Losing moral authority

23 Oct 2020


This is with reference to your editorial ‘Bewildering words’ and the article ‘It’s all about politics’ (Oct 11). Both these pieces of writing have missed the factor of moral authority over legal authority of a corrupt person.

If a father is found involved in wrong or illegal activity by his children and spouse, they have the right to investigate the case and condemn him if he is found guilty. Being a father is not a good enough excuse to be exempted from being investigated if one is doing anything wrong or illegal that is negatively affecting the well-being of the family. Or it is morally and socially unacceptable?

Similarly, employees and subordinates may question their employers or seniors if they find anything wrong or illegal activity was being done. This is encouraged by most professional bodies in their code of conduct.

This is all about moral authority over legal authority. If one is found doing any illegal activity, one loses the moral authority to retain one’s legal authority. This is the case when the prime minister was investigated by his subordinate authority when he was involved in an illegal activity.

All government departments also operate as watchdogs. If they notice anything wrong or detect some illegal activity, irrespective of the authority, investigation is carried out overtly or covertly and the result is shared and punishment is awarded accordingly.

To sum up, one loses legal authority over moral authority if one is involved in any illegal act.

Muahammad Shadab Alam Khan

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020