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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is Honesty an Obsolete Virtue?

A friend of mine wanted to express his gratitude towards Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and went to his home in Bangalore to meet his parents. It had been about a year since Major Sandeep valiantly fell to the bullets of terrorists in Mumbai. He was a bit apprehensive before ringing the calling bell as he had numerous questions in his mind, like, is he disturbing the family? Or, is he being over enthusiastic in doing so? Is this the right way to express his gratitude? Never the less, he made up his mind and pressed the door bell. Major Sandeep's father opened the door. First of all, my friend apologized for disturbing the family in the noon hours and then informed them about the purpose of his visit. Major Sandeep's father called my friend into his house. Major Sandeep’s mother and sister were also there. There was silence for a while, my friend broke the silence by thanking his parents for having brought up a brave soldier like Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan and that he would be indebted to their family all his life. He again apologized for having disturbed them and told them that he very deeply and truly felt the gratitude towards the soldier, thus, came to express the same. Major Sandeep's father was overwhelmed and told him that he was not at all disturbed. Instead, he feels the pride of being Major Sandeep's father. He further added that many politicians and dignitaries have come and expressed their gratitude, many functions have been organized to commemorate the supreme sacrifice. Although, such events make him feel good, but, he feels the best when people like my friend, an ordinary Indian, comes and expresses his or her gratitude. It is so because, such people come to express the gratitude which they feel from the bottom of their heart and are not just being ritualistic. This also endorses the greatness of the supreme sacrifice given by his son. He feels happy to be the proud father of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan!

So, if we look at honesty from this perspective, how can Honesty be an obsolete virtue?? A perspective where parents are proud of the sacrifices made by their children! How can Honesty be an obsolete virtue when we have people like Major (Dr) Laishram Jyotin Singh who went beyond the call of duty to fight armed terrorists with bare hands? How can Honesty be an obsolete virtue when we have people like S Manjunath and Satyendra Dubey who did not bow down to corruption and exposed the criminal-politician nexus?

Honesty is not an obsolete virtue, because, as Honesty is a virtue so is Valiance and these two are not mutually exclusive. Death is something which is obvious and will occur, but, more important is the way we live our lives. As popularly said,” It’s about adding life to years and not years to life"! Crusaders for Honesty might die fighting their battles, but, it is their stories and their character which keep the civilizations alive!

It’s only a matter of perspective. Either we get afraid by hearing such stories of deaths or we call them sacrifices and bring our blood to boil and pledge to carry forward the half finished campaigns of these people. The campaign of building India into a Vibrant Democracy!


  1. Well said , But this world is not purely black and white, there are shades of grey as well, but people and society as a whole has to take a call and decide which path they want to choose.
    One line that really caught my imagination is :
    'It is all about adding life to years and not years to life.'

  2. Thanks Sandeep!! About Black&White or Grey. Its the perspective that matters.