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Anil Rajvanshi

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Debate: Is corruption a moral or a legal issue?

Too often the corruption debate and discussions all over the world are focused on how somebody broke a law. By that definition Mahatma Gandhi was the most corrupt man since he periodically broke British laws!

By dictionary definition corruption relates to doing things which are not ethical.

Hence how should the corruption be defined and fought for greater good?


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  • Nov 4 2012: Legality may be seen as morality contextually generalized. The ethics that must be accepted within a society in order to maintain its value ideals are laws.
    So breaking a law is seemingly unethical. But when authorities go on to make laws, the situation becomes complex and even paradoxical enough to go against the societies moral values. In such cases breaking a law is necessarily an ethical act.
    In Gandhiji's case, it may be seen that the law and morality corresponds to different social orders and hence the conflict is obvious.
    Hence there is nothing wrong for an issue to be equally legal and ethical. Corruption, I think, belongs to such group.

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