Ethics Case Study-19

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Ethics Case Study-19: Ethics in Private  Relationships; Moral Dilemma

Raghu and Ragini loved each other a lot. When everything seemed fine, Ragini was forcefully married off to a wealthy guy by her parents and sent to a distant country thanks to Raghu’s lower caste.  Raghu was heartbroken and slipped into depression. He swore that he would either marry Ragini or die of hunger.

However, luckily for him, he found a new friend in Rashmi. She was his classmate in his college days and had loved him secretly, but never expressed it to him. Rashmi with her presence and constant support made Raghu to forget the past. Raghu’s  friends convinced him to marry Rashmi. He married her. Though he didn’t love Rashmi, nevertheless he was happy to get a companion and liked Rashmi very much.

Meanwhile, Ragini never loved her wealthy husband. Every day she was craving for  Raghu, with whom she was not in contact for many months now. Unfortunately her both parents got killed in a road accident. She came back to India, but never returned to her husband. Now Ragini was alone with no one around her for her support. She was the only child of her parents. She inquired about Raghu. Came to know about his whereabouts and present condition. Still she contacted him and both met secretly. She narrated how she loved him all theses days and expressed her desire to get married to him despite knowing he was already married. Though, Raghu was pushed into chronic depression indirectly by Ragini, he never hated her. In fact he still had soft corner for her. Now she had come for him leaving everything behind.

What should Raghu do now?

  • DSC

    This case involves a moral dilemma. In this case the proper course of action for Raghu would be to counsel Ragini to get back to her husband and start loving him. He should be morally strong enough to refuse the temptation of reverting to Ragini and should enlighten her about the sacredness of marriage alliance in Indian context. He should not involve in extra martial relations as that is illegal and unethical. If Ragini does not oblige and insists that he marry her, he should completely turn away from her.

    Perhaps he should remember that it is Rashmi who pulled him out of depression and stood by him in his adversities. After being tied into a marriage alliance with her he should not give way to thoughts that would turn him towards Ragini. If Raghu decides to marry ragini he would have traumatized an innocent girl(Rashmi) for no fault of hers. Also the the relation with Ragini and her husband would be jeopardized. so the better way would be to bring moral transformation in Ragini and remain good friends for rest of their lives.

    • Abhinav

      perfect !!! 🙂 keep it up.

    • Naveen Shekhar


      • DSC

        thank you Mr. Abhinav and Mr. Naveen

    • nice answer…:)

    • nishant

      rashmi love for raghu didnt diminish even when raghu was in a disturbed state of mind .chances were there that he may slip down to a state from which he might never recover. rashmi gave raghu a second life.raghu enjoyed her company.and was happy.though ragini had no role in her marriage even if she lives alone for the rest of her life, still giving due consideration to interest of rashmi ,in not wreaking her life and should keep her accquaintance with raghu at a minimal neighbourly levelsince her parents are dead .raghu on his part should also appreciate rashmi ‘s role in his life should keep to his new role with feeling of gratitude .


    sir, nice story to make movie… puttanna kanagal back

  • Abdaal

    Raghu received unconditional love and support from Rashmi when he was at his lowest. Now that he is married to her too, and is ‘happy to get a companion like her’, it would be a gross breach of faith if he were to cheat on her. For all their love, Ragini had accepted her marriage as fait accompli and had it not been for her parents’ unfortunate demise she would have never come back. By her actions not only is she punishing her husband for no fault of his but is also committing another act of moral turpitude by trying to break Raghu’s marriage. This is sheer selfishness.

    Raghu should realise these facts and get over his infatuation for Ragini which has been rekindled only after seeing her. As a human being and a well wisher of Ragini, he should persuade her to return to her husband and if she refuses extend her whatever help he can out of courtesy.

  • urbanchronicles

    Marriage is a sacred institution. Raghu and Ragini had the opportunity to unite in the beginning. Though her marriage with the wealthy man was due to force, we should note that Raghu adapted to the situation however painful it was. He has married Rashmi and has accepted the consequences and moved on.
    Now if Rashmi wants to come back into his life, It is too much to ask for. Raghu should talk personally to Ragini. He should approach her closest relatives and have emotional counselling session with her about the current situation. There after Ragini should/ shall be able to understand the complexity involved in this relationship. It should encourage her either to gather confidence to get back to her husband or gather courage to ask for divorce from her husband.
    Raghu at any point should not get tempted to get Ragini back into his personal life. He should display competencies like self control, etc. He should be loyal to Rashmi. Focus on “needs” is more important than “wants”.

  • neeraj

    Raghini and Raghu are both married ( though Ragini doesnt live with her husband now). So, it would be wrong for both of them to be together when either of them are married.

