How the system treats the whistleblowers is an indication of how ethical the system is. Critically evaluate.

Whistleblower is a person who informs on a person or organization regarded as engaging in an unlawful or immoral activity. Whistleblowers often ignite a spark which will accumulate and bring out the various nuances and deficiencies in the working of social systems in the society.
A system which is committed to honesty and truthfulness rewards the whistleblower and acknowledges his efforts to bring out the deficiencies. Whistleblowers are appreciated. The system would also take steps to address the various nuances brought out by the whistleblowers.
A system driven by corrupt and despotic individuals often pressurizes whistleblowers through threats and challenges to back off. Their findings would be buried so that it doesn’t dismantle the societal status quo which is in their favor.
But it would be often unfair to attach the trait of corrupt and despotic to whole system. Even India saw episodes like whistleblowers getting murdered. (IOC employee Manjunath was murdered).  This reflected various issues related to lack of transparency, governance and corruption. The society though was responsible it would be unwise to attach the tag of corrupt to whole society.
Also the whistleblowers are bringing out deficiencies which are resulting due to lack of ethical behaviour on part of individuals. These instances show that the ethical standards of a society are at risk.
Hence it cannot be blindly equated that treatment of the whistleblowers is an indication of how ethical the system is but yes it is surely a component to determine the ethical standards of the system.

Question for UPSC Mains:
How the system treats the whistleblowers is an indication of how ethical the system is. Critically evaluate.

Published: April 2, 2018 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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