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(This thread bags Special Prize in the TOW contest for the week 17th Sept – 23 rd Sept'17)
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    "Means are as important as achieving the objective."

    People have their own objectives. Some people feel that the means adopted are as important as achieving their objectives and some others want to achieve the objective by any means. Achieving by any means may involve illegal activities and risk. It may take more time to achieve by proper means but the result in most of the cases will be positive. We all want to earn money. Money earned in a proper way can be enjoyed without any fear. The same money earned by illegal means results in fear. loss of peace of mind.

    Gandhiji firmly believed that means are as important as the end result. During the non-cooperation movement which was going on peacefully, a violent incident happened at Chauri Chaura. The people enraged by the arrest of their leader started protesting before the police station. When the police opened fire, the mob got enraged and set fire to the police station killing about 22 to 23 policemen. When Gandhiji heard about this incident he felt the people were not yet fully prepared for non-violent protests. If a violent situation erupts at one place when the nationwide movement is going on, the violence spreads like a wildfire all over the country within no time. It is very easy to stoke the passions of the people but it is very difficult to control. Gandhiji in his wisdom immediately called for the suspension of the Non-cooperation movement all over the country. This brought anguish and anger for many people. Had not Gandhiji called for the suspension of the Satyagraha, there would have been violent incidents all over the country. Some people believe that the suspension of the movement caused a delay in getting independence. Finally, India got its independence in a peaceful manner.
  • #609329
    In my opinion the way in which you got the work done than getting the work done. Some people go out of the way, violate rules and do all sorts of deeds to achieve their goals. In my opinion reaching the goals in an illegal way is not a success. It is more than a failure. Sometimes it is better to fail instead of getting success by unfair means. Be truthful to you, follow rules and regulations, never violate law, don't dishonor the terms and conditions. Take extra pains, work hard and attain success. There is happiness. There is great feeling. Instead of that, taking shortcuts which are against rules and regulations, violating the law, deceiving other s for success, are not acceptable. If you win the game by adopting these unethical deeds, you will never get happiness. You feel you are cheating yourself only. What is the use of such success? So I say means are more important than achieving the objective.
    always confident

  • #609357
    I agree that means also should pass the test of morality and legality.

  • #609359
    Truly pointed out by the author, anything achieved through wrong means will never last long. We need to be wise in getting things done and should not just follow crooked ways to get things done.

  • #609365
    I also agree with the thought that means and ways are important to achieve our objectives. But, those means should be good and fair. Exactly as Rao Sir has pointed out, that an objective achieved through unfair means are not less than a failure for a person. Because that achieved objective is going to spread out rays of negativity and awfulness from it.
    Rather achieving an objective or goal by difficult means but using the right path will give the feeling of happiness. So, one should always use right means of achieving an objective.

    Do what inspires you !!

  • #609368
    A lesson of life which many kids grow up with. Many parents including mine, have taught their children to be honest in school, exams and when we start out attempting to earn our salary. Many of us carry forward this tradition in our walks of life. Yet all of us at one point or the other seen people around us doing anything to succeed: copying in exams, bribing at qualifying exams, interviews, promotions with the only aim being going up the ladder in society irrespective of how unethical their means really are.

    There are times when we hear professional degrees sold, children of well-connected people getting that job which 10 others have really struggled and hoped to land the same job. People in innocuous-looking jobs but leading life far beyond their salary can afford. This hurts people who have come up the hard way and still have to wait for many years to buy a car or have the first foreign holiday.

    Like others have expressed, we are what we are, we should be remembered for our simplicity, honsety, and upright character instead of greed, plenty of gold chains, cars, lavish apartments, Our paths in life may be crooked or bent but we should be able to hold our heads high with pride.

  • #609370
    This famous slogan is not universal and has its own limits. There is another proverb in parallel to this " ends justify means". This slogan became famous during Quit India movement of Indian freedom struggle. with Gandhi emphasising on means and Bose emphasising on ends. This has interesting background for it. The famous foreign minister of Italy Machiavelli first came up with the idea that ends justify means. In Indian scenario Kautilya was a proponent of the idea "Ends justifying means". Later these two views emerged into two dominant philosophy of idealism and realism. Philosophers like Aristotle, immnauel Kant stood for realism while Plato, Woodrow Wilson stood for idealism. There is still a great debate in these. But ever since 1950s countries follow realism. India stood for pragmatic realism ever since days of Nehru.
    But at individual level there is no debate and always Means must be as justified as ends. We must be ethical in our means and objective and no second thoughts on it. In world of realism idealism gives moral backing. For eg . In recent issues India backing Israeli as policy shift and shunning Palestine, U.S shunning Pakistan, Russian china drift during Cold War are all realism. So the statement is particular,

