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Monday, February 06, 2006 

Means & Ends

With so many sting operations taking place every now and then, one just can’t help ask the question, “Do the ends justify the means?”

As we know, it is as much a crime to offer a bribe as it is to accept one. However, most TV channels cite the end, i.e. revealing the corruption to public, as an excuse and expect that no action be taken against them. In most cases, no action is taken against either, the TV channels or the corrupt politicians they expose.

But is exposing corruption the real motive behind these operations? If so, how many TV channels actually file cases of corruption against the politicians, now that the have proof? And what is it that absolves them of their crime of having enticed people into committing a crime? Why is no action taken against the journalists who are shown offering bribes?

Which brings me to the topic: Do ends justify the means? If so, then why are we condemning the Jehadis, who have an end that is pure, freedom of their motherland, even though their means are violent? Isn’t claiming that the end justify the means denigrating to the Mahatma, who always emphasised that the means should be as pure as the ends? Why should, then the Indian freedom struggle stand out from the rest? What good is the principle of Non-violence, which is a slower means to any end?

The End has always been abused to justify the means. But as shown to us by Mahatma Gandhi, if we wish for a noble end, the means to achieve it must be as noble, else the end does not remain noble any more. It is because of their means that jehadis all over the world have lost support for their causes, irrespective of the nobility of their cause.