Ethics Case Study 2

Case Study 2:-

Ratan is a farmer who grew sugar-cane on his two acres irrigated land and had borrowed money from a private bank to buy a tractor. He bought the tractor from the money he had received from bank loan but, also used part of the money to pay dowry and expenses for his daughter’s wedding. Due to price drop in sugar cane in the market, he consistently defaulted on his bank loan. Fortunately he owned irrigated land and he was confident of repaying the debt within two years if the price of sugar cane improved. The bank authorities had sent him few notices and decided to publish the photographs of defaulters in the public places and in local newspaper to put pressure on them. Ratan, who was a respected individual in his village was shocked to know this and committed suicide.

After few days, the bank auctioned his tractor off too. Now, Ratan’s wife and children have complained against the bank to the police accusing it of killing Ratan.

1) Was it ethical for the bank to take a decision to publish photographs of loan defaulters? Explain. (150 Words)

2) Critically comment on ethical aspects of Ratan’s deeds. (250 Words)

 

Solution:-

PART-1

“Commerce without morality” is one of the deadly sin said by Gandhiji . It this case ethical and moral nature of banks nature can be seen in different context. It is known as ethical relativism

  1. When seen from perspective of Ratan. Firstly he is not a will full defaulter even though a part of loan is used for dowry for his daughter. This tells unethical and immoral social customs drive them into poverty. Secondly sudden drop of sugarcane prices which may be because of ineffective governance structures or a effect of globalization. This shows how government and markets if not behave morally responsible would have dire consequences on poor. So Ratan may not be directly responsible for non-payment of loan. So taking action against him seems like unethical in nature.
  2. When seen in perspective of bank. It is guided by statutory guidelines which say this action is legal. Law acts same for everyone small or big lender. But social reality is beyond law. There is need to have empathy, sensitivity especially when dealing with vulnerable sections. Bifocal vision is needed in actions where both bank and Ratan are not on losing side. Banks must have helped Ratan in financial management which would have helped him in clearing loan. Even though it may not be illegal from banks point of view it is unethical to publish photograph without exploring other options. It should also be seen banks know this would result in Ratan’s suicide

 

 

PART-2

As mentioned in PART-1 deeds of Ratan are so because of unethical customs of society, morally irresponsible and unaccountable government and markets Ratan was placed in such dilemma. Ratan suicide is not because of his economic position it was because of fear of losing prestige. Ratan even ignored his personal relations with his wife and children. This shows there is more importance given to social prestige rather than personal relations. This shows how Ratan was socialized and values he learnt from his parents, education and society. Any act of suicide is not a solution to problem, so what is done by Ratan is unethical when seen from perspective of his family.

When seen from point of view of Ratanyou can say it as normal act in a unethical society. Which means society itself is unethical in nature and he wanted to escape from these hardships.

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