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Posts Tagged ‘Honesty’

vide Jayanta Sen

The Nobel Laureate Prof. C. V. Raman after retirement wished to open a Research Institute in Bangalore. So he gave advertisement in the news papers for recruitment of three scientists.

Lots of eager Scientists applied thinking that even if they were not selected, they would at least get an opportunity to meet the Nobel Laureate.

In the preliminary selection, five candidates were selected and the final interview was to be taken by Prof. C V Raman himself.

Three were selected out of the five.

Next day Prof. Raman was taking a walk and found one young man waiting to meet him. He realized that it was the same man who was not selected.

The Prof. asked him what was the problem and he replied that there was no problem at all, but after finishing the interview the office had paid him ₹7 extra as compared to his claim and he wanted to return it. But because the accounts had closed, they could not take back the amount and asked him to enjoy it.

As the man was insistent that it was not right for him to accept the money which did not belong to him, Prof. Raman took the money from him himself.

After going few steps forward the Prof. looked back and asked the young man to meet him the next day at 10.30 am. The man was very happy that he would get an opportunity to meet the great man again.

When he met the Prof. next day the Nobel Laureate told the young man “Son, you failed in the Physics test but you have passed the Honesty test. 
So I have created another post for you”. 

The young man was surprised but very happy to join.

He has written a book on how the seven rupees changed his life.

Later on he too became a Nobel Laureate in 1983. This young man was *Prof. Subrahmanyan Chandrashekhar (US Citizen of Indian Origin)

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Source: astronoo.com and wiki

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This anecdote comes again from B:

Arnoud999-Right-or-wrong-


1967 March/April. I was appearing for my Intermediate examination (13th year) at a college in south Mumbai. Those days it was 11 years in school, 2 years of pre-degree in college and another 2 years in a bachelor’s degree course.

It was the day of Hindi exam. As always I did my namaskars to Lord Ganesha (the deity thought to remove all obstacles) and to my mother before leaving the house. A practice widely followed in my generation.

Most of candidates taking the examination were already employed in paying job,now wanting to earn a university degree to further their career prospects. In preparation for the same they would attend coaching classes in the morning while attending to their jobs during the day.

So here I was in the examination hall staring blankly at the question paper in Hindi. Most of us – I and others in the hall – were migrants from south, poor in Hindi, disinterested as well beyond the need of the situation. There was no choice before us as Hindi was mandated and we had to pass.

The supervisor in the hall knew the predicament. He closed his eyes to the candidates freely copying from whatever sources including text-books. And I was staring at the question paper like I was decoding script from the Indus Valley tablets. Before long the roving eyes of the supervisor settled on a-completely-unengaged me. He moved to station himself near my desk and sent out subtle signals for me to “do what you want”,

It was not difficult at all for me to decide – I wrote what I could and came away. To me, a standing injunction against less-than-honest means from my mother, a-not-so-preachy financially weak and uneducated single parent, was simply non-negotiable come what may.

When the results were declared  I was surprised to note from newspapers that I had passed!

The  mark-sheet subsequently issued showed I had scored a bountiful 6 out of 75 marks against a minimum passing requirement of 15. So the newspapers were wrong.It had to be. Though none of it was unexpected I was still devastated.

In sheer disgust I gazed at the mark-sheet hoping for some miracle. And there it was!

There was a special note at the bottom of the nothing-to-speak-of mark-sheet:  Failure in Hindi condoned under section….” Reason: I had passed / scored well on all other papers. The powers that be were taking a kinder view of the matter in their efforts to promote Hindi (as national language).

While we all conduct our lives adopting a certain code of ethics learnt either from elders in the family or in school, we differ in our intensity of compliance.

Oftentimes we cite exigencies:

 ‘We have to move with time,

We have to be flexible and realistic,

Just this once

to permit ourselves infractions that are minor to begin with, insidiously building up into major breaches over time. Every shred starts with a tear.

In the above anecdote B steadfastly holds onto his tenet of not resorting to less-than-honest means to achieve an end as simply inviolable and non-negotiable even in the face of adverse fallout’s. From there it was no longer a difficult decision for him to make.

A courage we wish we had more of.

In an earlier post (see https://tskraghu.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/a-wrong-was-righted-and-how/) B was introduced as my neighbor for years. And also the father of the highly successful and talented Vidya Balan of Bollywood.

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Source: openclipart (amroud999)

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