  • #609387
    "Ends justify the means" rarely holds good. In a way, it is an excuse to justify the wrongdoing. Such acts may result in unwanted consequences. The Uttar Pradesh Government is resorting to encounters in the name of maintaining law and order. As per the Government release, about 430 encounters took place in the last six months. The aim is to maintain law and order but the means used are illegal. Some innocent persons may also be the victims. Rarely illegal means except for the welfare of society without any personal gain may hold good. "The means are as important as the end result" holds good forever.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #609391
    There are always short cut and right method to finish any work. People think that by spending money they can achieve their means either hook are crook but in the long run they would caught before law. In the old city of Hyderabad people are getting duplicate certificates with ease and of course with money. But when it goes to verification they are caught before law and punished. That is why authorities are providing extra features in education certificates to avoid duplication and copying.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #609416
    Response to #609387
    The view point and the encounter example is over simplification of realism. Realism doesn't support encounters. In encounters some are planned and some are to prevent untoward incident. Planned encounters are wrong as it's end ( killing a person) is itself wrong. But when police is in a naxal affected area and see few naxals firing indiscriminatinly at them then killing the naxals is justified. In this case killing naxals is not the end and the objective was self defense. Hence ends justify means. Otherwise the naxals would have killed tens of security persons. This is the basis of realism. But here an idealist would say the police must have not fired and even if this happens police must still pursue peace as a true satyagrahi and try to change the mind of naxals by showing courage and bravery in front of them by intimating them that they don't have weapons. Idealist would have asked the police to venture into naxal areas by openly telling them that they don't have weapons. The view point is naxals will be in a state of confusion. If he kills the police men then he would be treated as a coward for harming a peaceful person. On the other hand if he leaves them it show him as a weak person. This exaclty what happened during freedom struggle. British often found themselves perplexing how to deal with Gandhi. But in case naxals the situation is different as he is hiding and can pursue realism for his ends. So the police may also pursue pursue realism and neutralise him.

  • #609418
    Let us take the example of the incident of Chauri-chaura in this context. When the first non-coperation movement was at its peak, Mohandas Gandhi abruptly stopped the movement due to this incident on moral grounds. Now historians admit that the abrupt calling off the movement delayed Indian independence for at least ten years. Not only that, this abrupt calling off the movement ultimately caused the division of the country.

    So, it is not always correct to state "Means are as important as achieving the objective."

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #609433
    Response to 609416 :
    In the situation described where the police come face to face with Naxals firing, the police are justified in firing and killing them. Here the end result and means are both justified. It is not illegal to fire and to kill in a direct encounter for self-protection. If the police have the opportunity to arrest them without any danger to themselves, it becomes illegal. The end result does not justify the means in this case. The consequence of the action results in denial of justice, corruption, taking the law into their hands.
    Gandhiji during freedom struggle was in the open, conducted his protests in a non-violent manner. He obeyed the law and whenever he broke it in the course of the agitation, he always courted arrest by the police. This is the reason why the Britishers were perplexed in dealing with Gandhiji.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #609437
    Response to #609418:

    I have one direct question to those who believe that suspension of Satyagraha delayed the independence of India. Had the violence spread to the entire country, how many lives of Satyagarhis would have been lost? Why those historians never thought about it? The lives of the people were not a concern for them? Gandhiji was wise in suspending the Satyagraha all over the country after the violent incident in Chauri Chaura.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #609438
    # 609433
    Exactly kiling at a particular situation is unethical and at some other point is ethical. This is what ends justify means. Killing (a means) to achieve self defense ( an end ) is justified. Killing( a means ) in the name of planned encounter or extra judicial killing ( end ) is unjustified. This what the proverb ends justify means says. Here ends is the intent or reason to commit a particular action. This is realism. Here we are debating on the ethical nature of means and ends and not legality. But an idealist would say killing is killing and one must not pursue it. This is exactly the difference between Gandhi and Nethaji. Gandhi said whatever British did to us opposing them during distress of WW2 is unethical but Bose differed and said enemies enemy is our friend during WW2. The real debate between us is what is end and what is means. The point here is we must separate two different things the action " killing" which is the means to achieve a desired end which is " self defense " or " extra judicial killing". The actions killing ( means) is justified if it is for a justified end (self defense). The action killing(means) is not justified if it is for extra judicial killing( ends).

