Is honesty the best policy?

Is honesty the best policy?

In 2005, Manjunath Shanmugam, an IIM graduate and an IOCL employee, was murdered just because he was working towards curbing oil malpractices in his territory. More recently, Additional District Collector Yashwant Sonawane was burnt alive in Nasik by an oil mafia. Or closer home, the chief conservator of forests and Lokayukta officer U V Singh was attacked for stopping a few people from dumping affluents in the Nagawara Lake in the City. Metrolife speaks to a few people and asks them if honesty means doom and whether it pays to be good anymore.


Amita Sawant, Student
“We are a slow-moving and population-driven country and corruption has over rooted everything in the State. But honesty can never go for a waste. You can’t defy the rule of nature as your karma will come back to you in various ways. Today one man spoke up about the wrongdoings. Tomorrow, there may be two and in future, there may be a number of people. Youngsters need to voice out their opinion more often about such issues so that they can be heard by the authorities. By blogging, writing articles, inviting people for a friendly communion and talking to students in colleges, making CDs and posting them, you can create awareness and make yourself heard.” 

Emilee, Communication professional

“Though we are taught in school to be honest, it does not suffice in today’s world. Most honest officials are not recognised for their services. A majority of common people are so used to corrupt government officials that they find it easier to get their work done by unfair means than approaching the honest officials. On the other hand, within the department too, the officers’ honesty does not pay — their promotion gets delayed as they don’t bribe their seniors into it and eventually, their corrupt juniors are promoted earlier. I have witnessed it myself as my father is in the State Civil Service in Assam.”

Karthik V,  Business Development, Executive

“In a country like India, we do need honest officers. But involvement should be there from all sides. Everything shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of a bunch of honest officers. But it’s good to see the role of the media and the people in such cases too, especially in the case of the IIM graduate Manjunath Shanmugan. I don’t expect a Utopian society but there should be a strong movement against corruption and the government should motivate officers and people to battle against corruption by providing them enough security. Honest officers should have a team of people with them in order to be safe.” 

Raghuram, Student

“Honesty is indeed the best policy. Yes, there are people who get away leading a dishonest life. But if you are not honest in whatever you do, it will keep pricking your head. It’s really sad that a senior officer was attacked in the City just because he was trying to protect our environment. However, that shouldn’t discourage us or make us go on the wrong path. Always be true and serve the society. Remember, money doesn’t matter nor do the consequences.”

Account Executive
“Corruption has always been prevalent in the country. But whatever the reaction of the people may be, I feel honesty will always be the best policy. People may not realise the value of honesty now but in the long run, it always pays and gives good results. Do your best and don’t worry about the consequences.”