A Judge kills his wife for not bearing a son: What is education teaching us?
The best people to do a job and get recruited to be public servants are not necessarily those who top the merit list; rather those who are certainly meritorious at a certain level, but equally importantly possess a character that is just and incorruptible too.
Some weeks ago, we heard of the shocking murder of the wife of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ravneet Garg through our newspapers and television channels. Ravneet’s wife, Gitanjali was shot. After the dust of the murder had begun settling down, investigations began and after a few days, it was announced that the prime suspect was her husband, the learned judge. It was further revealed that Gitanjali’s father had informed that his daughter had been harassed by her husband and his family because of the fact that the couple had female children but no sons. Now I know that this Haryana, the land of the Khap panchayats, honour killings and medieval notions of justice.
Now in a state like this, news like this is not uncommon and for it to be reported in the press is also not uncommon. But what caught my attention in this case was the fact that the person accused of murdering his wife on charges that she was not bearing him a son was not any ordinary khap member, but a member of the judicial services, a man who in his chambers sat presiding over numerous trials involving various disputes and petitions brought before him. The judge then passed judgments and the manner in which he interpreted the law were surely influenced by his beliefs and values. And this reflect the world
view of the representatives of the “modern judiciary”, which is supposed to the Constitution of India, why blame the Khap panchayats.
Which brings to a point which I have rarely heard articulated. In this meritocratic age, we have become obsessed with merits, scores and grades and that is all we measure. There is no scope in the recruitment process to capture or register ethical values, world views or other such intangibles. Are they not important? I think that they are. In the matter of recruiting public servants in particular, there is a particular necessity of gauging whether the potential recruit’s belief systems and values are in consonance with the progressive spirit and ethos of the Constitution of India. Simply measuring academic merit is not enough.
For all the talk of corruption in the country, there are enough honest people in the country or our society would have collapsed long ago. We need to celebrate the Ashok Khemkas and the Durga Shakti Nagpals in the country and they are in the limelight, but in the shadows are millions of ordinary people who are basically honest either because they believe honesty is right and proper or simply life hasn’t provided them a suitable opportunity to be dishonest. Either way, they are honest. But in a flawed meritocratic system (flawed because with all the reservations and quotas and all, we are not totally meritocratic either), there is unfortunately no screening for moral fiber and character. The best people to do a job and get recruited to be public servants are not necessarily those who top the merit list ; rather those who are certainly meritorious at a certain level, but equally importantly possess a character that is just and incorruptible too.
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