  • #609440
    And further we must understand why Gandhi's idealism succeeded. It is because his methods perplexed the British. What stopped British officials from mass murderng by firing and sophisticated weapons of the time. It is because British had two objectives in mind
    1. They would lose their commercial activity by loosing a potential market for their goods.
    2. Fear of international image as a superior race.
    3. Parliament pressure.
    This is why Gandhi's method succeeded.
    But suppose India had been ruled by Germany the situation would have been different. Hitler would have not minded kiling lakhs of people as he has no parliament to control, no commercial interest, no fear of image.
    Gandhi by stopping chauri chaura incident sent a political message. This is masses need to follow policy of struggle truce struggle to achieve their ends. Otherwise masses would lose their energy and the recolutionery spirit would have been lost.
    Gandhi is a perfect example of idealist in this case.
    According to him whatever be the end means must be correct and justified.
    So it varies.
    Gandhi's method achieved larger political interest for India.
    1. It ensures British remained allies even after they left.
    If we had followed his advice on partition we would have not been facing J&K problem. This is why the first proverb Both and ends and means must be justified holds good. This is a classic example where idealism plays good.
    I have given situation for both the proverbs and both depend upon the situations we face.
    I clearly distinguish here ends justifying means from immorality. Whatever be it immorality and unethical actions lead to destruction of the individual and society.
    To make it better in our Hindu tradition Krishna advices Arjuna to kill Bishma, Drona, Karna ( who never committed any sin or illegality) by dubious methods. This is because their killing ( means ) is required to achieve a justified end ( getting justice for Draupadi.)

  • #609446
    # 609438 :
    In the response #609416, you have taken the killing as the end result. In the response #609438, you are taking the killing as means.

    "End justifies the means" indicates that the end result achieved by any means, legal or illegal, is justified. Here the end result is more important than the means adopted. These days this is taken for granted as the ethics not considered important by many people. For those who care about ethics, means are as important as the end result.

    At the time of World War II, we were under the rule of British. Gandhiji always felt that the internal problems can be solved through dialogue and other means but when it came to the external threats, it is always wise to support the Government. He followed the same policy in South Africa also. At that point in time, the talks for Independence of India came to a certain level. By opposing the Britsh in WW-2, we would be inviting trouble for our country. If the Indians in the BritishArmy revolted, Japanese Army would have defeated the British and settled in India. The country might have gone into the hands of Japan. The true nature of the Japanese Army came to light when they occupied Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1942. The people of these islands were tortured and nearly 2000 people were murdered. In 1943, the political control of Andaman and Nicobar Islands was passed on to the Azad Hind Government. Bose went there to hoist the flag. He was unable to do anything about the atrocities committed by the Japanese on our own people. Considering all these facts, it was wise on the part Gandhiji to extend support to the British in WW-II.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #609448
    I completely agree that it could be misunderstood that way. Actually I was refering to the intention of killing( as extra judical method) as end in #609438 in my response. I have not opined anything against Gandhi. Infacf I too have supported him and we are on the same page. I have clearly said it is because of his actions India has won politically. And I have mentioned in my first response that ends justify means doesn't hold good at personal level. We as individual cannot follow it. I have already mentioned it my Response. Here ends justify means is being referred to actions by state, persons representing state.
    Anyway that still leaves a larger question unanswered. The ethics of Mahabaratha seems to concur with ends justify means.
    These are view of Immanuel Kant, Kautilya and Gandhi.

  • #609450
    @609437: (i) The Chauri-chaura incident is only a isolated incident. People were very distinctly in favour of non-violent movement at that time.
    (ii) Indians have generally abhorred violence since time immemorial and expected that others would reciprocate the gesture. But throughout India's history, the violence which the Hindus endured is unprecedented. Mass murder, killing, rape, forcible conversion, pillage, looting have been part of the history of India.
    (iii) ''Why those historians never thought about it? "-It is not the duty of historians to think about it. The true historians properly analyse historical events without any bias.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #609451
    It sometimes happen that people use short cuts, illegal practices, nepotism, bribery etc to achieve their goals and they succeed in doing so by the help of some corrupt and unlawful people. It is the fact of life and there is no denying in that.

    This is one part of the story. There is a very large number of people who do not have such avenues or due to their high morals they do not take any undue favour. These people are the people who believe in achieving their goals through fair means. For them achieving objectives in the normal way using proper means is important. These are the real gems of the society whom we can feel proud of.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #609470
    #609450 :
    1, Chauri Chaura incident could have triggered violence in other parts of the country also had it not been curtailed in the beginning itself.
    2. India was not a united country before. It consisted of small kingdoms. These kingdoms were always engaged in wars among themselves causing a lot of bloodshed. This disunity among themselves helped others in invading India.
    3, The Historians should have considered the loss of life in the event of violence spreading to the entire nation.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

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