    Raghu, who likes Rashmi and who was there for him when Raghini left him. Raghu should introspect his feelings and Rashmi’s sacrifice towards him who inspite of knowing that he loved Raghini married him. It is duty of Raghu to keep Rashmi happy as they are married and have sacred vows. The institution of marriage is very important and should not be broken without very compelling reason.

    He should talk to Rashmi about Raghini and her offer. Also, he should give her his final word that he is going to be with her no matter what. Raghini is an old story and he is ready to forget about her. Raghu should politely inform Raghini of his decision and offer his friendship and nothing else.

  • Santosh

    In the triangle story of Raghu, Ragini and Rashmi, Raghu and Rashmi are already in the sacred bondage of marriage and Ragini is also married to someone else. Hence it will be wrong for Raghu to have an extra marital affair.And deceiving Rashmi is also both ethically and morally wrong.

    In a healthy personal relationship,it is very much important to be open and frank. Raghu should invite Ragini to his home and both Rashmi and Raghu should try to persuade her to go back to her husband and live happily.After all good relationship is all about mutual understanding.

    However, afterwards both Raghu and Rashmi should be in constant touch with Ragini as good friends.

  • J

    Here, Raghu has been caught in a diellema of
    1) Staying with Rashmi as he is married to her
    2) Get along with Ragini, his past love ( and presently having soft corner for her)

    Here, Raghu should stick to first option only. This is because it will be grossly unethical for Raghu, who is married now, to desert his wife, who actually cares about him and has supported him in bad phase of life.

    Raghu has already met Ragini secretly and he should tell about this to Rashmi and accept his mistake before things goes out of hand.

    Though both Raghu and Ragini could not get married due to bad situations, it is past now and Raghu should persuade Ragini to forget about it and concentrate on future by returning to her husband and assuring her that they will remain good friends.

    In this way, Raghu should start finding new life by getting involved with his wife Rashmi and both should also help Ragini in getting adjusted to new life with her husband so that their past should not destroy their future.

  • J

    Insights and friends please review my answer 🙂

  • vipul

    What should Raghu do now?
    Ragini & Rajat are no longer in a personal relationship. Both of them have moved on in their life and have certain responsibilities in their new role as husband & wife of someone else. Being responsible is the most basic code of ethics. Both of them entered in to their marriage contract by their own consent. They are legally bound to discharge their duties in capacity of husband & wife.
    Raghu & Ragini intimacy may harm their husband/wife lives and even send them in same condition of depression which Raghu went through in the past. Rashmi & Ragini’ husband may have to suffer for no wrong of their own that seems injustice.
    Rashmi supported Rajat in his worst phase. Has she not been there, he could have gone in to permanent depression or done something wrong to himself. Rajat should stick to his integrity and should not take any step that could result in breach of Rashmi love & trust in him. He should inform Rashmi about all this incident so that she does not become victim of any suspicion.
    Ragini lost her parents and might be going through emotional trauma. Rajat should try to empathize with her and try to persuade her to go back to her husband. Rajat should make his stance very clear and if Ragini still insists then he should try to maintain distance from her. Though Rajat will acting in contradiction to his self-interest but all of us being a member of society do accept certain restrictions on our freedom so that society as a whole could benefit. In any society, marriage is as an institution of more significance than an informal relationship.

    • Mendax

      great answer, always a admirer of your answer…

  • dipps


  • Ritu

    In this complex situation, Raghu is left with following two possible options:
    1. Divorce Rashmi and marry Raginin: This situation depicts the selfish attitude of Raghu. Rashmi who has loved Raghu a lot will get shattered by this decision. Though this situation will be favourable to Ragini whose days of misery will get over and she can live the life happily. Another impact of this situation will be on Ragini’s husband. If Ragini’s husband too had great love for Raginin, then he will also get hurt by this outcome.
    2. Continue marriage with Rashmi: This situation will be hurtful for Ragini and to some externt for Raghu too. But on positive side this outcome will be happy one for Rashmi and may be for Ragini’s husband.
    Putting myself in Raghu’s shoe, I would choose the second option for following reasons:
    a. This is what a responsible husband should do do as per morales and ethics.
    b. If Rgahu is choosing the first option then he is sacrificing hte pious love and care shown by Ragini for his selfish love.
    c. The emotional damage caused in first scenario is much more that in second. In first case Rashmi, Ragini’s husband will be victim while in second case Ragini will be the sole victim.

