Morality & India
Partha Sinha's articles, according to me are a must-read, though I may not always agree to his point of view. His perspectives are downright insightful.
Sample this one on 'Ethical Branding' in India. I for one agree, totally.
'In India, the sense of right and wrong is a more fundamental discourse than anything else. We can ignore information, we can ignore observation we can even ignore objectivity. But we mostly succumb to the social code of morality and try to justify every action from that point of view. The concept of morality always has an undertone of either religion or politics. Indian society is fundamentally governed by an overdose of religion and politics and, hence, morality is always the default force. Some scholars argue that in Hinduism morality and law is often one and the same and can be used interchangeably. I think this viewpoint is the source code for our misplaced sense of morality...
The biggest advantage of Indian morality is that it’s mostly symbolic. Without doing anything meaningful or acting responsible in any manner, a brand can create a token sense of morality. Be it reminding people of their filial responsibilities, or allegedly taking sided with darker women or even representing the interest of the less fortunate. And more often than not this morality is disseminated only through advertising. So far we were used to ‘claim level’ ingredients in our product – the next thing brands will use to differentiate themselves would be a ‘claim level’ morality.
Ethical branding in India is a far cry. What we are likely to witness a lot in the near future is that brands trying to exploit our misplaced sense of morality to create a symbolic high ground.'