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Day 17 – Q 4. The best ethical action in one’s public life is to follow the rules and regulations like a responsible citizen. Do you agree? Substantiate.

4. The best ethical action in one’s public life is to follow the rules and regulations like a responsible citizen. Do you agree? Substantiate.

एक सार्वजनिक जीवन में सबसे अच्छी नैतिक कार्रवाई एक जिम्मेदार नागरिक की तरह नियमों और विनियमों का पालन करना है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? पुष्टी करें।


Gandhiji has given the concept of swarajya where he observes “it is not the duty of a government to collect taxes, but it is the duty of a citizen to pay the taxes”. Thus, a citizen should be self-guided to follow rules and regulations to be ethical in his/her public life.


Every good citizen adds up to the strength of the nation. As a citizen, one must appreciate, acknowledge and act on our rights and responsibilities in all spheres of life and work. E.g. keeping the surroundings clean, following traffic rules and so on.

Also, it is a part of every citizen’s social responsibility in which individuals are accountable for fulfilling their civic duty which is beneficial not only for them but also for the entire society. E.g. farmer around Delhi following stubble burning rules which will reduce air pollution.

This is not only as a part of civic duty, but also as an ethical duty. E.g. paying taxes in time which will be used by the government for inclusive growth and hence every citizen would be contributing in Sarvodaya. Another instance where by reporting child marriage, one is not only following rules but also saving the life of a kid which is ethical.

Further, as per deontology philosophy, ‘don’t do unto others what you don’t want others do unto you’. E.g. not smoking in public is as per rules and also ethical, because, it would irritate others as much as it would irritate you as a passive smoker. Similarly, not taking dowry, not paying bribe are instances where one would not like to be in place of the person suffering or being victimised.

However, following rules and regulations blindly is legal but not always ethical. As Gandhiji said” Don’t forget, everything that Nazis did was legal”. A responsible citizen has to apply his conscience under certain situation as well. For e.g. a good samaritarian doing first aid after an accident than standing aside only because it is against rules and regulation.

Doing what you have the right to do – as in doing something that is not illegal – is not always identical to doing what is right. Throughout history we also have instances where laws that are considered unjust are disobeyed in an effort to change them. This occurred with civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the racial segregation laws in the US.


“The law sets minimum standards of behaviour while ethics sets maximum standards.” Ethics provides us with guides on what is the right thing to do in all aspects of life, while the law generally provides more specific rules so that societies and their institutions can be maintained. Thus, a good citizen has to follow rules and regulations, but at times has to go beyond or even disobey just because the rules and regulations are unethical.

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