ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

UniversalitySubscribe to Universality

Mendacity in Our Midst

Cultural observers like Ramanujan and Max Muller have implied that untruthfulness amongst Indians is prevalent because of its approval by ancient behaviour codes. Ramanujan also attributed a lack of universality in Indian thought to the same codes. While the ancient codes contain many assertions which would be considered problematic today, lack of universality is not one of them as far as preference for truthfulness is concerned. The only occasion wherein any of the ancient codes prefer lies to truth is when someone's life is at stake. The quantitative prevalence of untruthfulness in different groups can only be empirically estimated by carefully designed questionnaires or experimentally. To minimise getting answers that the respondents will assume are expected of them, the first investigations should deal with instances of petty untruthfulness, where the consequences are trivial.

Equality and Universality

The distinction between equality and universality is important theoretically as well as in matters of policy. With the example of education, the author shows the limits to which universality can be taken and beyond which inequalities are bound to come into play. Sometimes it serves the public interest or at least the interest of the most disadvantaged sections better if inequalities are allowed to increase instead of being artificially reduced. A strongly competitive system of higher education may be to the general social advantage rather than one that discourages competition on the ground that it encourages inequalities.

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