but he was a kind person.

The District Collector was reminded of a day when this influential person, Mohan Sharma, went to meet the collector with a request. Sharma was not happy with a group of boys from a local village who used to tease girls while they used to go to school. Sharma couldn’t find any cure because that whole village was a vote bank for all political parties and therefore any step could make things look politically ugly without providing any permanent solution. He went to meet the collector and the young officer went straight to that village, working day and night for the safety of the girls. He took them into confidence and found a solution. Mohan Sharma then visited Raghuram’s office and said, “We all are indebted to you. Though you belong to a different community, you treat everyone as human beings. You are highly courageous. We all trust you.”

Raghuram, the Collector, returned to the present, looked towards Mohan Sharma, and said, “Thanks for saving my life, today. I was not worried about any threat from the majority as you have been there.” Mohan Sharma said nothing. The next day there was news that the hotel was demolished by the owner itself.

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