    • Ritu

      Respected Insights sir and peers,
      Please review

  • dipps

    The situation has put Raghu in an ethical/moral dilemma where he has to choose between his old love and his caring wife. Ethical dilemma is a situation where one has to make a decision involving significant value conflicts i.e. all the alternatives are equally justifiable and pose a significant consequence on each stakeholder.
    The stakeholders involved in the case are Raghu, Ragini, Rashmi, Ragini’s husband and their families at large. The above ethical dilemma can be resolved using the approaches like justice approach, Rights test, virtue test etc.
    Justice approach involves giving one what he/she deserves i.e. his/her due. It means fair distribution of benefits and burdens. In the above case if Raghu chooses to marry Ragini so that they both can lead a happy life, he is doing injustice to Rashmi. Because when he was going through deep depression it was she who helped him and got his life back on track. As mentioned in the case study though he didn’t love her but he was happy to get a companion like Rashmi. Also, the choice also harms Ragini’s husband as he has done nothing wrong and there is a possibility that he loves Ragini very much.
    But if he convinces Ragini and asks her to continue her marriage with her husband then it saves two families. Though both of them have to let go their love for each other but this choice does justice to all the stakeholders involved.
    Virtue approach involves the fundamental question as, “what kind of person I want to be?” While choosing between the two alternatives he needs to ask himself whether the action is in line with his ideal self, and how should he be remembered by his friends.
    The rights approach involves respecting rights of the stakeholders involved.
    Therefore while making a decision Raghu needs to weigh the consequences of his decision on all the stakeholders, especially his wife who has done a lot for him and Ragini’s husband who might be equally caring.

    • dipps

      Insights Sir and fellow aspirants,
      please review.

      One question: In situations of ethical dilemma, should one write more of a general answer or use the approaches(justice etc) and then write?

  • prayag

    As Raghu and Rasmi are now married,and Rashmi supported Raghu through his hard days,Raghu should not think about any type of infidelity.
    He should discuss this matter with wife,Rashmi,about the situation, and act accordingly,because unless would he do so,he may be dragged into the unwanted legal as well as harass social situations.
    He should take care of both Rashmi and Ragini,if he could be able to do so,or, try to pacify the situation by making Ragini understand that situations are not the same as that was before,and sending back to her husband. Before that,he should comprehend the importance of him in Rashmi’s life.
    Ragini should have taken these steps when it was need,means before he marriage.
    Now she should try to realize that ,’The fruit is of that farmer who saved the tree.’

  • Asha Goud

    What should Raghu do now?

    A: Raghu should explain to Ragini that they both are married now and have individual responsibilities towards their spouse. For their personal emotions they should not hurt others. Their time, when they could take a stand and support each other had passed. He should explain to her that both should move ahead with their life and clinging to past would bring adverse results.
    Ragini is going through a difficult time and she is emotionally very vulnerable at the moment. Her husband should be contact and he should be advised to come to India and provide support to Ragini in her difficult time. If he is understands the situation and he is ready to come then it is good but if he rejects the advice then Raghu should talk to Rashmi and see if she can talk to Ragini and provide her some emotional support.
    Getting emotional and taking decisions in self interest ignoring its consequences on others is not a trait of a emotionally mature individual. We should control our emotions and desires and not be controlled by emotions

  • Shweta

    Raghu is married to Rashmi, now it is his moral obligation towards her.
    It will unjust on his part, if he undermine unconditional love and care given by Rashmi in his depressed days. He owes his life to her.In return she need commitment and dedication to the relationship.
    For greater good he should counsel Ragini to return back to his husband and should keep the promise and honor of her dead parents and should deal with situation amicably.
    Further in personal relationships morality demands happiness of the partner rather than one’s own interest.Institution of marriage would be undermined if marriage is broken and will set a wrong example for society.

  • ATP

    Rojbaroj na jivan ma apne jevi samsyaono saamno kariye chhie te prakar ni a samasya chhe.raghu maate bhutpurva preyasi ane temni jivansangini mathi koni pasandgi karvi e dharmsankat chhe.
    Raghu maate jyare katokatino samay hato tyare rashmi teni vahare dhai hati, ane banne pavitra lagnasambandhoma bandhaya hata rashmina sadhiyarathi j te bhutkal bhulva saksham thayo hato ane viprit paglu bharta atakyo hato,athi raghuni rashmi pratyeni javabdaari chhe ke temni saathe na sambandho nu nirvahan kare
    a samagra ghatna paristithi raghu e temni patnine vakef karvi joiye ane temne vishvaas ma laine j raghu e paristhitimathi marg kadhva agal vadhvu joiye. biji taraf temne rashmine samjavvu joiyeke te lagngranthi thi anya sathe bandhai chhe athi temna pati pratye temne potana kartavyanu palan karvu joiye raghu mate mansik swasthta anivarya chhe sathosath raginine pan temne naitik ane mansik himmat apvi joiye.

    Gujarati naval kathakar PANNALAL PATEL ni chirnjivi naval MAANVINI BHAVAI ni naayika nu brahma vakya `manna morla manma ramadva ne em j mankho puro karvo” Raghu e pan avi j naitik himmat batavvi joiye.

  • Rahul Agarwal

    Seriously is this an ethics question !!!

