Dealing with dilemmas

How can you be ‘a well-known secret agent’? How is it that ‘Corruption is universally disapproved of, and yet universally practised’? These are some of the questions author V Raghunathan touches upon in his new book The Corruption Conundrum and Other Paradoxes and Dilemmas, launched on Saturday. The author was in conversation with Dr SK Barua, Dr Pankaj Chandra and Dr KRS Murthy.

The Corruption Conundrum attempts to comprehend and, to an extent, solve paradoxes and dilemmas that we encounter in our daily lives. According to Raghunathan, paradoxes are found in abundance, but are generally ignored as being either too commonplace to prompt deep thought or too complex to try solving.

“In this book, I pick up the little things first and then turn towards more complex, serious issues. Several dilemmas may go beyond entertainment and critically address issues in international polity. This book tries to draw attention to their various possible implications,” said Raghunath. “The book’s title comes from the interesting belief that corruption is the shortest dilemma in the world,” he added.

Dr Pankaj Chandra, director of IIMB, said, “Will the fear of policing prevent me from becoming corrupt, or does the restraint arise from a moral core? This is one of the biggest problems confronting society today.” He believed dilemmas are solved primarily by relying on internal strength.

SK Barua, director, IIM Ahmedabad, felt dilemmas could exceed the ordinary. “Warehouses of the Food Corporation of India are overflowing with grain, but due to neglect a quarter of it has been rendered unfit for consumption. All this while hundreds starve without food every day. What dilemma does the government face to create such a dangerously paradoxical situation? These are important questions we must ask ourselves,” he said.

Published in DNA. May 31st 2010

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