Why is social responsibility at a low pitch in India? ethics

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are some fundamental issues in the question that could be examined on a more investigative level. The initial premise would be whether or not social responsibility is at a "low pitch" in India. I think that the large amount of temple worship and the outreach that these temples have in their communities would help to establish social responsibility at a reasonable level. Additionally, there are volunteers who sacrifice time to work in these houses of worship, offering to clean temple grounds, help distribute temple offerings such as prasadam to the devotees. As a religion, Hinduism, dominant in India, does foster and facilitate a sense of social responsibility as one of its tenets. I think that this would help bolster a sense of social responsibility. However, I would also concede that no different than any other nation, there can be more given in terms of social responsibility. The short answer to this would be that individuals have to choose to expand their sense of social obligation. Like any other capitalist nation, India is at a challenge when trying to walk the fine line by encouraging individual entrepreneurship and hold the line on social responsibility. The child of freedom is self interest and this could fly in the face of the ethics of social responsibility. Indians, especially young Indians, have to probably understand that while material gain is important, it can be reconciled with a sense of social service and giving to others. This reckoning will have to be understood as Indians, particularly young Indians, become players and significant members of the global community. Along these lines, I think that social responsibility has to also be mirrored by those in the position of power and social advocates. The recent clamor caused by the Indian high court ruling on the Union Carbide has been a moment where a greater call for social responsibility has been heard. As India looks more to the West as both model and mode of criticism, there is a certain amount of astonishment as to how the Obama Administration can draw such a hard line against BP as to its destruction of wildlife and ecology and the Indian government do so very little in terms of seeking justice against the Union Carbide corporation and its parent company, Dow Chemicals, for the Bhopal gas leak in 1984. There has been a very large outcry to demand that social responsibility be enforced by the government against businesses and a call for greater transparency in the process. Historians have credited the lack of response on many elements, one of which being poor government oversight and even poorer handling of demanding accountability. I think that once government and social activists begin to take a legitimate hold in advocating social responsibility, it will also take hold amongst the people. However, it is very difficult to ask citizens to uphold the value of social responsibility and activism when its government fails to do the same.
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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The assumption in the question that levels social responsibility in India is at low pitch as compared to international practices does not appear to be valid. In addition the implied assumption fails to give any clue to what is considered to be adequate level of social responsibility.

The performance of Indian companies in terms of social responsibility may appear to be low as compared to those in some developed because of the general lower standard of living that people here can afford. Adequacy of what a company does to meet its social responsibility must be viewed in relation to its resources. I believe the i general the Indian businessmen and companies are in general do have high ethical standards and voluntarily spend considerable efforts and resources towards social causes.

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