  • Nanda

    Whatever action Raghu wants to take will be based on his integrity .But his actions should not be definitely taken in haste.He may be quite happy to see Ragini back, but he should not forget Rashmi who has been trying all these days to make him normal. He can not let Rashmi in the same state what he was when Ragini left him.It may definitely be not Ragini’s fault, but it is not Rashmi’s fault either for Ragini’s returning back.The dilemma here does not just involve three lives, but it also includes societal values. He should also look at how society will value their relationship without a legal divorce.Their love towards each other may be true, but that should not take extreme steps shattering other lives , in this case Rashmi and the wealthy husband.Incase they still want to live together, they should try to get divorce from their respective spouses explaining them everything and then marrying.Here Raghu has more responsibility towards Rashmi who should ensure that she lives a respectable and decent life and should also see that she does not go into a state of depression as he had .

    IGNITES Please review….

    • Krish

      Straight into the bulls’s good

  • Krish

    Sometimes,Life becomes miserably for the unforeseen circumstances for which we are destined to face.We curse even our beloved God for this,infact who plays the entire plot.we often here such stories through our peers ,families,society & media in our day to day lives.
    Coming to the point,it was a case study of emotional & moral quotient for every person involved in this situation to introspect their lives.
    I would first like to pinpoint the role played by Ragini parents, the typical attitude of Indian parents.In the first place,it was them who were responsible for the present situation.Parents should always give a consideration for their children’s likes & dislikes.Money alone doesn’t serve the basic purpose of marriage .If it was, then there is no meaning for the institution of marriage especially for a country like India.
    So,Whatever happened is happened,the blamegame should end.I would like to offer the following 2 suggestions:
    – Raghu’s role is considered to be critical in this juncture.Infact,he should act with utmost diligence in conveying his opinion of disinterest towards Ragini,saying that it was not possible for him to comeback & at the same time making her to realise her responsibilities towards her husband whom she unwillingly married.
    – If the present status of Raghu’s relation with Reshma & Ragini’s relation with her husband is strained, then it is fine to get married (I.e) Raghu with Ragini,as they can consider it as 2nd life of their love.
    At any cost, Reshma & Ragini’s Husband should not be made scapegoats for the mistakes of the others.

  • This case is a moral dilemma.Marriage is a welding of two different persons.The persons are different but he can have a mind to love each other.Here Raghu and Ragini loved very much.He can a option of try to a register marriage before raginis marriage and start a life.Now Ragini is a wife of another persons wife.Ragini and Raghu should think about it.Ragini cannot try start a life with Raghu now.Raghu realised Reshmis love and with
    Raginis meeting he convinced about the situation .Advice her to love the husband and about a marriage life and future.If she didnt realized it he left from there.

  • Bharti

    Here, we need to look at other aspects also, like, “Ragini left her husband’s house and came back”, “In spite being together with her husband for so long, they failed to develop an emotional bond. That cud be the reason for leaving her husband and coming back.” “She is now alone. And may be she doesnt wish to go back.” If I’m in place of Raghu,
    1. Preserve Sanctity of my marriage with Rashmi.
    2. Acceptance that “Ragini is my past now”
    3. Looking for welfare of Ragini, as she was my love
    4. Counsel her to go back to her husband and take positive steps towards mending her relationship.
    5. If for some reason, not possible to go back to her husband, I’ll advice her to take divorce from her husband and start her life afresh. I’ll always support her.
    6. Advice her to take up a career to ensure she doesn’t goes into depression
    7. Give her moral, financial and social support to start her new life. And, make her understand that no matter what, I’ll always be there to support her as a GOOD FRIEND.
    8. Include my wife too in these dialogues, so that she can understand my point and my empathy towards Ragini. And there by instilling more trust in our relationship.

  • mario

    Raghu should not keep on
    talking anything secretly with ragini. Because if Rashmi knows this, she may go
    to depression. Whatever he wants to do, he must discuss with Rashmi and proceed
    along with Rashmi. This will give rashmi the trust about her husband. At the
    same time Raghu must help ragini to settle in her life. He should call her
    husband to come to India and her husband only can help her to recover .Most
    probably he will come because his own wife’s parents were dead and his wife
    needs mostly his help.

    If he came to India then explain
    her condition to him and request him to take care of his friend Ragini with
    love.It is better to exlain to her husband because in these matters nothing
    should be kept secret and he is the only one person who should really take care
    of her. Ragini might not love her
    husband but her husband may be loving her a lot. That’s why Raghu and Rashmi
    must give counseling to Ragini about her life and future. They must counsel her about how to behave and
    adjust with her husband forgetting everything the past. If possible, better to
    take her to a psychologist. Finally she should send to foreign along with her
    husband by providing and creating a kind of hope about her better future. All
    this to be done by Raghu along with Rashmi.

    If her husband dint come to India,
    Raghu and Rashmi must help her to recover following the above suggestions I gave
    and send her to her husband along with lot of hope of her future.