'Favouritism' means 'the practice of giving unfair preferential treatment to one person or group at the expense of another'. What is ethical is what develops moral virtues in ourselves and our communities. And one of the basic themes of ethics is fairness. Fairness requires consistency in the way people are treated. In the public sphere, favouritism, cronyism, and nepotism – all interfere with fairness because they give undue advantage to someone who does not necessarily merit this treatment and also undermine the common good. When someone is granted a position on favouritism grounds rather than because he or she has the best credentials and experience, the service that the person renders to the public may be inferior. We wonder how the slacker official who made our lives difficult, in the government or corporate office, successfully got through the hiring process!
In a society like ours favouritism and all its related terms are fully applicable right from the primary school admission through university entrance examination and finally in the recruitment. If you want to get your child admitted to a topmost school, you need to have a sifarish ; if you find it hard to get yourself admitted to a college that is out of your catchment, a mere sifarish can do for you; if you are a relative or a mere acquaintance of a varsity official or professor, your admission in higher studies is a breeze. And finally, when it all comes to a job, an MLA you voted for will not make you regret for your gift of vote to him (on a lighter note you won't spare him to do that). But amidst all this I fail to understand how come a person who knows that he has marred the right of a deserving one is able to satisfy his conscience?
The venom of favouritism that lies in our kinship-oriented society has shackled our appetite to progress. It is as simple as If I come for you, you come for me! If I stand for you, you stand for me! If I give you comfort and security, then you will do as I wish or maybe submit your right to vote to me? We all have dreams but only a few are lucky enough to accomplish those dreams. A few brave souls set themselves on the long, rough journey to get selected for a particular profession. For years, they work hard and follow their passion blindly, hoping that their performance will be good enough to attract even a glimpse of the selector's dodgy eyes. The dream of these young, talented individuals is impaired, bruised and torn apart, however, when a relative of someone influential bypasses the system, he/she gets selected instead of them.
Martin Luther King Jr. says, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." Those who follow their dreams had trusted the system. Let's not cheat them. Let an individual earn his place by his performance and not by the shortcuts offered by his/her connections. And to the concerned authorities who are in 'power' have no right to misuse your power by downgrading the morale of talented youth and pushing them deep into depression from where they can never escape. They are there to facilitate and provide the platforms to the future of the nation and not to become a cause of their despondency and dejection. Hazrat Umar Ibn ul Khattab (RA) is reported to have said, "Nothing is dearer to God Almighty and of greater benefit to mankind than a ruler's kindness based on true knowledge and insight. Nothing is more hateful to God than a ruler's ignorance and stupidity." Perhaps our rulers who have been elected as the representatives of people in the so-called democracy need to understand this and work for the betterment and overall development of the nation and its people by giving a fair chance to the deserving ones so that superior services are rendered by these individuals in the public institutions. Until this decision is made, we shall continue to breathe in a patrimonial democracy, idolising our political representatives as demi-gods.